You tried, Harry... Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13) (Audiobook)

Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) - Jim Butcher, John  Glover

Oh, Harry, it's not your fault. You couldn't know that 

you were only mostly dead and that Miracle Mab was going to come along and keep you partly alive until you returned to your body. Really, that's on Kincaid. He should've shot you while you were inside the boat. Silly, Kincaid.

(show spoiler)

 

First, I'm forever grateful that I'm listening to these audiobooks when I am, because that means they just rereleased this book with James Marsters doing the narration earlier this year and I didn't have to debate whether to skip this one (inconceivable!) or get the Kindle version and actually have to read for myself (which I obviously could've done but it wouldn't have been as much fun) or get the audiobook narrated by that other guy and just suffer through it (enough reviews said he did a good job; he just wasn't James Marsters). Marsters does his usual great work here, bringing the story to life with his performance. I do still wish he'd try for a little more distinction between some of the voices, but it's a minor quibble. He keeps me entertained and focused while I commute to and from work and that's the most important thing.

 

Ghost Story picks up right where Changes ended. Kind of. Because for Harry, it's only been a few minutes. For everyone else, it's been six months. Six months without Harry to protect Chicago. Six months since the demise of the Red Court. Six months to deal with the consequences of Harry's choices in Chechinitza. It hasn't been easy on anyone, Molly least of all. She's become adrift without Harry, convinced she needs to take over his job of protecting Chicago. Karrin's no longer a cop, she doesn't have the resources she once did to protect Chicago either, so she's had to make compromises she'd rather not make, like sometimes working with Marcone. Butters has inherited Bob the Skull, which is a miracle team only Butcher could dream up and make work. Oh, and apparently now there's also an Evil Bob, which is less than ideal. And Thomas...actually, I need to complain about one teeny, tiny thing for just a second.

 

So Thomas is a mess, he's not eating (thank God) and he's wasting away, so Justine decides to give herself to him to feed again. Okay, whatever. Except she's still protected by the true love spell between her and Thomas. And the solution to this is apparently lesbian sex? There have been no LGBT characters in this series. Thomas used to pass himself as gay for his job and Harry was often mistaken for his lover, and this was always used as a joke. That does not count as representation. Nor does bringing in a nameless WOC to have lesbian sex with Justine to take away the true love protection so Justine can give herself to Thomas. And frankly, any kind of sex used in service of a sexual predator is gross and disturbing, but is that seriously the only way we're going to see LGBT representation in this series? As a fetish for a rapist? Why couldn't Justine just have sex with another guy? I continue to side-eye you, Butcher. 

 

Where was I? Oh yeah... So six months have passed and Harry's sent back to find his killer. And he's a ghost, which means he can't touch anything or speak to anyone or use any kind of magic. So, easy peasy, right? Harry gets himself sent to Mortimer, who can see dead people. He arrives to discover that Morty's house has been under assault by spirits and other nasties, courtesy of a foe Harry defeated once before. 

 

It was neat seeing Harry have to learn to accommodate being a ghost. He had to be a bystander, which is sheer torment for him. He had to rely on other people to fend for themselves and each other, which he also tends not to be very good at. He couldn't just swoop in and save the day like he's grown so accustomed to. He had to learn to see and interact with the world around him in a whole new way. He got to cruise around in Bob's skull, and boy was that a surprise! And as a result of Harry being forced to take a backseat, we got to see how everyone else has been surviving and adapting without Harry. It's oftentimes a grim picture, but it's not a hopeless one. These are Harry's friends, confidantes and allies, and they don't have to be wizards to take down the big bad. 

 

As for Harry's killer,

I said in my previous review that I figured Harry would find someway to get himself killed. Kincaid was obvious, but Molly? I'm upset at Harry for using Molly like that. He was in a crunch, he was desperate and he was selfish. In an attempt to save himself from following through on his vow to become the Winter Knight, he condemns Molly to live with a guilty she doesn't deserve. Not cool, Harry. Not cool at all. No wonder Molly's such a mess when we first meet her again.

(show spoiler)

I'm interested to see what further ramifications this will have. 

 

Anyway, Molly's a Star Trek fan and this pleases me. I can just picture the Star Trek vs Star Wars debates they'll have in the future. Picard vs Yoda. Data vs C3PO. Wesley vs Luke. The shenanigans! Make it so. ;) (I like both. Don't judge me.) (I'm also only halfway through TNG, so no spoilers.)