Guys, there is no way to review this without spoilers for the prior book, Changes. So, if you haven’t read that one and want to go in spoiler-free, read no further. And when I say “spoiler” it’s a doozy so be warned.
I was really impressed with Changes; the ending was jaw-dropping. Killing your main character (and, yes, I did fully believe that he was dead and didn’t consider it a cliffhanger – especially after reading the follow up short in Side Jobs) is a gutsy move. I knew that Butcher would find a way to still have Harry as his lead but felt that he had changed the game with that ending.
The problem with such a bold decision is that you have to live up to it and the expectations that you’ve created. I don’t think Butcher quite did that with Ghost Story. While it’s a solid installment in the series, there just seemed to be so many missed opportunities. I hoped that Butcher had a grand plan to wow us after killing Harry. Truthfully, though, I think he felt that he had written himself into a corner and didn’t quite know what to do about it.
In Ghost Story, Harry comes back as a shade (for ease, let’s just call him a ghost) and is sent to investigate his own murder because of irregularities.
So, for the first 75% or so of the book, he is back in Chicago and does almost everything except look into his death. Typical Harry. The reader gets updates on most major characters and it’s not a pretty picture. Chicago is a mess. Karrin is a mess. Molly is a hot mess. Only Butters seems to be handling Harry’s death without falling apart. (Teaming him up with Bob was brilliant!) Yes, they are all still fighting the good fight but on a personal level they are very screwed up.
There was one “whoa” scene pretty early on and we meet someone new in the afterlife. That was pretty neat.
And, the last 25% was as action packed as we’ve come to expect. The big reveals (there were two of them) were…well, I’ll leave that to you to decide how you feel about it. I’m honestly still not sure.
4/5 stars because I still love Harry and the Butters/Bob duo made the book more than worthwhile.