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Taure
07-25-2011, 07:55 AM
Thread for what you thought of the book in general.

I'm going to assume that people who click on a thread marked "spoilers" in a forum marked "spoilers" don't need protection from spoilers.

Anyway, what did you think?

I thought the mystery of Harry's killer was done very well. I can honestly say that I wasn't expecting it to be Molly at all. I actually thought it was going to be Harry himself. Lea's three hints all fit Harry - he's acquainted with himself, he is responsible for the deaths of thousands (Red Court) and was in the service of someone greater than he (Mab).

I'm now wondering if in fact those three hints were talking about Harry, as he was the person who arranged his own death, or about Kincaid as the person who pulled the trigger. If Kincaid, I wonder which being Lea was referring to as the being Kincaid serves. Ivy seems the obvious answer, but she could have been referring to Kincaid's historical master, Drakul. Or Harry himself, though there's something of a question mark over whether Harry or Kincaid would win in a fight. Kincaid, after all, is someone even Ebenezer McCoy respects as an enemy, and McCoy is much more dangerous than Harry. At least in the traditional sense. I guess Dresden might be considered more dangerous in terms of how much plot armour he has.

But anyway, I loved the moment where Molly was revealed to have had a part in his killing - though she wasn't exactly his killer, as the "Big Reveal" initially made it out to be.

Moving on, there was lots of good characterisation on the Harry end, though I had been hoping for some other kind of fun advancement, like him ending up eating the Corpsetaker's power. I mean, he expended a lot of his essence as a ghost in fighting the Corpsetaker. Does that mean that power is now gone forever? Or now that he has a body again, will he be able to regenerate it?

I was fairly satisfied with the ending, though I had thought for a moment we were going to get a Harry stuck in Hell. Which would have been fun. A breakout from Hell.

As always, nice to see more of Uriel, though the Christian mythology in general still makes me uneasy. Not because it's there, but because it seems more and more that capital-G God exists and is pretty much the God of tradition - all powerful, all knowing, etc. And his followers also seem to be pretty fucking powerful too. Dresden remarks that Uriel has the power to destroy every planet in the universe.

With such overwhelming power in place, and certainty that it exists, and that it exists on the side of the good guys, the whole story seems utterly pointless. I mean, if you knew for sure that Christianity was true, then you know a) all you have to do is be a Christian and everything will work out for you and b) the good guys will eventually win. There's no peril in a story in which God exists and has legions of followers who are also stupidly powerful. Not unless there's some threat to God too e.g. an Outsider capital-G God. But even in that case, Harry is so massively insignificant compared to them that there's no story there.

More and more it seems that Butcher is writing Christian fantasy fiction. We know the story is heading for an apocalyptic trilogy. I'm beginning to worry that this is going to culminate with some full-on Christian fiction like the "Left Behind" series, albeit with wizards in it.

As always, I was annoyed at Butcher projecting himself onto Dresden and the general nerdy fanservice. I swear, he turns Dresden more and more into a stereotypical nerd every book, and the rest of the cast along with him.

All the references to pop culture/nerd culture which the character really has no business knowing. Has Dresden ever been on the internet? When and how did he see Star Trek? Sure, he might see the occasional film at the drive-in. But I'm fairly sure those places don't do show seasons of Star Trek. And how come Molly is suddenly such a fan of Star Trek that it's an integral part of her mental landscape? It's just like in Changes, that whole retarded "What character in LotR are we?" conversation. WHY IS THIS IN THE BOOK?

Joe
07-25-2011, 09:14 AM
I thought it was a given that his soul/essence/whatever would regenerate now that he's alive. Bob said it grew back a few books ago, didn't he? When discussing Soulfire.

I don't have the same worries on the Christian mythology, Taure. Yes, there may be a captial G-God, but what role will It take? If any? These beings have a way of not being able to take part in events, so much. Uriel and angels are bound by a lack of choice - they do as they are told, and can only really interfere when something upsets that balance.

They have the power to destroy planets, but the will to use it? We'll see.

So I reckon it could still work out for the best, if the choice falls to Dresden to save the world with no divine intervention.

I agree completely about the Molly Star Trek bridge effort. Hated that, and found myself skimming for the first time I can remember in a Dresden novel.

Taure
07-25-2011, 09:24 AM
I don't have the same worries on the Christian mythology, Taure. Yes, there may be a captial G-God, but what role will It take? If any? These beings have a way of not being able to take part in events, so much. Uriel and angels are bound by a lack of choice - they do as they are told, and can only really interfere when something upsets that balance.



They have the power to destroy planets, but the will to use it? We'll see.

So I reckon it could still work out for the best, if the choice falls to Dresden to save the world with no divine intervention.

The thing I was really getting at is that it seems to no longer mean anything whether the Earth gets saved or not. Who cares about some planet? The good guys are just going to go to heaven for eternity anyway. Compared to eternity in heaven, Earth is kinda meaningless. A blip on the scale of the universe.

Aekiel
07-25-2011, 09:49 AM
The thing I was really getting at is that it seems to no longer mean anything whether the Earth gets saved or not. Who cares about some planet? The good guys are just going to go to heaven for eternity anyway. Compared to eternity in heaven, Earth is kinda meaningless. A blip on the scale of the universe.

The point of the 'good' side isn't about good or evil. It's about giving people the choice to be good or evil, so that it's the individual that decides whether they want to head upstairs or down south. In that case, saving the Earth is very important to the side of God/good, since dead people can't choose much of anything (barring the handy addition of a soul, of course).

Also, Lea's three hints were about Kincaid. He's an acquaintance of Harry's, has killed thousands over his lifetime and was hired by someone mightier than he (Harry himself, which is not the same as more dangerous, or Ivy, alternately).

Taure
07-25-2011, 09:56 AM
Lea actually says "mightier and more dangerous than he" of the one the killer represents.

Aekiel
07-25-2011, 10:21 AM
Lea actually says "mightier and more dangerous than he" of the one the killer represents.

Yeah, just re-read the scene. But still, I'd argue that Winter Knight Harry is a lot more dangerous than Kincaid. Recall his speech to Mab, for example.

EDIT: And Kincaid never wiped out an entire species.

Joe
07-25-2011, 10:29 AM
Yeah, just re-read the scene. But still, I'd argue that Winter Knight Harry is a lot more dangerous than Kincaid. Recall his speech to Mab, for example.

Yes, I'd agree. Kincaid himself said he would (and did) kill Harry from at least half a mile away with a high-powered rifle. He respects that, in a face-to-face bout, Dresden could throw down. Hard.

Datakim
07-25-2011, 10:35 AM
One thing that still bothers me about Uriel here is that for the second time we have it acknowledged that Uriel was the one who killed all the firstborn of Egypt. In other words, Uriel basically murdered a bunch of innocent people, including children, and Harry does not seem to have any real problem with this. Harry has always been shown to be very opposed to anyone who hurts children, so why would he give Uriel a pass so easily. I could accept it if he atleast acknowledged it in his head but was afraid to confront someone of Uriels power, but its just ignored as though Harry does not care in the least that he is basically working for a known child-killer.

For that matter, how exactly does that work with what happened in the book? Having a fallen angel whisper seven words to subvert the free will of mortal is very bad, but an archangel slaughtering lots of people to change the free will of the Pharaoh is just fine? The whole plagues thing seems something that Nicodemus would happily do, except we know from Bob that it was Uriel.

I must say I somewhat agree with Taure here. I am not trying to start an argument here, but there is a lot of nasty and evil stuff in the bible. Heck, the very concept introduced here of eternal punishment for non-eternal crimes seems very wrong to me. Not even the corpsetaker deserves something like that. I kinda wish that Butcher would have the courage to look at these issues and have someone (Harry) clarify if in Dresdenverse, God really was responsible for all the nasty stuff it says in the bible. The murder of the firstborn is a prime example of a very evil thing just being ignored. And if he was, should Harry really be support him?

Also, I wonder if Harry will become a christian now? I mean he literally knows that hell and heaven exist now? He would be pretty damn stupid not to try and embrace God to cover his ass and avoid hell, especially since he now works for Mab.

And yes, the star trek bridge was very stupid. I get the impression that Butcher was trying to be funny but this time failing miserably.

Celestin
07-25-2011, 11:21 AM
I think Lea wanted her hints to be about both of them - Harry and Kincaid. The direct killer and the man behind this kill.

The problem with God in DF books is we don't really know that much about him. We don't even know if He really is behind angels at this point or maybe on vacations since the Creation. How powerful He is compared to other heavy hitters in the Universe? Sure, Butcher said something about Christians not being wrong about their God, but it seems like balance is one of main themes in DF books, so maybe there is someone equally powerful on the other side who can destroy Him and Heaven.

And I'm guessing now, but maybe their powers are so equal that neither can win this war. Enter people who have a free will and are everything but balance. You win Earth, you win everything. This is one of ways I can see this series going.

Lastly, I must agree that this part may have too many geek moments. And I think Butcher wanted too many awesome scenes in it. It worked for me with Normandy landing done by ghosts from different eras, but we could do without Star Trek bridge. Also, the whole fight in minds reminded me of so many HP fics that I had a trouble with not rolling my eyes every second of reading it.

Aekiel
07-25-2011, 11:41 AM
Well, if you take the veiled hint that God and Lucifer worked together on Job that Harry mentions you could take the idea that Lucifer is the one tasked with being the 'Evil' force in the Dresdenverse and is thus in fact working for God.

Taure
07-25-2011, 11:46 AM
Given that Uriel can destroy every planet in the universe and is but one of God's servants, I think that we can safely say capital-G God is pretty badass in the power stakes.

CosmosGravitation
07-25-2011, 02:05 PM
As always, nice to see more of Uriel, though the Christian mythology in general still makes me uneasy. Not because it's there, but because it seems more and more that capital-G God exists and is pretty much the God of tradition - all powerful, all knowing, etc. And his followers also seem to be pretty fucking powerful too. Dresden remarks that Uriel has the power to destroy every planet in the universe.

With such overwhelming power in place, and certainty that it exists, and that it exists on the side of the good guys, the whole story seems utterly pointless. I mean, if you knew for sure that Christianity was true, then you know a) all you have to do is be a Christian and everything will work out for you and b) the good guys will eventually win. There's no peril in a story in which God exists and has legions of followers who are also stupidly powerful. Not unless there's some threat to God too e.g. an Outsider capital-G God. But even in that case, Harry is so massively insignificant compared to them that there's no story there.

More and more it seems that Butcher is writing Christian fantasy fiction. We know the story is heading for an apocalyptic trilogy. I'm beginning to worry that this is going to culminate with some full-on Christian fiction like the "Left Behind" series, albeit with wizards in it.


I have the same misgivings about Jim Butchers portrayal of the Christian mythology in the Harry Dresden series.

Considering Jim Butcher had a fundamentalist upbringing in the Bible Belt, I'm not surprised. The guy went on religious missions to South America after all.

I remember attending a book signing of his where he defended his incorporation of an all powerful and all knowing Christian god by saying most other fantasy series don't and he wanted to be different. I suspect Jim Butcher just wanted to include his own personal religious beliefs and didn't think about the reasons other writers don't.

Nae'blis
07-25-2011, 02:55 PM
Just finished reading it. I'll have to say, this book was quite better than Changes, where all the hoopla was going down. Some very interesting and awesome moments that I didn't expect to see yet in the series like the whole Justin and He Who Walks Behind thing. He called Dresden 'Child of the Stars', which I presume is something related to his birth Lash told him (and which also answers your question, Taure. Harry isn't exactly insignificant. You seem to be judging everything based on the power levels of characters), that he was the only who could defeat the outsiders IIRC.

Butcher was a real tease in the whole 3 questions scene. I was hoping he would ask at least one question about his past, , being so involved in the memory at the time, but he gave nothing away.

Molly was also someone who was pretty awesome in this book. The whole 'rag lady' thing was neatly done. Yeah, the Star Trek thing was a little awkward, but I was too focused on how the fight was about to end to pay it any mind. The revelation about his killer came out of nowhere, and was really, really well done.

One thing I really don't get, is the angel didn't really spoke an outright lie, did it? 'It was all his fault' could simply be justified as something to bring down his morale. And it's not like Harry wasn't(at least partially) responsible for the situation in the first place. Come to think of it, that was the exact same thing Uriel told him, when Harry summoned him. That his choices had led him to that moment, which is just saying the same thing. So, when a fallen does it, it becomes a lie? As far as we know, it didn't twisted any facts or truth, just placed a fluid(not false) thought in his head at the right time. Which isn't exactly 'not allowed' as the Sidhe and Uriel himself have done it.

Feanor
07-25-2011, 02:57 PM
I fail to see why y'all are hating on the nerd moments, they were some of the funniest parts of the book.

The only thing that bugged me was a bit too much introspection from Harry, though it was to be expected.

KillerEggLord
07-25-2011, 03:44 PM
Have to second the thoughts about General nerd culture, especially the star trek thing and the Gandalf in Moria thing. Also freaking Uriel has an opinion about Star Wars vs Star Trek?

I agree that the mind fight reminded me of fanfiction, especially that one HP fic the Mastermind Hunting by Louis IX. Although I thought it was written better and was more epic, Harry's fight with the Corpsetaker from Dead Beat was a better fit for the Dresden Universe then the silly mind war thing. I hope it gets retconned as 'Harry seeing a representation of something fundamentally different' a la Bob's Skull home.

I don't think the Christian stuff is actually going to be that problematic, especially as it comes to Dresden's concerns. Full disclosure, as a fundamentalist Christian myself I'm appreciative of Jim Butcher's attempt to incorporate such stuff into his mythology. Though I would agree that the Abrahamic mythos, with the whole omnipotent God part, is a much less dramatic or ripe for story telling then something like a Norse mythology would be.

I had three major thoughts about the Uriel stuff:

1) I thought it was pretty clear that Uriel is the most powerful being Dresden has ever met. It might be accurate to say he is a peer to Mab in that the both represent fundamental aspects of things, but Uriel is a whole couple orders of magnitude out of her league. Also he doesn't play in all the normal balance or obligation games of the rest of the supernatural world (except with Hell), since there is precisely no indication that he faces any problems for screwing around with Mab.

2) Uriel was bullshiting Harry when he was saying he was only concerned with Free Will, I don't argue that that is his major purpose, but he also has an interest in how choices end up. The whole way he manipulated his opportunity to say his seven words is exactly like the lie the fallen told, in that a being like Uriel is perfectly able to predict Harry's reaction to his truth.

3) Whatever fight Uriel (and the other Angels) are involved in, it doesn't generally intersect with the world of the White Council, or the Fae Courts, at least not in a way that is visible. I'd argue Harry's talk with Reaper guarding Forthill (plus the general Christian Mythology) makes it likely that what the Fallen and the Angels are fighting over are souls, either trying to tempt them or save them. So maybe the Angels are going to bust in and save the White Council with the power and glory of Heaven, or maybe its destruction serves their purposes better, or maybe Uriel manipulates others to save the day without being seen himself.

