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Harry Dresden - Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden has 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 has 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 purposely 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....

378 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2001

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About the author

Jim Butcher

287 books47.5k followers
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,815 reviews
Profile Image for Casey.
36 reviews
December 6, 2010
Hey Dresden Files,

Listen. I know my trusted friends set us up, and they have really good taste and usually know what I like, but it's just not going to work out between us. I like awesome, interesting female characters, and while I will give you that Murphy is awesome, the rest aren't cutting it for me. (Never mind that every time a female character DOES show up, no matter how dire the peril, Harry makes sure to describe the precise way whatever she's wearing cups her breasts. If she is, in fact, wearing that much clothing to begin with.)

And, you know, everyone's been telling me I should just wait it out with you. That the books that come later are much better and SO worth it, but frankly, I heard you have a kid, and a vampire ex-girlfriend in the refrigerator, and that's just not part of my 5-year plan. I'm sure that somewhere out there is an amazing reader who loves you for who you are - 300 pages of a main character who has worse days than Jack Bauer, constantly finding that LAST OUNCE of strength to fight, and then another ounce, and one more ounce, and an ounce in the back pocket you were holding onto for the penultimate chapter.

So, you know, it's not you; it's me. I'm just not jiving to what you're offering. We can still stay friends, though, because I've heard your friend Codex Alera is kind of cool, and I wouldn't mind hanging out with him maybe.

And if anyone tells you that this is because I've already been hanging out with a different wizard named Harry, you leave that sweet British boy out of this, Dresden.
Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023
ummm I don't know if I like being in Harry's head
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews45.9k followers
May 15, 2020
3.5/5 stars

This book showed the first signs of The Dresden Files getting better in quality.

Grave Peril is the third book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, and the story takes place a year after what happened at the end of Fool Moon. Harry Dresden—with Michael—are dealing with a new case in this installment: ghosts and vampires. I know I’ve mentioned this—and I’m repeating myself here—but I’m thankful for the fans of the series who have acknowledged and mentioned to me that the first three books of this series were generally considered the weakest books of the series. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that Fool Moon would’ve put me off from continuing with the series.

“Some words have a power that has nothing to do with supernatural forces. They resound in the heart and mind, they live long after the sounds of them have died away, they echo in the heart and the soul. They have power, and that power is very real. Those three words are good ones.”

I think one of the main reasons why the first three books garnered mixed receptions was that despite being three books into the series—that’s roughly 1000 pages—already, it still felt like the series was still in its introductory phase. It’s assuring to me that the second half and the conclusion of this book showed promise that the main story will truly “begin” in the next installment, but that’s only one out of several things that’s great about Grave Peril. The conflict with The Nightmare and the Vampires were engrossing, Butcher’s prose was as engaging as always, and unlike the previous books where the characterizations seemed to be exclusively focused entirely on Harry, Butcher also developed the side characters further. We finally get to see Harry’s Godmother making an appearance here, Bob’s addiction to romance novels were once again clarified, and most importantly, Harry’s relationship with both Michael and Susan made the book more entertaining.

"Michael half-smiled. 'The Lord will never give you a burden bigger than your shoulders can bear, Harry. All we can do is face what comes and have faith.'
I gave him a sour glance. 'I need to get myself some bigger shoulders, then. Someone in accounting must have made a mistake.'"

Harry and Michael’s friendship definitely made the book for me. Their friendship and how they influence each other’s actions and thinking—especially in faith and love—despite their contrasts and differences were so delightful. I’m also feeling more invested in Harry’s journey now. Yes, he can be a chauvinist pig, he also complained a lot, but he’s genuinely trying to do good things as best as he can, and it really shows in the text. Plus, the actions and stakes also felt tenser now; feeling of tension was something that’s lacking for me in my experience of reading the previous two books.

“For the sake of one soul. For one loved one. For one life." I called power into my blasting rod, and its tip glowed incandescent white. "The way I see it, there's nothing else worth fighting a war for.”

In my opinion, Grave Peril is as enjoyable as Storm Front, and additionally, it has more depths to the story, characters, actions, and humor. I must say, though, many readers have mentioned to me that they binged through this series like insane; I personally advise spreading your read through the series if it’s your first time due to the formulaic and standalone approach to each main story in respective installment—despite obvious connectivity on timeline and character’s progression—that can make the series feels repetitive. However, that’s just my preference; whichever option you decide, if you haven’t started the series, it would be a wise choice to start it now. I look forward to reading The Summer Knight—this is the book that fans of the series claimed to be the point where the series starts to shifts in quality from okay/good to great. To be honest, though, Fool Moon aside, the series has worked really well as a palate cleanser/relaxing read in-between epic fantasy tomes that I usually read.

Picture: Grave Peril by Vincent Chong

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My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,983 followers
January 16, 2015
Meh . . . I keep hearing about how awesome this series is, but someone needs to tell me when it gets good! Three books in and I am still not super impressed.

