Log in
The time now is Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:15 pm
View unanswered posts
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher - SPOILER Thread
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fantasy Freaks Forum Forum Index -> Bookish
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:05 pm
Post subject: Ghost Story by Jim Butcher - SPOILER Thread
Reply with quote

Where to start? This book certainly has some things that can be commented on. It is, after all, a rather unusual DF book.

I can see why it was causing Butcher problems to write and ended up a little delayed. You could kind of tell that he was struggling with Harry in the role of observer rather than the main source of magical pyrotechnics. The amount of action, at least in the beginning, was much lower than usual. Then there was a lot of inner monologue and a couple of flashbacks. This, I think, will make some people disappointed. I liked it though. One of my main problems with the previous book was that Harry never stopped to think whether what he was doing was morally right. He was just bulldozing along trying to save his daughter regardless of the consequences to the people around him. Now he finally had a chance to think things over and realized that he had stepped over the line and lost his sense of right and wrong. I think that was much needed for the series and a good decision by Butcher.

Speaking of series, I think this was the first time that a new book was so tightly woven with the previous one. Butcher claimed in the introduction that there "technically" was no cliffhanger at the end of Changes. I'm going to have to call bull on that.

cliffhanger = "a suspenseful situation occurring at the end of a chapter, scene, or episode"

How is Harry left dying not a suspenseful situation? If it had turned out that the attempted murder of Harry had nothing to do with the events in this book, then Butcher should have put it in the beginning of Ghost Story to avoid the cliff hanger label. Since it turned out that the murder was part of the plot in Changes, then he clearly cut the overreaching story arch in two, one with Harry alive and rescuing his daughter and one as a ghost looking for his murderer. This makes perfect sense, but it is still a cliffhanger in my book.

While we're on the topic of the identity of the murderer, I certainly didn't see that coming (though I did guess that Harry's body was kept alive on the island). I'm trying to make up my mind whether I like it or not. I certainly was very worried around page 400 that the mystery would not be solved in this book (thanks Jim!), but looking back Butcher set it up properly and up properly and it did tie everything together nicely.

But what happens next? One thing I did not like was that there was no clear indication whether Harry will return to Chicago and reveal himself to his friends or if he's just going to hang out with Mab (at least for the time being). They now all clearly think he is gone, and the whole scene with Uriel showing Harry that Maggie was well taken care of and the fact that the next book will be called Cold Days makes me suspect it will be a while until Harry is back where he belongs (Chicago). Gah, now we have to wait another year to find out! It's not as bad as WoT back in the day, but still...

There were a couple of other things at the end I'm wondering about.
1. What was the parasite that kept Harry's blood flowing?

2. How many times has Butcher watched Star Wars? Making Mab sound like Emperor Palpatine was funny.

3. What was the deal Harry struck with the island guardian? I can't recall the details and the kids won't leave me alone long enough to look it up.

OK, I need to end this. Bed time for the kids.

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:26 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Ok, I did NOT read the post (spoilers!) but now I am going to whine...I still haven't finished aDwD and my kindle ran out of power, so no reading until I charge it back up. *sigh* Then when I am done I can start in on Ghost Story.

Mikey...can you just tell me if you really liked it, or if it was just ok? *l*
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:26 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Yes, I really liked it. However, I'm warning you that it's not as action-packed as other DF books.

Charge Kindle, charge! (And you can just skip that boring GRRM book and move on to more important stuff like Harry D.)

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Nordlibris



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 69
Location: Trondheim

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:54 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

I agree that the book is not as fast paced, action wise, as the previous books, but it is still one hell of a ride. Personally I enjoyed most of it immensely, even if I would have liked a few points clarified. Like: what happened to Bob? What has Ebenezer been doing, and how is he coping with his grandson’s death? What has the grey council been doing these past 6 months? Did the white council get any “street cred” for the fact that one white council wizard, and only one, was able to terminate a major power all by himself( yeah I know he had a bit of help, but is that well known amongst the other powers)? What made the super friends seek help from Marcone, and what exactly is the nature and extent of that agreement? The list goes on, but all in all I liked seeing a more mature and thoughtful Mr. Dresden.
Regarding Mike’s questions:

1. What was the parasite that kept Harry’s blood flowing? I have read some speculation that it refers to Laciel, but I am not convinced. Truth be told, I have no idea, but I have tried to speculate along the following lines:

A parasite spirit lives inside his mothers necklace, which is how his mother was able to map the nevernever. That parasite is what was used to keep his blood flowing.

A part of Demonreach now dwells inside Harry, which is how he is able to interface with the islands intellectus.

The power of the winter knight manifests as a parasite.

It has been hinted at on several occasions that there is something “special” about Harry, more so than other wizards, because of something his mother while he was in her womb. Perhaps the parasite is something that was given to him at birth. This is further strengthened if one takes into account that his mother had insight enough to procure to amulet and distribute them amongst her sons and then create a spell that would be triggered by a soul gaze when the two brothers met.
Personally I feel my speculations regarding a “special” Harry to be the most probable, but I am prepared to be surprised.

