REVIEW by @BunnyBethA: Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden’s 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’s 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 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 . . .

This past Thanksgiving, I was sitting around the dinner table with my family and we were talking about books. No surprise there, we all love to read. My granddaughter Meg and her husband Dick started talking about The Dresden Files, and I got interested in their discussion about this series. “You’ll love it,” Meg and Dick told me. “It’s Harry Potter for adults.” My granddaughter Neve agreed, so I ordered the first book, Storm Front, from the Seattle Public Library. And I was hooked.
Harry Dresden is a wizard who investigates supernatural disturbances in the city of Chicago. There are demons, faeries, vampires, werewolves and other sorts of creatures wreaking havoc in the windy city. I read somewhere that author Jim Butcher refers to Harry Dresden’s adventures as “Dirty Harry Potter,” and I agree with his description. The supernatural disturbances in Jim Butcher’s books are graphic, specific, and sometimes downright icky. There are no “vegetarian” vampires or honorable werewolves in these books, like in the Twilight series; these creatures are killing machines. And I won’t even discuss the faeries right now.
Harry isn’t always a likable fella. He’s opinionated, cranky all the time, and a male chauvinist who doesn’t think a woman can handle herself without him around. Harry pisses off everyone around him (especially the women, of course), but when it comes to fighting off evil creatures, Harry’s the guy you want around. Harry never gets enough sleep, and he’s always trying to recuperate from being beaten up (which could account for always being cranky). Despite all of his character flaws, I really like Harry Dresden, because he always comes through in the end, doing the right thing and saving those he can.
Harry does have some sidekicks, good folk trying to help out: Bob, the spirit who lives in a human skull; Michael the True Knight; Karrin Murphy the Chicago police officer. So Harry’s not alone all the time.
In Grave Peril, Harry is up to his eyeballs in trouble once again. As the story opens, Harry and True Knight Michael race to The Cook County Hospital nursery, where an out of control ghost is signing lullabies to the newborns. That’s just the beginning of Harry’s problems, as it becomes clear that there are lots of ghosts are running wild.
The sex and violence in Grave Peril caused me to put the book down a few times because of its graphic nature. But I just had to know what happened next, so I kept picking the book back up to read some more.
I’ve asked myself why I kept reading, and I think it’s because Jim Butcher has set the stage of Harry Dresden’s  world so meticulously; Butcher makes me believe that the supernatural evil-doers are real (at least in the story), and in the end, Harry is doing what’s right by destroying them because he’s the only one who can. It’s all about character, for me, and Butcher’s characters are multi-dimensional, with human (and inhuman) traits that I find fun and fascinating. At times, Grave Peril seemed almost too detailed and I felt myself losing focus of the story. But I trudged on, and what seemed like too much explanation actually made sense to me as the story progressed, because Harry needed to dig deeply into his wizard’s bag of tricks to fight these villains.
Harry’s fighting the evil vampires Bianca, Kyle, and Kelly. But there’s also another villain, one who has hidden himself/herself very well, and who is torturing ghosts until they commit unspeakable acts. Harry is not sure he will find out who this is before he is killed (or worse). 
I’m giving Grave Peril a four on my story richter scale, because it’s a corking good tale. None of the Harry Dresden books has had a completely happy ending, so far, which reminds me a lot about life. Good and bad stuff happen in each life, sometimes really awful things muck up our lives for a time. It’s just that Harry Dresden has a lot of bad stuff happen all the time.
If you get easily squeamish, be warned that this book may want you to go urp in some spots. 
I will continue reading this series, after working on a few other titles that are on my bookshelf. 
Click here to get your copy of Grave Peril from!

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  1. I’m just starting this series. Glad to know you like it. Great review!

  2. thanks Dolly! I will be interested to know what you think about the series!

  3. […] REVIEW by @BunnyBethA: Grave Peril by Jim Butcher « Pure Textuality. […]

  4. AMG! My husband and I just finished reading this book!
    You know what I love/hate most about the series? How there are times when bad things are happening, and the narrator refuses to talk about them in detail. I’ve had nightmares about what happens in those in between moments…

  5. […] another opinion? Check out Beth’s review over at Pure Textuality Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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