Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

This entry is part [part not set] of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Three of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (September 5, 2001), Mass Market Paperback: 378 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0451458443, ISBN-13: 978-0451458445

Babies are being threatened by ghosts and it is up to Harry and Michael to save the little ones. Michael Carpenter is one of the interesting new characters in the series. He is a Knight of the Cross.  This is a person who fights against evil in the name of God using his faith as well as his sword. Embedded inside the swords that the knights is a nail from Jesus’s crucifixion.  There are 3 swords and 3 knights.    In addition we learn more about how the world in this book relates to the Nevernever, which is the spirit realm as well as the faery realm. We also meet Leanansidhe (Lea) a faerie who is Dresden’s evil faerie godmother. She is a High Sidhe, noble in the Winter Court. In this book she reminds Harry about a bargain that was made with her that is yet unfulfilled. A bargain that Harry felt he had no control over and will do anything he can to avoid fulfilling.

Grave Peril is the third book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 12 books in this series with book 13 due July 26, 2011.  He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files.  See my review of these books at The Dresden Files are considered Contempory Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy.  They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he is solving his current case.

The series really starts to pick up steam with this third book. There is the introduction of numerous new characters. We learn a lot about the vampires in this book, like there are several vampire courts.  The Red and Black court’s vampires are horribly ugly bat-like creatures, although they appear beautiful at first glance.  The white court vampires are beautiful but they feed on emotions instead of blood. We really get to know the regular characters.  These include: Susan, Harry’s girlfriend who is also a reporter; Karrin, Harry’s friend who is also a police sergeant; Bob, the entity that recides inside a human skull who helps Harry in many interesting ways; Mister, Harry’s cat.

The book starts out with lots of action in the battle against a lady ghost who is trying to kill babies at the hospital. Harry is armed with his blasting rod, staff and a bag of ghost dust (this is a substance that pins down ghosts so they can be destroyed.)  Harry has an opportunity to knock out the ghost with ghost dust, but because of his weakness for ladies in distress he hesitates to use the dust and instead tries to talk down the ghost.  When he fails at that and the ghost is close to killing the babies he and Michael decide they would have more success in stopping the ghost in the Nevernever.  So Harry rips a hole between this world and the next and they both step through.  However this is not without problems.  The biggest one being Harry’s crazy faery God-Mother.

And so the excitement begins and keeps on building up to a fantasic conclusion. Harry and Michael spend the book trying to discover who is causing the ghosts in Chicago to go crazy and in the process get themselves into lots of trouble. There is lots of action in the book. It is always fun to read about Harry and how he solves the problems he gets himself into.  It is once again a stand alone story, solving a particular mystery, yet it also moves the series along providing more insight into both Harry and the world he lives in.

The ending is a bit sad but you will have to read the book to find out why.  I enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honourable hero then give this series a try.  However, you should read the books in order as the overall story does build even if each book is stand alone.

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