Holy Smokes and Fae Folks— A Review of Grave Peril

Published 09 Apr 2024
by Anca Antoci

Title: Grave Peril
Author: Jim Butcher
Released: 01.09.2001
Buy from Amazon
4.14 (read)
Our review:
3.00 (read)

This Dresden Files installment delves deeper into the supernatural world we love. We get a fresh look at vampires, with their internal power struggles taking center stage. But let's take a look at the premise of Grave Peril.

Book description from the back cover

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....

My review

Vampires are presented in a new light, as their internal power struggles become the main focus. Plus, there’s a fascinating new layer with the introduction of faith-based magic through Michael. Throw in some ghosts and the enigmatic faerie Lea, and things get intriguing.

Admittedly, the sheer amount of information, especially about the fae realm, can be overwhelming at times. But stick with it—patience is likely rewarded in the next book. Lea’s connection to Harry’s mom adds a tantalizing mystery that just begs to be explored further.

The story jumps around a bit, and references to past events might leave you feeling lost at first. But don’t worry, things catch up swiftly. We get glimpses into Michael’s past and a better understanding of the bigger picture. Still, this book works perfectly well on its own, focusing on Harry battling nasty spirits and demonic nightmares plaguing the city. These conflicts are satisfyingly resolved, but they’re ultimately just the opening act for even bigger threats on the horizon.

Character development takes center stage in this book. By utilizing the first-person perspective, we are granted a glimpse into Harry’s mind, enabling us to delve deeper into his emotions and what drives him. While Chicago retains its gritty urban character, the story explores supernatural settings that heighten the intrigue. The setting of Bianca’s domain stands out as a cool backdrop, hinting at its potential importance down the line.

Sure, Harry takes a beating in this one, both physically and magically. Dealing with constant obstacles might feel repetitive at times, but the underlying mystery and epic showdowns keep the story thrilling.

Overall, this is another fun ride in The Dresden Files. It’s a great blend of supernatural mystery and action-packed adventure. Harry’s journey, with all its danger and a fantastic cast of characters, is captivating as ever. There might be a few bumps in the narrative and maybe a bit too much violence, but the story is engaging and leaves you wanting more. This Dresden Files installment is definitely worth your time, and it sets the stage for even bigger things to come.

Our final verdict: