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review 2016-08-10 00:00
Grave Peril
Grave Peril - Jim Butcher,James Marsters This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

Every once in a while the right combination of things come together perfectly. This audiobook fits that description. I enjoyed this book the first time I read it years ago but listening to James Marsters perform this story really takes it to a whole new level. The series seems to really be taking off at this point and the story was very well done. I completely enjoyed every moment that I spent listening to this book during my re-read.

Harry Dresden's life is anything but boring. This book starts with a bang and really doesn't slow down until the end. I love how many different things can come together to make sense in Harry's world. In this book, there are ghosts, demons, and vampires all mixed together and it flows smoothly. The mystery was pretty complex in this one with a lot of things happening that will be brought up again as the series moves forward. I had a hard time setting this one aside.

I am so in love with the characters. Harry is awesome in his own way. He is funny and able to think on his feet. He makes decisions based not only on what is best for him but what will be best for others. He risks himself to helps other people quite often. Michael played a large role in this book and I really enjoyed his character. It was really fun to go back and see some of my favorite characters early in the series. Karin, Bob, Susan and everyone else really all added important pieces to the story as well.

James Marsters is the perfect voice of Harry Dresden. I absolutely love how this book was narrated. He didn't just read the story - he performed it. I could totally hear every one of Harry's emotions in the performance. I was really impressed that even the perfectly placed breath seem to add to the delivery. He performed all of the different characters flawlessly. I can't wait to listen to more books narrated by James Marsters.

I would highly recommend this series to fans of urban fiction. This is a series that you will want to read in order since there are some story arc that carry over from previous books. I am looking forward to listening to book four in the series very soon.

Initial Thoughts
Loved it! I almost forgot how good this series really is. And James Marsters? He is the perfect narrator for this book.
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review 2016-04-13 21:27
Grave Peril / Jim Butcher
Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you're the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.

But in all Harry's years of supernatural sleuthing, he's never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble - and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone - or something - is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself....


For me this is the most enjoyable installment in the Dresden series thus far.  I think Butcher has finally solidified Harry’s character to where he feels comfortable with it and he is defining Harry’s Chicago in more detail.


Also appreciated:  Harry isn’t going it all alone in this book.  He has several partners—Michael, a righteous knight; Murphy, his police contact; and Thomas, a vampiric conspirator.


I was glad to see more women in this book and that they were assigned more substantial roles.  Including some awesome evil women, Harry’s godmother & the queen of the Red Vampire court.  That makes up for poor old Susan, who as usual is pushed aside while Harry fights ghosties (until she needs rescuing right on cue).   


Michael has potential to be a great foil for Harry.  He kind of gets dumped into the narrative early in the book and we have to figure him out as we go, but he lends strength & courage to the partnership.  Maybe some of Michael’s goodness gets rubbed off on Bob, the skull, as even he seems more supportive of Harry this time out. 


I do have to wonder is poor old Harry is going to get the shit beat out of him in absolutely every chapter of every book?  Even if he heals quickly, he’s going to be moving like a hundred year old man in no time, if that’s the case.  More companions = less physical abuse, Harry.  You may wear a western duster, but there’s no reason to go it alone like an outlaw.

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review 2016-04-10 16:38
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

Harry Dresden, Chicago-dwelling PI and wizard, is about to go head to head with a very powerful foe. But first he has to subdue the ghost in the baby ward of Cook County General hospital. Luckily, he has brought along his pious friend, Michael Carpenter. Something has been stirring up the ghosts in Chicago and the two have been quite busy of late putting these angry shades back to bed.

This is the book where the series starts to get serious. Significant things happen in this book that ripple throughout the rest of the series. There’s a fairy godmother, the Red Court vampires, these irritated ghosts, not to mention things getting a bit more serious between Harry and Arcane news reporter Susan Rodriguez. Then there’s Michael with his solid faith and Lt. Karrin Murphy of the Chicago PD. Meaningful things happen to all these characters and not all of them are good things.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure I would like Michael because I wasn’t sure how preachy (or not) he would be. It turns out that Michael isn’t preachy so much as he is sure that his path is one of virtue. His mild reminders to Harry of the so called right path are given from a place of love, respect, and friendship. Quite frankly, it’s part of his personality and he wouldn’t be Michael if he didn’t periodically remind his good friends of the Christian way. With that said, he’s a badass in a fight. Harry is lucky to have him around.

I found Harry’s fairy godmother, the Leanansidhe, to be a very intriguing character. There is definitely history between these two. I have never seen Harry so scared of any one person! Bianca of the Red Court vampires makes another appearance and she’s still holding a grudge over what happened in Book 1 (Storm Front). If these two ladies aren’t enough, there’s another bad guy or two waiting in the shadows, secretly causing Harry grief.

The mystery behind what is stirring up the ghosts was pretty chilling. It had ties to more than one bad guy so this made it harder for Harry to nail down and solve. Unfortunately, some of Harry’s friends get hit by the bad guys and there are lasting ramifications from this. I really felt for those affected, and for Harry who feels he should have been able to protect them, but I also applaud the author for having such consequences – it makes the story that much more interesting and intense.

Susan is ever on the hunt for a good story. While Harry is her boyfriend, she’s not above hanging out with him to get a great interview or a few awesome pics of something supernatural. She keeps pushing the envelope, thinking she is safe from these supernatural critters, and it blows back on her. She’s not an idiot but she can be one when it comes to running down a story. She’s too blithe about what can hurt her and that doesn’t work out for her. While I wasn’t particularly glad that happened, it was almost inevitable and I am glad the author kept the cause and effect logic going for her storyline.

We also have our first appearance of Thomas Raith and his lover Justine, which introduces the White Court of vampires, which are essentially succubi. Thomas is glamorous and likes to play the fool. His manner towards Harry is almost playful and it’s definitely hard to tell what side, if any, Thomas is on.

All around, this is another great addition to the series. I really liked that the take-me-seriously bad guy level was raised. It made the whole story much more intense and, hence, more enjoyable.


The Narration: James Marsters continues on as the voice of Harry Dresden, and still does a spiffy job of it. His playboy voice for Thomas Raith is also great. Marsters also got to show off his spooky voices with this one – from the lullaby-singing ghost in the opening scenes to Mavra (a seriously creepy vampire) to the thing that is behind the riled up ghosts – all were done very well.  

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text 2016-02-16 23:36
So having issues with this...
Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

It doesn't help that I wasn't in a place where I could read NIMH, and dammit, I wanted to.   And /then/ I found out that there's another fictional book in Teen Wolf. 


Bad series/movies/books.   Dammit, stop making up fictional books that I want to read.   The Dread Doctors sounds like it would be right up my alley but it's not real.   WHY?



So I was already in a bad mood.   And then Harry goes, 'dammit, I'm too chivalrous and I know it, and I know this is stupid, and I'm gonna do it anyway, and sometimes bitches take advantage of how chivalrous I am.'


Look, dude, you are way too fucking into chivalry.   It's not the woman's fault that you don't listen to your gut instinct and go out of your way to protect the womenfolk no matter what.   You, in fact, take it to the point that you don't tell them shit and they end up getting hurt, because YOU CAN SAVE THE WOMENS!   YOU CAN SAVE THEM ALL!


Yeah, I'm sure that'w why they keep getting hurt when you could have prevented it by telling them shit they need to know.   Because you can save them all.   Now you're just fucking deluded along with being a prick.  


And by the way, Harry, if you keep doing shit to keep women safe and they keep ending up getting hurt, well, have you heard the saying that it's crazy to keep doing the same thing and then expect different results?




Meanwhile, you mistrust women who, yes, are clearly jaded and have horrible lives up until now.   It's not like, 'oh, I'm thinking that.   Maybe playing me and trying to use sex is the way they've learned to survive and that's sad.'


Nope.   It's 'is this bitch playing me.' 


Not a fan, Harry.   Not a fan at all. 


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review 2016-01-27 19:27
Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

Darker theme than the first two Dresden books, but equally as enjoyable. Butcher is building a nice catalogue of villians for Harry in future novels in this series.

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