2. How many times has Butcher watched Star Wars? Making Mab sound like Emperor Palpatine was funny.
More than me I assume.

3. What was the deal Harry struck with the island guardian? I can't recall the details and the kids won't leave me alone long enough to look it up.
As far as I know, there was no specific deal with Demonreach, just a ritual to bind the spirit to him. It is, however, possible that what was used in the ritual was significant.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:43 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Regarding the necklace, I remember it was pointed out specifically at one point (I think when Harry "manifested" himself) that he was not wearing it and he found that odd. I'm not sure whether that supports your theory or not. *l*

And yes, a lot was left unanswered. It seems to me that is getting increasingly frequent in the later books. I guess Dresden Files is becoming more of a series than a set of stand alone novels. For example, what about Molly? She was really messed up in this book, and we got no clue whether she was on the mend at the end (I tend to think she was probably feeling worse after Harry's ghost disappeared). Same for Murphy. Which is why I really wanted to see Harry return alive.

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 1000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:40 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Also, for all the dwelling on whether or not Molly's emotional state will recover, what about her "legal" status? Is she going to still be hunted by the Council forever?

Can't someone (Ebenezer!!) take over her apprenticeship?

And yes, I want to know about Bob too.

Re: the parasite - I thought it must be referring to the branches or roots or whatever that were connected to him. Some part of the island hooking up to his veins and keeping him alive?

I wouldn't be surprised if Harry doesn't make an immediate reappearance to his friends in the real world - but he'll have to eventually, right? How the hell is that going to go over? I think a lot of people are going to see the whole death and ghost thing as some kind of deception and be mightily pissed off.

Also, I was surprised that Harry was so surprised to still be alive. He had already considered the possibility that a return to his body was possible, thanks to the "unavailable" comment - then he conveniently forgot about it?

Anyway... I agree, less actiony, and I wasn't quite as rooted to my chair and unable to put it down as I was for Changes - but I still definitely liked it. And I agree, Harry needed some time to think about consequences and stuff *lol*
But I imagine it must have been hard to write!

I think I need to reread the whole series....

Jade

_________________
"But they have guns!"
"And I haven't - which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nordlibris



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 69
Location: Trondheim

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:37 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

I’m rooting for a “rumours of my demise has been slightly exaggerated” moment in the next book, as well as a “sorry for being a complete arse Miss Murphy” moment. Even if I fear we will have to wait a bit for such moments, especially after Butcher’s cruel ending of Changes, as well as the wicked and evil treatment of support characters in Ghost Story. By Dawkins, I would like to see Molly and Murphy get a good hug and some love.
Jade: On my first read of the book I thought that the parasite was the root system he was hooked up to, but upon the second re-read of the “good” bits I convinced myself that there must be more to it. Mr. Butcher, as a professional writer, would not, I hope, leave that sub clause without it meaning something more than the previously mentioned root system.
I just remembered that I must have read the first bit a bit too quickly. Can any of you remember what the point of the Super friends interaction with Felicia the white court vampire was?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:05 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Re: the Felicia incident, I think there were several things involved:
1. showing the status of the "allied" forces
2. demonstrating how Murphy is treading the fine line between being a badass and losing it
3. setting up some future plot line related to the swords

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:22 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Okay, I still haven't read this thread, but I definitely cried when Mister saw Harry. That whole scene and the one with Molly after really was well done.
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:05 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Read faster, Alle!

And while we're all waiting for you, here's a interview of Butcher that is kind of fun: Pat Rothfuss talks to Jim Butcher

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:23 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

*sigh* I am only 63% done. I am very much enjoying the book, even though I don't usually care for flashbacks. Here they are kind of neat. Sure glad I read the very first Harry short story or I would have missed the tie in. :-)
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nordlibris



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 69
Location: Trondheim

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:57 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Big Bubba wrote:
Re: the Felicia incident, I think there were several things involved:
1. showing the status of the "allied" forces
2. demonstrating how Murphy is treading the fine line between being a badass and losing it
3. setting up some future plot line related to the swords


Thanks for clearing that up Mikke. I remembered that not much happened and that the only possible tie-in was a swords related plot line that never played out in this book, which is why I found that scene confusing and annoying. I feared, however, that I might have missed something, but I assume that I have not since your impression of the scene is the same as mine. Personally I hate it when an author wastes ink on a scene that is not relevant for the book, and I don't expect such flawed writing from Mr. Butcher.

edited for clarity
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:25 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Finally finished. Like everyone else, I definitely liked the book and felt it to be less action packed, however, there were still some pretty high powered action scenes. I actually liked the slower pace, and I definitely didn't see Harry being the one to put the hit out on himself. Yikes. Poor Harry. :-(

Yeah, I wanted to see what happened to Bob, but the fact that evil Bob didn't join in on the take down of Corpsetaker leads me to believe that the battle was still going on, or that whichever prevailed was too beat to take part in the Corpsetaker's demise. I kind of hope that they rejoined actually...Evil Bob is still part of Bob and we all know Bob isn't a fluffy puppy.