I think that goes to the larger point about the God stuff, in that we haven't actually seen God do anything, we haven't seen Uriel do much other then work through proxies or exercise his power to give Harry a Spirit Voyage (I'm reading the end bit to point out that Harry didn't really die as people normally do). We've seen lots of crap that doesn't really square perfectly with what James Dobson would say Christianity was, like Sir Stuart's commentary about true priests and Shamans, freaking Odin and Ragnarok, or He Who Walks Behind.

For Harry to stop at this point go full bible thumper and say, "Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, God is Creator of the whole Universe and of me, all the bad stuff that is attributed to God (or his agents) is a matter of shortsighted human perspective, and God will ultimately will in the end so all that matters is always doing the right thing no matter the consequences 'cause God will save me and the world" would be an act of capital F Faith.

Which is pretty freaking cool way of bringing out the Christian Mythos as more then just Angels and Demons.

Mega Props Mr. Butcher

Celestin
07-25-2011, 04:05 PM
Which is pretty freaking cool way of bringing out the Christian Mythos as more then just Angels and Demons.

DF started as Philip Marlowe in urban fantasy setting, but now I'm starting to suspect it will end as a modern Narnia. ;)

AnvariX
07-25-2011, 04:12 PM
I'll state, for the record, that I haven't read the book yet... I'm just a sucker for spoilers.

Just wanted to point out that I was very leery when Supernatural began to stray in the Christian mythos but, frankly, I think they've done a very good job at incorporating a lot of elements without once - even mildly - attempting to convert viewers, or launch in a fundamentalist diatribe.

Again, I haven't read Ghost Story yet (arrives on my Kindle tonight! - no sleep), but I have enough faith in what Butcher has done thus far to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Datakim
07-25-2011, 04:22 PM
There is a somewhat interesting theory that I have seen brought up before that Dresdenverse has the whole "gods need prayer" thing going on. Or in other words, the belief of mortal people empowers supernatural beings. In Backup this was brought up, and in Changes Odin who is another god implies that his power has diminished lately. If so, it could be said that the Christian god is infact not some ultimate creator of the universe, but simply a construct of human belief. Further, this would explain why he and his agents are so powerfull, since he is being worshipped by a large percentage of the world population. Might also explain why Uriel was apparentry a child killer back in the day, but is apparently so good now, the belief of what god should be like has changed in the minds of the people from a wrathfull god responsible for evil and plagues to a kind and loving one, so the god itself changed to match that belief. I mean most believers in the world arent exactly embracing the bad stuff in the bible anymore.

Unfortunately, I doubt its the case though, especially if Butcher is as religious as has been suggested, but it might be an interesting idea. Uriel and such might then support the idea of free will so much, because only free belief can empower a god while mind-control cannot (just as a mind controlled Luccio was unable to use magic to kill, deepdown lack of belief).

As for Uriels power, to be fair we don't actually know for sure how strong he is. I mean Harry may claim that Uriel could destroy the universe, but its not like there is any way for Harry to really know that for a fact. It could easily just be Harry exaggerating or being plain wrong. Infact was it not said by WoG somewhere that the archangels are on same level as the sidhe queens like Mab (or was it the mothers?). Regardless, I never got the idea that they were universe destroying beings.

But yeah, so far Butcher has completely ignored all the nastiness in Christian mythology, I wish this were acknowledged in some way. I could even accept it if we had a scene where Uriel says that the bible and its monstrous descriptions are flat out wrong due to mortal mistranslations etc, but to just ignore it completely like it does not exist just sucks.


One thing I really don't get, is the angel didn't really spoke an outright lie, did it? 'It was all his fault' could simply be justified as something to bring down his morale. And it's not like Harry wasn't(at least partially) responsible for the situation in the first place. Come to think of it, that was the exact same thing Uriel told him, when Harry summoned him. That his choices had led him to that moment, which is just saying the same thing. So, when a fallen does it, it becomes a lie? As far as we know, it didn't twisted any facts or truth, just placed a fluid(not false) thought in his head at the right time. Which isn't exactly 'not allowed' as the Sidhe and Uriel himself have done it.

This is actually a really good point. Not to mention that we know the fallen in the coins regularly lie and cheat their carriers. I suppose you could make the argument that the whole thing was wrong because in this instance it seemed like the "lie" was basically sent to Harrys mind telepathically in such a way that he believed it was his own thought. So if the fallen had just come out openly and spoken the words outloud, it would have been ok. The lie then, was making Harry think that the thought was HIS thought, and the words themselves did not matter.



For Harry to stop at this point go full bible thumper and say, "Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, God is Creator of the whole Universe and of me, all the bad stuff that is attributed to God (or his agents) is a matter of shortsighted human perspective, and God will ultimately will in the end so all that matters is always doing the right thing no matter the consequences 'cause God will save me and the world" would be an act of capital F Faith.