The first problem I have is that everything he makes up sounds so convenient and unbelievable. I know that fantasy/supernatural stories involve a lot of made up stuff, but usually the author makes it sound believable. With this book (and the previous ones) whenever the main character is in peril, the author would pull something out of thin air to save the day. (i.e. OMG, the giant monster is going to eat me! But, that monster is from Pittsburgh, and it is Tuesday, and the ancient chronicles say that monsters from Pittsburgh cannot attack wizards on Tuesday. Therefore, with a flick of his wrist, Harry decimated the monster).

The second problem is how conveniently every character seems to show up in every scene. Toward the end of the book, they are at a vampire party and every few minutes, the main character runs into someone else from the story. It does end up being relevant to the plot, but it feels forced.

The third problem is how whiny Harry Dresden is - I don't know feel like he is believable as a wizard that would take on the forces of evil. Also, because of this, I find it hard to believe that he would attract so many friends and women who want him. He is just kind of blah to me. (and if he says "Hells bells" one more time . . . . )

The fourth problem is that the author frequently preaches against the church even though some of the main characters who help him are from the church. He doesn't have to like the church, but it doesn't really seem to advance the story - and, if I were his Christian friends, I would probably leave him in the dust.

The fifth problem is that every time a woman walks in the room we get a detailed description of her breasts and nipples. Seems kind of weird; like he doesn't know any other way to describe a woman. Descriptions like this work if used in moderation, but in excess it gets kind of creepy.

The sixth problem relates to the audio version of the book. The reader whispers most of the book very slowly, which sometimes made it very hard to hear. Also, it didn't always seem to fit what was happening. Not one of my favorite readings.

Despite all of this - a part of me wants to keep going and find out what happens next. I see that this book generally gets good reviews, so I am wondering if maybe this story is just not for me.
February 7, 2018
Jim Butcher How Could You Do This To Me Buddy Read (JBHCYDTTMBR™) with my slightly unhinged MacHalo Freaks wife/sister/aunt Shelly

Who are you and WHAT THE BLOODY FISH have you done with Formerly Awesome Happy Dresden (FAHD™)?!

Was this really written by the same author as books 1 and 2 in this series? It sure doesn't seem like it. I started thinking about DNFing it around the 20% mark, and it's nothing short of a miracle that I eventually made it to the last page. Skimming rocks.

You're lucky, my Little Barnacles, because no matter how much I want to, I don't have time to write a never-ending rant about this one. So I'll just cut the crap and tell you why this series went from Oooh Yeah I Want More Land (OYIWML™) to I don't Give a Damn What Happens Next Territory (IDGaDWHNT™):

Because the writing is sub-par.

Because it feels like the book was written 20 years ago, not in 2008.

Because the plot is boring. And dull. And uninteresting.

Because everytime Harry said "Hell's bells" I eyerolled my little self to death and felt like smashing my Kindle against the nearest wall.

Because this book made me feel like I'd missed an instalment in the series.

Because blah blah blah and blah killed the story.

Because I cannot stand Michael, Charity, their freaking righteousness, and incessant, exasperating, ever-moralizing religious speeches. And where the hell did these two come from, anyway?

Because this story is so uninspired not even Bob the Ever-Awesome Skull managed to save it from a 2-star rating.

And because I get seriously pissed off when someone kidnaps one of my hot sex slaves book boyfriends and replaces him with a pathetic, boring, sobbing copy.

» And the moral of this Crappy Non-Review is (CNR™): Harry Dresden, you are dismissed. I hereby release you from my high security harem. Please do not come back until you are your previously awesome little self again.

Book 1: Storm Front ★★★★
Book 2: Fool Moon ★★★★
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,752 followers
September 8, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

BR with my peeps at: Buddies Books and Baubles

Specifically: Robin (Bridge Four) , Jenny , Lila , and Steven

3.5 stars

GRAVE PERIL was a kind of awkward installment.

A year has passed since the end of FOOL MOON, and in the interim, not only have Harry and Susan stayed together and are now in a committed relationship, but at some point Harry and our favorite officers of law enforcement have taken down a Bad Guy sorcerer who was using a demon, teenagers, drugs, orgies, and did I mention, a DEMON, to wreak various havocs in Chicago, the latter continually brought up in vague references . . .

And that vaguely referenced takedown is the source of this book's plot.

But we weren't there for that takedown, so it feels like we're missing something; that the “vague references” are vague b/c we already have the 411, and more detailed explanations aren't necessary . . . Even though I knew, I KNEW, that, no, I had not accidentally skipped an installment, I found myself constantly wanting to check and make sure (*whispers* again).

Beyond that I had a (gaping) handful of other small issues, beginning with the fact that I don't like ghosts.

That's part of why I'm not much for steampunk: the Victorian obsession with contacting the dead is often inseparable from the gadgetry. And the concept of malicious spirits that are strong enough to physically harm the living . . . is rather horrific. Mostly b/c I can't get past the "dead" part. I mean, what do you do when your attacker can't be killed or stopped. . . b/c ALREADY DEAD?! Like Harry himself says:

There should be some kind of rule against needing to kill anything more than once.

If there's a Winchester handy, then well and good, but I don't have a Sam or a Dean in my back pocket (mores the pity).

