by Jim Butcher – I love, love, love this book! Aside from book 1 in the Dresden Files series, which introduced this amazing world and its major characters, this is my favorite book in the series. After the last one, at the end of which Dresden appears to have been killed, I was afraid Butcher had abandoned Harry and consigned us, his readers, to the death of a terrific series. How relieved I was to read the news (months ago) that there would be a new Dresden book coming out after all. I imagined a collective sigh of relief and anticipation among Butcher’s fans… then a growing curiosity. How would/could Butcher bring Harry back without simply cheating and telling us that our favorite wizard had only looked dead, but had instead been psyching out the enemy? That sort of tactic is beneath Butcher, I thought… and crossed my metaphorical fingers.
At the opening of this book, in which Harry is indeed a ghost, I was again relieved that my faith in our author was not misplaced. Butcher creates a layer of reality that we have not explored much in previous books, one in which Harry must learn to function as he returns to his world in spirit form to find out who murdered him and to protect his still-living friends. It’s a fun and fascinating realm and existence that we discover with Harry, with rules and limitations and possibilities that complicate the already daunting tasks he faces.
And the ending? Without giving any spoilers, I can tell you that this is NOT the last Dresden Files book. Butcher has left Harry in the perfect position for us to experience the wizard’s world from yet another context. I cannot wait! (finished 8/25/11)