Which is pretty freaking cool way of bringing out the Christian Mythos as more then just Angels and Demons.


The moment Harry Dresden says that slavery, murder, genocide and infanticide are ok so long as something a lot more powerfull than mortals do it, is the moment I throw the series where it deserves to go.

If the God of Dresdenverse really was responsible for the things in the old testament, then I want Harry Dresden to say to God exactly the same things he has said to the sidhe queens, demon lords, vampires and denarians who think having great power gives them the justification to do whatever they want with innocent people. I think you know what that is.

KillerEggLord
07-25-2011, 04:52 PM
The moment Harry Dresden says that slavery, murder, genocide and infanticide are ok so long as something a lot more powerfull than mortals do it, is the moment I throw the series where it deserves to go.

If the God of Dresdenverse really was responsible for the things in the old testament, then I want Harry Dresden to say to God exactly the same things he has said to the sidhe queens, demon lords, vampires and denarians who think having great power gives them the justification to do whatever they want with innocent people. I think you know what that is.

My point was that saying something like "all that bad stuff isn't really bad, we just don't understand" is what someone like Micheal Carpenter or Father Forthill would say.

It is a response to Taure's worry that the Christian stuff is going to rob the series of its conflict. For Micheal Carpenter or Father Forthill there isn't any final conflict, but that is a result of their unconditional (or for Micheal only conditioned by his family) trust in God. What they face is the challenge of daily obedience, which is conflict more suited for sermons then detective fiction.

For Dresden's story to become similarly conflictless would require a similar trust, which would require him to square two facts:
1) God is Good
2) Uriel killed the first born of Egypt.
Which implies either that Uriel is a free agent or
3) Killing the firstborn of Egypt isn't evil when God does it, I.E. his perspective/rights as creator give him more latitude then mortals have.

Now 3) may be false in the real world, but if it is Christianity is also false (at least doctrinaire Christianity). But if Butcher is Pro-Christianity, or at least wants to allow ambivalence about it, then the story is probably never going to say that 3) is false, as to do so would make Micheal and all the rest deluded fools.

Taure
07-25-2011, 04:58 PM
The problem with the "prayer gives power" theory is that many of these beings predate humanity...

Datakim
07-25-2011, 05:06 PM
The problem with the "prayer gives power" theory is that many of these beings predate humanity...

Do we know that absolutely?

Is is possible that

a)They are lying in order to look more impresive to mortals in order to get more belief-juice.

b)They think they are eternal, but are mistaken/have false memories simply because mortals believe that they are eternal.

c)Maybe they were formed by mortal belief, but that belief gave them so much power that they were basically able to timetravel to a time before humanity. A bit silly perhaps, but in book 5 Harry says there are beings that exist in time in different ways and in GS we have Uriel imply that he is not limited to linear-time.

Erandil
07-25-2011, 05:19 PM
Given that Uriel can destroy every planet in the universe and is but one of God's servants, I think that we can safely say capital-G God is pretty badass in the power stakes.

1. It is Dresden who says that Uriel has the power to destroy whole planets so you can´t be sure that is true.

2. There seems to be a laws or something like that in place which limit the things that Uriel can do.

3. He has no free will so in some aspects even a lowly human has more power than him.
In fact, it seems to me that Mab has more power and influence than Uriel.

4. Good and evil are perspective things. There is no right or wrong.

5. Why do you say that God seems all powerful? Last time I looked there was still war and such things in the Dresden world. In fact it seemed that things got worse instead of better. Why doesn´t you all powerful God stop such things?

So while I don´t like how the christian god/belief has gotten so important in the books I still have hope that this changes especially now that Harry is in the service of Mab and probably gets to interact with a lot of powerful beings. We shouldn´t forget that this book is about Dresden and he and his friends are either Atheists or Christians so there was no reason to bring in another belief system.

Nae'blis
07-25-2011, 06:00 PM
The lie then, was making Harry think that the thought was HIS thought, and the words themselves did not matter.

Yeah, could be it.

We shouldn´t forget that this book is about Dresden and he and his friends are either Atheists or Christians so there was no reason to bring in another belief system.

This.

The logic that Heaven/God will win anyways because they have the power to destroy the worlds is completely stupid. It's called 'conflict' for a reason. Because the parties involved actually oppose each other. Means they can harm each other. And the one thing that Uriel said that should be kept in mind is that it is all about balance. Not waiting around for the judgement day.:fire

Oh, and btw, the title of the story was Ghost Story. Talk about some fucking GHOSTS!:awesome

Shinysavage
07-25-2011, 06:28 PM
I don't have the book to hand, lent it to my dad, but I'm fairly certain it Dresden said something more like feeling that Uriel could destroy every planet in the universe, not that he absolutely, definitely could. Also, it doesn't necessarily mean he could blow every planet in existence up with a click of his fingers. Aurora came pretty close to destroying Earth in Summer Knight, IIRC, but it would have taken place over about a century or so, right? It could be more that sort of power.

Anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The reveal was very well done, and I loved the flashbacks to Harry's past. I would say that He Who Walks Behind seemed to go down pretty easily, even for someone with special power over them (the whole Child of the Stars thing?), and Harry seemed to get the hang of being a ghost remarkably quickly as well - aside from the occasional massive screw up, of course.

I loved what had happened with the rest of the gang. I read Side Jobs a few weeks ago, so I knew about the whole power vacuum idea, but I wasn't expecting it to be so widespread. I can't wait to see what happens with that. Molly in particular was very unsettling.

Not really much that I want to criticise about it; the angst was laid on a little thick, which was understandable, but it was angst about the same thing every couple of chapters. The epic geekery didn't bother me, but then I'd probably be similar myself...I'd also say that the battle in the mind was quite clearly a representation ala Bob's skull, not what was actually happening. It was still awesome.

Can't wait for the next book - although I am wondering about Dresden's power levels. Presumably he'll have all his normal magical power, which is quite substantial anyway. Then he'll have a power boost from being the Winter Knight (I think that's right? That the Mantle has its own magic?). Will he still have Soul Fire though? Connected; if the parasite Mab and Demonreach mentioned is Lash, does that mean he'll have Soul Fire and Hell Fire at the same time, if such a thing is even possible. Either way, he's going to be seriously powerful.

Seratin
07-25-2011, 09:26 PM
To be honest I was pretty dissapointed with this book. It seemed like the entire thing was just filler and the first half of the book reminded me more of Fool Moon and Grave Peril than Changes.

And fuck yo' couches, 8 Mollys in Star Trek outfits was the best thing in the book.

In the past, H/Molly was brushed aside with a little quote about how young she was or that she was just a quote. Seems like in this book Dresden realised that it might actually be more than just a crush and that Molly isn't a kid any more. Also, Murphy was annoying as shit in this book. :/

Cyclops
07-25-2011, 11:12 PM
While it was an enjoyable read, I do have a few mild annoyances with the book. For one, Harry's internal monologue has never annoyed me more than it has in this novel; especially when he started directing sarcastic comments at himself (and responded). It was just way overdone.

The many geek references was kind of annoying. They were just there for the sake of being there. The pop culture references didn't feel as natural as it did in previous installments.

Harry's revelations throughout the book about how dark he has become, while necessary, got tiresome after a while.

Still, I liked the book. Even though Harry was the one shot and killed, I found myself feeling for Molly the most. I think her character and storyline was the best part of the book. I hope we see much more of her in the next story.

Garden
07-25-2011, 11:45 PM
Liked the book overall. Not quite up to Changes level, I felt, but among the best three in the series (Changes, Ghost Story, Proven Guilty). I loved Molly in this book, and I think the series will move in the H/Molly direction, what with all the bonding they have in this book. I loved the ending, and the dialogue between Mab and Harry. I can't wait for the next book.
I definitely felt the pop-culture references were too prevalent, and the mental landscape of Molly was too nerdy. But its a small thing.

Jon
07-26-2011, 01:15 AM
I had a fairly heft post ready to go, and then I realised that Taure would cry for realising how silly he has been. So I deleted it. Carry on making me face palm.

Except you Datakim, fucking drop it. Dresden realises that Uriel doesn't have free will, it's about time you did as well.

Shinysavage
07-26-2011, 03:09 AM
I loved Molly in this book, and I think the series will move in the H/Molly direction, what with all the bonding they have in this book.

I can definitely see that. I wouldn't object to Harry/Murphy, but given her previously stated objections, which are still perfectly valid, and then throw in the fact that if she ever finds out that Harry arranged his own death then tried to hook up with her, she is going to be pissed.

Taure
07-26-2011, 06:39 AM
In the past, H/Molly was brushed aside with a little quote about how young she was or that she was just a quote. Seems like in this book Dresden realised that it might actually be more than just a crush and that Molly isn't a kid any more.

I think H/Molly is a definite possibility if there's a time skip somewhere along the line. The older they both get the less the age difference will matter, especially with them both being wizards.

Tehan
07-26-2011, 06:42 AM
Yeah, but the longer he waits, the greater the chance her boobs start sagging before he taps that.

Scrib
07-26-2011, 06:51 AM
I just finished it and I have to say, I loved it.

Harry being dead was not annoying at all, and the problems with it were worked out fairly seamlessly. I never felt impatient or annoyed about his new limits. It all felt a bit like Aftermath- the protagonist was dragged a bit too far away from the main mystery, so much so that I was getting worried if we would find out who killed Harry, but Butcher pulled it through at the end there.

But I have to say that the pop-culture references annoyed me. Every time Dresden makes one I have to pause and shift through what I know of his life to see if he could have conceivably seen the works in question. It was a problem I had in previous works but it just went too far here. Butcher tries to play it off by talking about drive-ins, which I thought was a neat solution to the problem- till Dresden started using internet memes like "Epic Fail".

The biggest pop-culture homage (the Enterprise scene) was just painful. I mean, really? It was ridiculously indulgent and dragged the book down just when it was getting out the of the slump that was the attack on Bob's castle.