I'm not much for vampires either. Oh, there are versions that I like well enough, but in truth they're merely at the top of the "Dead Things" list. And these vampires . . . if someone told me the colloquialism "bat shit crazy" had its origins in this series . . . I would believe them. Entirely.

Then there's Michael . . .

Michael is the illusive true Man of God. Were he a real man, I would not be surprised if he "walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." Like Enoch.

Which can be uncomfortable, but mostly it's dull. And hard to like. Everything is very black and white to Michael, who is demonstrably disappointed in Harry for beating his Faerie Godmother at her own game (that would be manipulation of words and intent, aka tricking), when the alternative is to allow her to literally own him . . . By the end, he was easier to deal with, but I'm honestly not sure if that's b/c he toned it down, or b/c I really liked his wife, which made me like him more by default.

It's also starting to irritate me how little consistency there is to Harry's abilities.

A pattern seems to be forming: x happens, leaving Harry practically powerless, then y happens, not only re-energizing him, but giving him a surplus of power as well. Furthermore, many of the times Harry’s been depleted, he somehow manages to "dig a little deeper" and accomplish the same kinds of things he'd be able to do were he not depleted. There's always some searing pain that accompanies these feats, presumably to account for the power surge in the midst of weakness, but as Harry seems to recover from his injuries at a remarkable rate, it feels like smoke and mirrors. (<------HA!)

I'm not saying Harry should never encounter obstacles that inhibit his ability to wizard. BUT. If it continues to happen in every, single book . . . *frowns*

ALSO, Harry says, "Hell's bells," twenty-eight times.

So I had a LOT of problems with this book. BUT . . . I still enjoyed it. B/c no matter what plot point or character issues I had, I immensely enjoy Butcher's writing. When he's not being a gross boy (b/c GORE. Yes!)--do not ask, I refuse to relive it, but I will say this: if you've already read this book, the fork in the WTF? button should have special meaning--he's created an immensely engaging character in Harry, and between his amazing feats of wizardry and, yes, his adorkableness, I find myself able to stamp down the less-than-thrilling aspects of his story.

Plus now there are also interesting plot developments and new characters to counter the mounting exasperation. Like Thomas. I friggin' LOVE Thomas. Speaking of Thomas, this is an example of the excellent writing that holds me in thrall:

The first sound to ring out was neither gunshot nor battle cry, but rich, silvery laughter. It drifted up, masculine, somehow merry and mocking, bubbling and scornful all at once. I squinted down through the lights, to see Thomas, posed like some bizarre post-chrysalis incarnation of Errol Flynn, one foot up on the stairs, hand braced, his other hand on the crystalline hilt of his sword. His head was thrown back, every lean line of muscle on him displayed with the casual disregard of skilled effort.

Bob is also a consistent source of hilarity, AND there was a

So clearly it wasn't all, or even mostly, bad, and with SUMMER KNIGHT, the almost universally acknowledged game changer up next, there's no way I'm stopping now. I'll keep you posted.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)
Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) by Jim Butcher
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
264 reviews3,931 followers
April 9, 2022
3.5 stars. While not without faults, this series continues to improve

Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

I have not been a huge fan of the first two books in this series, giving the first two books 2 stars, and 3 stars respectively. But this book continues largely due to the "bad guys" improving over each book.

Harry continues to be irredeemably sexist, and his cavalier mentality sucks out any sense of tension in these stories. But the paranormal worldbuilding and continued development of the characters was better in this book and I actually enjoyed reading it. The vampire court in particular is a nice side plot that I really hope we get to read more about.

The first half is certainly better than the second half though, which is something you hate to see.
Everything that went into the climax seemed a bit too elaborately setup and far-fetched, and it took away from what otherwise was an enjoyable read.

People continue to tell me that this series gets better and better, and this is one of the times that I actually agree with that sentiment. I eagerly look forward to the next book continuing this positive trajectory.
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,299 followers
August 3, 2022
August 2022

Definitely enjoying this series a lot more after multiple attempts. Looking forward to Summer Knight and to see where this thing goes from here. I’ve heard business is about to pick up after this book.

March 2017

Good ol' Harry Dresden is at it again, only this time the werewolves have been replaced with ghosts and vampires. Yep, ghosts... and vampires. Still not really sure why the vampires needed to be around, especially those siblings. Wow.

The book starts out well with Harry and a new character named Michael,who is this crazy broadsword wielding priest, tracking down a ghost in the newborn wing of a hospital. It was a little different than the previous books in that it really jumps right in, that guy Michael is there all of a sudden, and it skips right on into the action. Even with all the weird ghostly stuff, Butcher maintains a sense of humor and never seems to take his writing or his books too seriously. I mean, the other bizarro world is called the Nevernever and the thing they are fighting against is the Nightmare. He's not very good at naming things.

So yeah, Michael is there, and he becomes a main character all of a sudden even though he just showed up. Murphy kinda takes a back seat here. Susan bounces in a little bit. Where the book excels though is when it hits on Harry's backstory and introduces characters and events from his past. It seems to be teasing more information to be explored in future books, and I'm interested to see where it goes, to say the most. Just interested. Hopefully it's cool.