Speaking of fluffy puppies, the scene with Mouse and the one with Mister brought tears to my eyes...same with the Murphy scene at the end. I think Jim handled the emotional impact of Harry's death on the supporting cast really well. Oh...the scene with Thomas too.

Not sure about the parasite thingy but its significant that when Harry gave himself a physical form, his duster was there but not the pendant. That must have a deal of importance to have been brought to our attention like that.

This book was chock full of silly Dresden quotes too, so glad Harry could keep a sense of humor through all this, heh. But one of my favorite parts was when he was told he had his mother's Sight and he quipped, but not her eyes...hehehe. You're not the right Harry for that Mr. Dresden. :-)

Regarding whether Changes ended on a cliffhanger...well, we know he was dead, but he still was narrating the story, so you knew it would continue from Harry's POV in some shape or form. ;-p Okay, its stretch.

I do think that the next book could be completely away from the supporting cast, but I hope not. I love the support cast of this series a lot...they really are so important to the series and to Harry, and introducing the readers to a bunch of new characters when there are others that we already care about could be tricky. I have faith in Jim that he will do a great job though...I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this book all that much and I was surprised at how much I did like it.

My brain is still jumping around like a flea on a dog, so I will post this and add other thoughts later on if they come back to me. lol
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:28 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Yay, glad you liked it, Alle. I kind of want to re-read the series now, but I suppose I have to finish my WoT reread first (or re-start it really, I finished TGH in January or something and never got into TDR).
_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:38 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Big Bubba wrote:
Yay, glad you liked it, Alle. I kind of want to re-read the series now, but I suppose I have to finish my WoT reread first (or re-start it really, I finished TGH in January or something and never got into TDR).


I am considering a series reread as well. I am so glad I gave this series a second chance...Storm Front didn't do much for me when I first read it.
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 1000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:00 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Heh. Just started a reread. I had to find an epub copy of Storm Front cause I loaned my book out.

It's funny, I definitely liked Storm Front a lot when I first read it, and it definitely persuaded me to go on and read more... But it feels weird on a reread. Like it has less impact. Murphy and Harry not trusting each other feels weird. No Thomas, no vampire war (yet, although you can see where the Bianca thing began...), no Mouse...

Just weird. And in comparison to his later books, there's a feeling like the story (and the storytelling) doesn't quite have maturity yet.

Jade

_________________
"But they have guns!"
"And I haven't - which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:24 am
Post subject:
Reply with quote

heh, Jade I ended up getting books 1-6 in kindle format because I could only find Fool Moon. I am actually liking Storm Front more on a reread but I get where you are coming from too.n The first scene with Toots really is cracking me up. and....I still don't like Susan so at least that stays the same.

I have been reading a lot of speculation that Lash is somehow the 'parasite' mentioned by Demonreach at the end of GS. It would be cool...I liked and miss Lash.
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 1000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:46 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

I like Lash too, but I don't want the story to go back to the old "constantly-in-danger-of-giving-soul-away-and-going-bad" place. I think being the Winter Knight is enough of that as it is! As much as I liked Lash, I also really liked that Butcher found a good way to end that scenario.

I'm noticing on reread how much was hinted at about Harry's mother in Storm Front. Not just that she was a wizard (which obviously has been confirmed since then) but this whole business of demons saying "we waited for her for a long time, and the Prince of Darkness was upset to lose her" ???

I mean, wtf? In another 12 books, the only elaboration on that was that she messed around with dangerous people like the White Court. And there is some connection with the island out in the lake. And Harry's grandfather has some journals that probably have important stuff written in them.

This is part of why I'm doing the reread, trying to see what I've missed. But that's kind of crazy, to allude to a big backstory like that right at the beginning, and then to almost completely ignore it for 12 books.....

Jade

_________________
"But they have guns!"
"And I haven't - which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Bubba
Slayer of Unreads


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1104
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:50 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Ah, Lash... how long has she been gone? It must be a couple of books, right?

I'm trying to get C to start Storm Front, but she came up with some silly argument about how she is already reading three books. So what?

_________________
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alle
The First Evil


Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 1885
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:41 pm
Post subject:
Reply with quote

Jade: Lash and Laciel (sp?) are/became separate entities due to residing in Harry. Lash made the choice to save Harry; Laciel is a Fallen and has no free will. The Lash persona evolved from the Laciel persona. At least that was how I interpreted the whole mess. lol

It is cool to see all the groundwork being laid out in book 1, which I am enjoying.
_________________
All the DO needs is a good, old fashioned WoT spanking
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fantasy Freaks Forum Forum Index -> Bookish All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Guild Wars Alliance theme by Daniel of Gaming Exe
Guild Wars™ is a trademark of NCsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.