I'm still working through Uriel and his revelations and I get the impression I've forgotten something huge, but I guess there's nothing for it. I will say, I think it was Lasciel who whispered to Harry in the church (please tell me it wasn't the church because that brings up a whole other issue). Butcher has already stated that Lasciel didn't take too kindly to Harry jilting her, so it could be her revenge. Some people have already put forth the theory that it is Lash, but I see no reason why she would want to kill Harry, and truth be told I'm just hoping she's dead.

Uriel's last words to Harry were :awesome, probably because the echo what Ebenezar said in Changes.

God. Gah. We get absolutely nothing on him except that apparently his bruisers can fuck shit up on a cosmic scale. Oh, and yet another race that he kicked out into the cold. Shezza's theory on Outsiders is looking more and more likely.

All in all not bad, I didn't expect us to be led on a tangential mission when the main mystery was looming but I guess the "Who Shot Ya?" plot wasn't strong enough to drive the plot all by itself. I liked Molly, and I was glad things didn't go as bad for her as I expected. I quite liked the book, it was well paced and Harry being a ghost was nowhere near as annoying as it could have been.

Nitpick:
The whole scene with DuMorne was odd, I'm pretty sure that Harry hadn't known that Elaine was under Justin's control until she told him, in fact I'm also sure that she helped lure him into some kind of trap. Maybe Harry remembered it differently than it actually was. But that whole scene felt rushed to me.

Nae'blis
07-26-2011, 11:01 AM
Nitpick:
The whole scene with DuMorne was odd, I'm pretty sure that Harry hadn't known that Elaine was under Justin's control until she told him, in fact I'm also sure that she helped lure him into some kind of trap. Maybe Harry remembered it differently than it actually was. But that whole scene felt rushed to me.

That whole scene was Harry remembering what actually happened. While alive, those painful memories of his betrayal at age 16 were probably repressed, or he simply remembered little bits of it due to shock, so that would be reason enough for him to not remember them clearly. But as Lea states, the ones shown here were what actually happened. We haven't gotten the complete story about Justin yet, because Butcher was a tease and neither showed his actual dual with Harry, nor did Harry chose one of the three questions to be something from his past.

Aekiel
07-26-2011, 02:43 PM
That whole scene was Harry remembering what actually happened. While alive, those painful memories of his betrayal at age 16 were probably repressed, or he simply remembered little bits of it due to shock, so that would be reason enough for him to not remember them clearly. But as Lea states, the ones shown here were what actually happened. We haven't gotten the complete story about Justin yet, because Butcher was a tease and neither showed his actual dual with Harry, nor did Harry chose one of the three questions to be something from his past.

Plus, Harry was 16 at that point. He probably had no idea that mind control was even possible, so he just assumed that despite the weirdness of her dialogue/actions, Elaine was acting of her own free will. Since he's now remembering this from a much more mature and enlightened point of view he realises what had happened and why she acted that way.

EDIT: Also, Harry's knowledge of memes can be easily explained by his connection to the Alphas.

Tehan
07-26-2011, 07:04 PM
He probably knows about things like the Evil Overlord List because they print them off and show them to him on game nights. Sorta like how they wrote the RPG. Oh, and apparently Bob has an internet connection.

Brown
07-26-2011, 09:50 PM
The thing that surprised me about this book was how claustrophobic it felt. Most books have had Dresden reaching out into the world in order to solve the book's mystery, but this one had him turning inwards and interacting pretty much only with his friends. It felt like a bit of a breather episode to be honest.

I did like it though. I think the central mystery (who killed Harry) was emphasised much less than in previous books, but upon reflection this makes sense: as a spirit (ghost seems not entirely accurate) Harry is more easily distracted, and the mystery is much less important than it seemed at the start. I'd like to note that I found it hilarious that Colin Murphy's big spiel to Harry was basically a load of bullshit, even if he didn't technically lie, and a good reminder that mortals in this series can lie as much as they want - even to themselves.

It seemed curious that if Harry arranged his own death and had his memory erased, that he never later considered the possibility that he might have done that - but I suppose it's difficult to reconstruct the idea, and Molly might have put a block on that conclusion.

Now, to get into the thread's big Internet Fight, I don't think the Christian mythos is overpowering the series. This book had a lot of Christian-type angels but to me that felt like a consequence of the specific plot rather than the world of the series: a Fallen caused Harry's death and inhibited his exercise of free will, so Uriel got involved because that's sort of his job.

We might have seen death angels and archangels, but in this series we have also seen Odin and valkyries. Merely meeting Uriel is no reason to accept the Christian world view, especially as Christianity generally denies the existence of other gods - which, well, presents some issues in the Dresdenverse. Harry did not actually die, he has not seen Heaven or Hell - he was merely in a waiting room run by an angel for a while, and that does not necessarily imply the existence and omnipotence of the classic triune God.