The book is better than Fool Moon, but it suffers from many of the same issues as well. Butcher once again tries to tell too many stories at once, and it all just becomes a big cluster. It's like one of those roller coasters you ride as a kid where the hills aren't very big so you just kinda go up and down over and over. It's fun, but not as thrilling as the big adult roller coasters you're too short to ride. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I've got to find a better illustration than the roller coaster. I've played that out.

But it's true. There are like these mini stories where things build up and then fizzle out and then another thing will happen and then resolve but then something else wasn't ever finished so it pops back up until the end which is less satisfying than the middle somehow. Also, the thing Harry is after would have been much, much better if it had been given a prequel book of some sort. He kept alluding to this event that never happened in the other books so you really don't know or care much about it or the person behind it. Oh well. Harry also is always able to just wrap things up too easily. Makes his enemies seem really weak and not that threatening at all.

I'm gonna keep rolling! These are great ways to kill some time without having to think too much. They are a nice little escape, and at some point I hear they get better. The bar isn't too high yet so we shall see what happens.
Profile Image for Adina .
889 reviews3,524 followers
April 8, 2020
I wanted to take a break from the grim and violence of the Booker International Prize and I thought a bit of Urban Fantasy will do me good.

Grave Peril was exactly what I needed. Pure action, fun, no need to think and no heaviness in my chest. Although people say this is better than the first two, I enjoyed the previous efforts more. The reason might be my not so positive mood in the past weeks. This social distancing business is getting too much too bear but we must soldier on so we can beat the invisible monster which is much more dangerous than the ones in this book (i.e. vampires and ghosts).

I enjoyed Michael, the new character, a magical Christian knight and the fact that we get a glimpse of Dresden's past. What I did not like, was that the plot was overcrowded, too many things were happening and it made me dizzy.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
February 17, 2020
Ghostbusters meets Nightmare on Elm Street (with vampires).

This 2001 novel is the third installment in the Harry Dresden files, professional wizard and the only one in the yellow pages. Butcher stated that he felt, and many fans have seconded, that this is where the series really took off. And I can see that, this is fun urban fantasy and built to move … along to the next book.

Taking place some time after the events in Butcher’s 2001 novel Fool Moon, where Harry fought some werewolves and even a super duper kind of ancient werewolf; Grave Peril sees our hero with a new friend, White Knight paladin Michael, and some of the same characters from the previous two. Ghosts have been getting freaky of late and Harry and Michael have been busy. Then Harry gets an invitation to a Monster’s Ball at the local vampire’s place and that’s when the fun begins. (The party, BTW, is classic).

Writer Jim Butcher has a winning formula and a seemingly endless supply of urban fantasy drama to draw from. His magic rules and allusions to folklore, mythology and demonology makes this purr like the finely tuned vehicle that it is. It helps too that Butcher is a talented writer with plenty of tricks up his sleeve (pun intended).

All said, this is a good one and I will be joining the legions of fans who will read them all.

Profile Image for Philip.
512 reviews682 followers
April 12, 2018
2.5ish stars.

An improvement over the last book, but still not quite making good on the promising potential that's supposed to be there.

I definitely like this better than Fool Moon. I feel like it flows more naturally... Or maybe the story itself is just more interesting? I mean, it isn't great and I tend to prefer series that are more serialized than procedural as this one is but that's just personal preference. The central plot here introduces just another freak of the week. I do appreciate the introduction of at least a few major status quo changes and some plot lines that Butcher can start to thread throughout the series.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think these books are particularly well written. Some of the dialogue is awful. Butcher should only be allowed to put Harry on the brink of death so many times. It was like 12 in this book alone. It would be hilarious to play a drinking game while reading. Every time Harry is convinced he's going to die; every time Harry says "Hell's bells!"; every time a ridiculously over-sexualized woman is introduced (double if Harry comments on her breasts).

I think the characters are mainly idiots and make stupid choices for no discernible reasons. Harry still doesn't feel genuine to me. He's a stock concept: sarcastic, wannabe-hard-boiled-gumshoe who cracks jokes and spouts off catchphrases on cue; misogynistic but fancies himself a gentleman. I have no idea what motivates him to make certain dumb decisions other than that we're supposed to just accept at face value that he's a noble, self-sacrificing dude even though there are no previous indicators to suggest this. Peter David did this character so much better with Jamie Madrox in X-Factor, Vol. 1: The Longest Night.

Why am I still reading this series, then? I guess I kind of like it in spite of everything? It's fun and easy and still just barely good enough to make me think it will get better. And James Marsters is a great audiobook narrator. Hopefully it gets better...
Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews627 followers
January 5, 2015
The spirit world has gone postal over Chicago, and ghosts are causing havoc. Tormented, violent, and deadly ghosts that only Harry Dresden can stop. First thing he needs to do before stopping the madness would be to find the one causing it.

The first two novels were good, but this third one was even better. Dresden should be likable by now, and so should the other recurring main characters. Michael was a great addition to the team. I'm not sure if he's in it for the long run, but the Harry-Michael team was a very fun read.

