Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)
Book 3 of the Dresden Files finds Harry Dresden, Chicago Wizard Extraordinaire, fighting alongside Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross, to keep the cities restful undead from crashing through a diminishing barrier between the Nevermore and the real world. Author, Jim Butcher, does an amazing job blending an enormous amount of creatures when doing his world building, and many of them show up in each of his books. I could quickly see that he had put in plenty of research time in this one, and found myself sneaking glances at Google just to find out more the setup for some of his characters.
The story is brisk, and you quickly bounce between several different frying pans and fires. The buildup occurs throughout the entire book, but the climax was pretty blatantly foreshadowed, deadening the excitement some. Butcher is one of my favorite reads for the big twist at the end, but this one fell short of his usual, which is still enough to keep him ahead of the average writer.
Harry’s development to be central to the series storyline. He is apparently getting stronger in each book, but other than the sheer repetition of the spells, I am missing where the increase in powers is coming from. His mentor/sidekick/Encyclopedia of Magic hidden in a skull with glowing eyes Bob, shares important information and develops potions with Harry, but I think the hints at Harry’s ever increasing power must be foreshadowing for later books where it is explained in more detail.
I would recommend this for all the now adult Potter fans that are looking for the magic to continue without all the teenage angst. I would also put an age warning on the story, some of the scenes get steamy, and may not be something that you would recommend for younger readers, send them to the aforementioned Potter series. There are 15 books in the series, and I am sadly only on number 4, but would still safely mention this to anyone looking for a great urban fantasy story, to add a bit of magic to their dreary days, and aren’t afraid of the monsters lurking in their Nightmares.
This book kind of felt a little bit separated from the previous books in the series, and I feel like there is backstory there that we haven't seen yet. I'm looking forward to that gap filling in, especially because I want to know more about Michael and how he and Harry came to be working together.
I really liked Michael. He brought a religious faith to the story that, in other hands, or presented through someone other than Harry's perspective, might have been overbearing and annoying. But Michael's faith is a simple thing. It just IS. And I really loved that it made him sure and confident and strong. Quite sexy actually. Rawr. :D
Harry was fantabulous in this book. So many of his comments had me giggling. He's just so irreverent. I love it. You just KNOW it has to piss the baddies off when he doesn't take them seriously. But that's what makes Dresden awesome.
I also love his conflicted nature... He's a good person because he just IS, but that urge for power is so close to the surface and he struggles against it. It makes him so compelling and identifiable to me, and I love him all the more for it.
Definitely looking forward to more of this series. MOAR PLZ!