Author: Jim Butcher
Length: 378 pagesGenre: fantasy
Plot Basics: Chicago's only wizard-for-hire, Harry Dresden, is standing in for the ghost-busters in this third book of the Dresden Files. Something has got Chicago's ghosts all shook up and Harry's determined to find out why. With the help of his friend Michael, a Knight of the Cross, Harry goes up against evil wizards, fairy godmothers, vampires and more to bring peace to these restless souls. But Harry and his friends are changed by the whole encounter and Harry may set loose more than he ever intended.
Banter Points: Word Nerd found the first two Dresden Files books OK. They were fun reads, but she found herself not really investing in the characters. Not until this one. Grave Peril could well be the book that really launched this series. Word Nerd thinks what did it was the introduction of Michael in this book. Michael provides a good foil for Harry, makes him interact with other people who have special powers and serves as a moral compass. While Harry has always been about doing the right thing, Michael seems to hone that into an understanding of the big picture and the need for sacrifice. Also, not everything comes out OK for Harry in the end, which is always refreshing to see a hero who gains and loses by saving the day.
Bummer Points: While it's refreshing writing to see the hero not get everything at the end, Word Nerd was really pulling for a happier ending for Harry.
Recommendation: Read this series. Stick through the first two books to get to this one. It doesn't disappoint.