The plot thickens in this novel because Butcher gave it more depth. A lot of plot twists here and there, and more magic. As an UF novel with a wizard as the main character, magic should be copious. It was copious in this novel, and I finally saw what Harry could do with his powers. I was complaining then that the author didn't focus on that, but this novel was not a let down.

In the first and second novels, the author introduced the Giant scorpions, Oversexed vampires, and Psychotic werewolves. To be honest I wanted the scorpions to make their reappearance, but necessary for the plot, we got the oversexed vampires. I wasn't shocked that Bianca made a reappearance because by now you should know that Harry had unfinished business with her. The vampires here were a bit violent, and I liked them a bit. A little more violence and that would be perfect.

The main antagonist here would be the ghosts, but Butcher introduced 2 main villains. I don't want to spoil so let's just say both the main villains were violent and fun to read. The ending was a bit cheesy, but not enough to annoy me.

4.5/5 stars. I liked this better than the first one. Amazing characters and the plot improved a lot. Time to continue on with the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
248 reviews974 followers
January 24, 2023
To: Harry Dresden, Wizard
From: Melissa, Lover of All Things Bookish

My Dearest Harry,

It pains me to say this, but I must sever my tie to you.

Know that it’s not your fault. You’re a likeable guy, your magical powers are off the hook, and your life is far from boring. All manner of supernatural creatures await you around every corner, and your tales of wizardry are filled with loads of excitement and physical harm. (Seriously, are you ever NOT injured? I don’t know how you drag your aching body out of bed in the morning.)

What bothers me, though, is the male gaze of your creator. The female characters you interact with are nothing more than sex objects, Lieutenant Murphy being the exception. And while I can forgive the hypersexualization somewhat seeing as your early stories were published two decades ago, I still can’t stomach it. Times have changed, and I've changed.

So farewell, good wizard. Stay safe, and don’t let the bad guys get you.

Your Devoted (But Not Devoted Enough) Fan,

Profile Image for Ginger.
786 reviews363 followers
April 28, 2014
Much better then the first two! I'm cheering for Harry Dresden again!
Profile Image for Holly.
1,449 reviews1,085 followers
September 17, 2018
2.5 stars

Is there a single un-sexy woman in this book other than the baby-mudering ghost at the very beginning? If there was, Jim Butcher must have accidentally missed it because the main character, Harry Dresden, seemed to remark on the breasts of basically every female/vampire/fae/whatever he came across in this book and it honestly annoyed me. Objectify women much?

Originally I read and quit this book back in 2014. Fast forward four years and for some reason I decided to give it another try, this time via audiobook. The narrator was basically the only thing I really liked about this book. The fast paced action of the beginning soon gave way to a convoluted plot that, even now after having read/listened this whole thing, I still don't understand exactly what was going on and I honestly don't think I care. Oh and apparently Michael is not Harry's brother, which for some reason I thought I read the first time around but that was definitely not the case, he's just some super-powered religious dude with a sword that Harry knows.

So in summary, less objectifying of women, less use of the annoying phrase 'hell's bells', and a plot that doesn't revolve around a character the reader never even got to meet would have improved this book. Basically it needed to be a different book. I'm passing on this series.

Original 'DNF' review:
Maybe I'll come back to this later - my library loan ran out and honestly I wasn't invested enough to renew.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,388 reviews1,468 followers
May 12, 2017
Another satisfying entry in The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is again saving the world from supernatural creatures so that we can all sleep soundly in our beds at night. He's joined by a knight of the church, an intrepid reporter and his familiar, Bob.

There are vampires, fairies and ghosts, oh my! Plus some other magical creatures thrown in for good measure.

Recommended for fans of urban fantasy, The Dresden Files is the tops. Also, if you can, listen to the audio books. James Marsters' narration is near perfection.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,639 reviews1,510 followers
June 9, 2017
Buddy read April 20th on Buddies Books and Baubles with Jessica, Ashley, Lege, Steven, Sh3lly & oOSarahOo they is a little behind but still here, and Jenny as out official stalker this time.

Everyone says just wait they get better. Everyone says by the end of book 3 you will see….This is one of those times that EVERYONE was right.

Before this book I was really sorta thinking what’s all the hype. I mean I liked them well enough but I really preferred two other series that were similar Charming and Hounded…now Harry might be pulling ahead of at least Hounded (Charming still holds a special spot in my UF loving heart).

Why is Harry pulling ahead? Well it could be the addition of some great new characters. Bigger badder baddies and a tragic star-crossed romance. I actually didn’t care about the romance so much until the VERY end but the other stuff was fantastic.

Who are these fantastic side characters?

Ϟ Michael Ϟ – THE FIST OF GOD - is a fantastic addition. Everything he does is good and moral and he has a magic sword no not that kind ladies get your minds out of the gutter he is married It is an actual sword that he fights for God with. AMAZING.

_____ hand touched Michael’s steel-clad arm—and erupted into sudden, white flame, as brief and violent as a stroke of lightning. She screamed, a piercing wail, and fell back from him to the ground. She lay there, curled helplessly around her blackened hand, struggling to get enough breath back to scream. Kyle flew to her side.
I looked at Michael and blinked. “Wow,” I said. “Color me impressed.”
Michael looked vaguely embarrassed. “It happens like that sometimes,” he said, apologetically.

