Review: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

Grave Peril
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Wow,” Bob said. “You’re dying. What a great plan.”

Bob always knows how to put things.

Still loving Harry Dresden. And Bob’s a close second. The third installment offers a broader picture of Harry Dresden’s world, and like before, he starts playing with the line between good and bad magic.

Jim Butcher is teaching me a lot about writing, about story, and storytelling. How to continue to make things worse for your character. Don’t just put a time limit on him saving everyone. Make him take poison that puts a time limit on his life-saving! How to unfold backstory: in drips and drabs. He mentions the Nevernever nearly immediately in the first book. But I don’t think he ever outright explains it. Harry will mention, say, Faeries, and Bob will elaborate: “Either we get the Disney version of Faerie, with elves and tinkerbell pixies and who knows what sugary cuteness, or we get the wicked witch version, which is considerably more entertaining, but less healthy.” He drops bits of information only when we need them. And sometimes even then we have to wait. It makes for a smoothly flowing story that seems to unfold effortlessly and keeps you turning the pages.

I like the character of Michael, though I don’t know exactly what he is. I don’t know if we’ll see him again, but I can hope.

Harry continues to make mistakes and pay the price for them. He loses people. He makes enemies. He starts wars. And he doesn’t even get paid.

And I love him even more for it.

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