❅Lea❅ - Harry’s Faery Godmother, who wants to get the rest of his soul and turn him into part of her pack of dogs. She is one of the new bigger badder baddies I mentioned and she is the nice one. Which reminds me NEVER MAKE A DEAL WITH THE FAE…have we learned nothing. No good can come from it. She is beautiful and deadly and ready to treat Harry like a dog….literally

♖Thomas♖ - Member of the White vampire court and a good liar to boot. Is he a friend and ally or is he another trap waiting to happen. Currently it might be a little unclear. He is fun though and another great addition.

“Because you can trust me,” he(Thomas) said. “I want to help you.”
I snorted. “Why the hell should I believe you?”
“You shouldn’t,” he said. “Don’t. I’m a good liar. One of the best. I’m not asking you to believe me. Believe the circumstances. We have a common interest.”

☠ BOB ☠ - Okay technically Bob isn’t new but he is my favorite side character and he gets the best lines. Every time he is on page my highlighter goes a little crazy. I’m so happy to see that he keeps up that witty dialogue and propensity for romance novels and sex in this book as well.
“You want work, we make a deal. I want to do a ridealong the next time Susan comes over.”
I snorted at him. “Hell’s bells, Bob, don’t you ever think about anything besides sex? No. I’m not letting you into my head while I’m with Susan.”
The skull spat out an oath. “There should be a union. We could renegotiate my contract.”

And finally Ϟ Charity Ϟ – Eight month pregnant wife to THE FIST OF GOD….Micheal. I loved her immediately the first time she lit into Harry. Okay so she doesn’t get a big part in this book but I can already tell she will be downright amazing in future books. Plus she and Michael have an amazing beginning story…At least I think it is amazing since He slayed a fire-breathing dragon to save her

Okay there are a few more very interesting characters that get a little page time including Ferro a dragon in human form, Mavra, of the Black Court of Vampires and a walking Nightmare. Really there is a lot going on.

The story was better plotted out this time and I found myself much more drawn into it. Harry is still that bumbling guy that can’t seem to catch a break and when one thing goes wrong they all go wrong. There was a new obstacle around every corner and he caused plenty of trouble that will have many repercussions going into the next book.

Normally I'd be all over the romance and what happened in the end with that...but maybe it is because I know there are 15 books out already I'm trying not to get too attached or maybe it is because I really love Murphy and think she is the long term play I have no idea if she is or isn't and I don't read any of the blurbs cuz I want it to be a surprised so don't tell me I want to keep my ship as long as possible. I didn't really connect with Susan until the very end of this book and thought that is a great way to take the story. I love/hate it all at the same time. Like I'm supposed to.

So lets just recap….Harry in this book manages to get in deep trouble with:

✔ God – Or the Fist of God - Micheal
✔ At least one court of vampires but probably 2 of them
✔ The Wizard Council
✔ His girlfriend – Susan
✔ Some ghosts
✔ A Walking Nightmare
✔ His Faery Godmother
✔ And Charity…I’d be the most afraid of Charity

Sure some of it he gets out of…but that is a lot of trouble so I expect that the majority of it lingers. This series is definitely looking up.
Profile Image for Zain.
1,451 reviews153 followers
March 13, 2023
Well Done!

As well done as a nice steak, Grave Peril is a blast from start to finish.

In the previous book, Harry Dresden is battling werewolves. In this go round he’s battling vampires. Not the pretty lovey-dovey kind, but the ugly, harsh and dangerous, bestial kind.

It takes Harry a while to figure out what is going on in his town, when people are placed under vicious spells. Is it punishment? A revenge thing?

In this episode, Dresden teams up with a knight named Michael, who has an amazing sword. And with his help, Dresden is able to fight fire with fire.

The author gives the story a lot of detail and action. The characters are very well described and you find yourself caring for them. I’m not saying that I am caring for the bad guys. But they are still interesting and help make the story better.

A very good book. Four stars. 💫💫💫💫
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,307 reviews161 followers
May 28, 2013
Grave Peril
3 Stars

Many have stated that Grave Peril is the turning point in the series for the better. After considering the plot and the characters, I must confess that I found Fool Moon to be far more entertaining.

Don't get me wrong. Harry and his quirks are very endearing but a number of issues irritated me in this installment. First, Murphy barely makes an appearance and the absence of a strong willed, take no prisoners, female character detracts from the overall effect of the story.

Second, the criticism surrounding Harry's chauvinism finally makes sense. In the first two books, his attitude toward women comes across as gallant and even chivalrous, but the chauvinism is front and center in this one as Harry fixates on the breasts and luscious curves of virtually every female character - is this really necessary?

Third, while the basic plot is compelling and the action scenes exciting, the execution is repetitive. How many times must Harry battle the Nightmare before he defeats it? How many times must he get round the machinations of his fairy Godmother? How many times must he be exposed to the lustful effects of vampire venom? How many times must his powers fail him precisely when he needs them the most? Come on already, get some new material.

Finally, Harry constantly blames himself for the choices others make that get them into trouble. While this overdeveloped sense of guilt may have its place in the portrayal of Harry's internal struggle with his own conscience, it starts to grate on the nerves after a while.

On a more positive note, the secondary characters both old and new are very engaging. Michael, a Knight of the Cross, constitutes an intriguing counterpoint to Harry's irreligious personality, and the manner in which Butcher depicts the power of Christian artifacts adds another layer of complexity to the world building. That said, Michael is a little too self-righteous and condescending for my tastes.

There are also some poignant moments between Harry and his reporter girlfriend, Susan Rodriguez, although her misguided Lois Lane routine is getting old and she has never really appealed to me as Harry's love interest.

The most interesting characters, however, are Lea, Harry's rather scary fairy Godmother, who serves as a cautionary tale about what happens when one makes ill advised bargains with the fae, and Thomas, the morally ambiguous vampire who plays a pivotal role in Harry's conflict with the various villains in the story.

All in all, the world building is strong, the story has potential and the unanswered questions are interesting enough to keep on with the series.
Profile Image for The Fantasy Review.
273 reviews194 followers
April 25, 2022
Grave Peril felt like a step towards something bigger. I’ve been burning through these books in Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files quite quickly – 3 this week – but I do feel like I have to right now.

If I stop or pause for a break with another book/series, I might never come back, and I don’t want to miss out on what people have been promising – the books get better after book 4, Summer Knight (or 6, Blood Rites – depends who you ask!).

This is not to say that these first three books were bad. Not at all! They were solid urban fantasy books.

The plots are fast-paced, Harry Dresden is our loveable chauvinistic wizard, and there are monsters around every corner. I’m enjoying these books – I just want to love them! So, I’m really hoping these next few books make me see the light.

Okay, onto this entry
I don’t think I’ve mentioned before how gory these books can be… I suppose I should have done with Fool Moon, but in this one I noticed it a lot more. It’s not overly exaggerated, but it’s graphic enough to make me feel a little sick – perfect!

Harry is really growing on me
He has a couple of moments in Grave Peril where I was either very excited for him using magic and being awesome, or he thought something that made me really begin to see him as a hero.

I got to a rocky start with Harry Dresden, so I hope his character only continues to develop like this.

We don’t see much of Murphy, which is a shame
I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews in this series that I think her character is seriously underutilised. I understand why she’s not in Grave Peril much, but it’s still a shame.

The magical side of the world is being developed and I’m loving it
This is more like my kind of fantasy, and I think it suits the books more too. Yes, we’ve had a rogue wizard and four types of werewolves before, but in this book, we get a glimpse into how the supernatural underworld operates.

It was a fantastic introduction to that and I’m excited to see more.

The final chapter of this book essentially forced me to start reading the fourth one, so I won’t be stopping this reading binge for a while yet!

View the full review at The Fantasy Review
Profile Image for Ivan.
434 reviews284 followers
December 3, 2017
I had lot of fun and rating could have been higher if not for ending, specially for one cheesy moment and ending of story arc that followed. One thing I hate the most is when things reset to status quo instead of moving forward.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews926 followers
June 18, 2020
“We have now left Reason and Sanity Junction. Next stop, Looneyville.”

Grave Peril in 2020 | Dresden files, Dresden, Steampunk artwork

In Grave Peril, Jim Butcher provides a paladin-like sidekick for our wizard-for-hire protagonist, Harry Dresden, as well as the same kind of action you'd expect after reading the first two installments in the series. Which is frankly well done and engaging. There was good banter between Harry and this new sidekick, Micheal, who figured as sort of a moral compass to gauge Harry. There were also some interesting situations that only Harry Dresden could get into, and out of. Still, while I enjoyed reading it, I wasn't overwhelmed one way or the other. I haven't given up on the series, but I think I'll take a break and return to it at a later date. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Doreen.
2,553 reviews66 followers
July 12, 2008
I will probably have to find a print version, as I kept getting distracted from the story and am fairly certain I missed huge chunks of plot. My boyfriend found this gripping and has taken to listening to it on his own, but I personally found myself irritated by Harry. Honestly, he behaves too much like the stock hero of a romance novel, only with wizardly powers. Speaking of stock, am I the only person unimpressed by the story-line? It's a fairly middling urban fantasy plot: I actually preferred Fool Moon. The only good thing about the plot, for me, was how much time Murphy spent unconscious. Harry might irritate me, but Murphy makes me glad she's a fictional character, because she is too obnoxious to live.

Also, I love James Marsters and could listen to him talk to me for hours, but if he has to say Hell's Bells ONE more time, I may be tempted to punch him. Or Jim Butcher, who deserves it more.
Profile Image for Kon R..
241 reviews106 followers
May 18, 2021
Any sort of improvements over book 1 and 2 are wiped out by the gimmickiness of the plot. Harry is dying or on the verge of dying then gets saved by deus ex machina. It's to a comical level how often this is abused all throughout. I'll try book 4 and hope that Butcher finally strikes the perfect balance to take this series out of the average 3 star rating it has been so far.
Profile Image for Jody .
202 reviews141 followers
July 10, 2019
"Some words have a power that has nothing to do with supernatural forces. They resound in the heart and mind, they live long after the sounds of them have died away, they echo in the heart and the soul. They have power, and that power is very real.

I will make this review short and sweet. Grave Peril was the best book in The Dresden Files series so far. I know I am only 3 books in, but each one seems to up the stakes and be more exciting than the last. The first two books were light hearted and fun. But this one took on a little more serious tone toward the middle and end. Not that there weren't any light hearted and fun parts, because it just wouldn't be Harry Dresden without them. I guess the best way to describe it is this. It felt like the real story within the story is beginning to take shape in this installment.

The side characters are always enjoyable in these books, and I like how Butcher adds new ones every volume. They are all vastly different and have their own affect on Harry and the plot. It helps to keep things fresh. The reader doesn't have to worry about seeing too much of a character they don't enjoy. Because the odds are, they probably won't be in the next book anyway. Or at least not in as big a role. I haven't had that problem so far, but who knows in future books.

I won't say anything about the plot in this book. Just know there are plenty of ghosts and creatures that kick the shit out of Harry. He gets pissed off and starts kicking them back. That is probably the best review of a Harry Dresden plot ever BTW. I seriously can't get enough of these books at the moment. Next up...Summer Knight.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars ****

Profile Image for Jordan Price.
Author 140 books2,062 followers
July 27, 2010
I loved aspects of this story and hated others. I adored the magic, the description of how power worked, how Harry created his spells. I also loved how he got put through the wringer and had to really be willing to sacrifice himself for the survival of the people he loved.

I hated the female characters. I hated that their breasts were described at every available opportunity, particularly the villains. During a climactic fight scene, a female villain was "distracted" by a vampire sliding his hands under her top, and I thought, "Yes, of course the story had to go there." Susan, the girlfriend character, walks into danger and puts everyone else in danger with such willfully ignorant and selfish motives I could scream. (She is supposed to be smart, so why does she do something so moronic?) I feel like the women are all selfish sex objects.

The writing technique is mostly clean and conversational with a few dips into purple prose, but I noticed the tendency to hurtle up to a tipping point, end the chapter, and then draw way, way back into a philosophical musing at the beginning of the next chapter rather than continuing with the action. I would have liked that on occasion, but not chapter after chapter.

So even though I rated it a three (because of the icky representation of women), I really loved certain elements of the book, and reading the way it was worded and constructed helped me wrap my head around the way I approach writing myself, what works for me and what doesn't.
Profile Image for Lena K..
62 reviews132 followers
June 26, 2019
“Holy shit”, I breathed. “Hellhounds.”
“Harry”, Michael said sternly. “You know I hate it when you swear.”
“You're right. Sorry. Holy shit”, I breathed, “heckhounds.”

I actually really liked this one! Harry is still sexist and chauvinist, and still describes women by the shape of their boobs (COME ON ALREADY, it’s getting old...) but holly heck! We have an evil fairy godmother with hell hounds, an egotistic dragon, evil vampire brothers, a girl with prophetic dreams that no one believes to, crazy ghosts, faith magic and cool swords! YAS. Did I mention court intrigue? YES please.

I like Harry because he’s very human, with human flaws that get him in trouble. He’s not always the sharpest or smartest, he does stupid things and makes bad decisions. But his heart is in the right place.

What I don’t like is that he always, ALWAYS ends up unconscious or hurt beyond repair, his vision always swims, his stomach always churns, he always wants to (or does) throw up, ENOUGH with that, it’s annoying and not very believable that he’s always on the brink of death, but never actually dies, *sigh*.

The plot and mystery were actually very captivating and the humor good as always.

“I still can't believe”, Michael said, “that you came to the Vampires' Masquerade Ball dressed as a vampire.”

I’m looking forward reading the next one.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
January 11, 2023

I have to agree with everyone else's opinion that this is where the Dresden books get pretty awesome. Strong emotions, massively convoluted (but very compelling) plots, with plenty of action, despair, and delightful friendship, all rolled into a "I have no idea what I'm doing but I'll do the right thing" barbaric yawp.

Frankly, I loved so much about it. Michael and his faith really grows on me. Meeting Thomas for the first time is a real treat. Susan wasn't nearly as annoying here as she will become. And Bianca? Wow, well, when it comes to villains, she's right up there with Dresden's fairy godmother (who is also in this book.)

And then there's the nightmare.

All of this together should have been too much. A mess. But it really wasn't. I pulled off a rather neat hat trick. Harry's dad would be proud.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,506 reviews855 followers
December 27, 2017
There seems to be a common idea amongst fans and new arrivals alike to this series, that this, the third book in the series, is where it starts to get good. I’ve read the series and started again while I’m waiting for the next volume- I think the first two are great too. This one just ramps up the action and its consequences. And this might be the one where Harry Dresden starts to slip-by his own standards- taking actions and committing deeds that in an ideal world he would not have chosen to do. Harry is the ultimate underdog in a way. He’s always up against impossible odds, often achieving impossible feats with very little in the way of resources. This book is a game changer in terms of the overall story arc and in terms of characters new to the scene as well as character development of established players. Another great read.
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