With regard to the nerd-stuff, I felt it was a little overplayed, but I interpreted that as Harry sort of over-acting his own personality to keep a hold of it, almost to the point of becoming a parody of himself. Also, there is a perfectly good reason that Uriel would have an opinion on Star Wars v Star Trek: one is about coming to terms with the underlying forces and intended order of the universe, and the other is about humanity overcoming its problems with optimism and intellect. An archangel will naturally prefer the former.

Leanansidhe was fucking hilarious in this book, unsettlingly alien but also the closest she could ever come to actually caring for Harry.
Mort was an incredible upgrade of a previously one-note character.
Corpsetaker was possibly scarier dead than alive.
Butters was cool, and it was interesting to see how Bob took on some of his personality, just like he took on some of Harry's.
Evil Bob: YOU'VE NOT SEEN THE LAST OF ME!
I know Murphy was annoying for some, but I found it interesting to see Harry's allies having divergent priorities to him. Also good to see the Paranet coming into its own.

From the general tone of the book it looks like the Masquerade is slowly falling apart. I really think the 'mundane' world will be forced to come to terms with the supernatural world before the apocalyptic trilogy.

Ghost Story was about Dresden's path, before and behind him, his mistakes and his victories. He had to come to terms with those things or service to Mab would have destroyed him. I can hardly wait for what comes next.

Aekiel
07-26-2011, 10:36 PM
Does anyone else get the feeling the Archangels are picking out their favourites and making them sort-of champions of their specific methods? Michael, the loud, brash, general of Heaven picked Sanya. Uriel, the spook of Heaven picks Harry, who looks likely to become the Blackstaff. Raphael has had a somewhat active hand in protecting Michael, and I'm guessing that Gabriel was the one to shout out through Murphy during Changes.

Garden
07-27-2011, 12:31 AM
I also loved Lea in this book. It really shows the fascinating relationship Mab and her have. The interaction between her and Eternal Silence is great. Really makes me wonder what Eternal Silence is if it can make Lea, the 2nd most powerful thing in Winter (under only Mab), call it sir. Their interaction was grudgingly respectful on Lea's part so Eternal Silence is probably around her sort of level of strength.
I can't wait to see how the Winter Knight gig will play out. I think Harry will get some enhanced magical power, the physical abilities he gets in the end of Changes (where he outruns Susan, a half-red, and survives a devastating blow from the Ikk with little damage), and some sort of ice magic enhancement. Just what we saw in the end of Changes, probably.

I think that when Harry comes back we'll see a rift develop between him and Murphy. Since he didn't tell her about his plan, I expect major fallout from that. I think Molly and Harry will grow closer though any significant romance seems unlikely to start until the end of the series.

I think that the overall theme of this book was a nice change from the rest of the series; introspection made up the majority of the book, and while Changes had some of that, there's a definite numbness throughout Changes. Harry almost shuts his emotions down in Changes, and represses them, while in this book, Harry's confronting all his demons and insecurities. Felt that while the book might have been a bit more boring as a result, it was a much needed break.
I feel pretty good about the book, overall.

KillerEggLord
07-27-2011, 01:26 AM
I thought it was pretty obvious that Eternal Silence was the proxy of Deamonreach.

Samuel Black
07-27-2011, 03:05 AM
So. Impressions.

Just got done reading the book in one sitting. First thought was that it was fucking awesome and I loved it. But, that probably could just be my excitement from having finally read a new Dresden book.

The whole ghost thing was interesting. It was a hell of a lot more entertaining than I had thought it was going to be. I was actually kinda dreading this a bit, mostly from the fact that I wasn't sure how- I guess the word is stale, maybe, or boring- reading about Dresden as a ghost would be.

The whole murder thing was a great twist, and while the actual killer didn't catch me by surprise, I now owe my friend a case of beer as I had banked on it being the Summer Court on a hunch.

He-Who-Walks-Behind was pure awesomeness. Honestly, he was far and away one of my favorite things about this book.

The whole pop culture thing didn't really bother me all that much. Now, granted, it seems like a bit of a reach to have Molly model her mindscape after Star Trek, but it still made for a hell of an interesting scene.

I'll edit more thoughts in later after I sleep some.

Cruentus
07-27-2011, 06:00 AM
Uriel was a fucking BOSS in this book.

At first it he was just awesome, but right at the end he slipped in his last words, and you were like pwned bitch:awesome truly this book, to me at least, was the best out of all of them, so far.

Taure
07-27-2011, 07:01 AM
I had thought Eternal Silence was Uriel. He didn't want Harry to learn his body was still alive because he wanted to keep Harry focused on introspection/coming to the point where he had come to terms with what he had done and was ready to move on. Only once he had done that would he have the fortitude to face Mab and keep himself.

It just occurred to me that all of Harry's friends will think he is dead for sure now. Looking forward to them coming across him again, with him as the bad guy.

Sol
07-27-2011, 09:58 AM
I found Ghost Story a great read, and a necessary change in pace from the chaos that was Changes. I thought the writing was much tighter in this book than many of his others, and chalk that up to him spending a few extra months on this one compared to the others. I hope he continues to do so.

Harry's character building continues to improve and impress. Toss in Molly's coming of age as a full fledged verisilomancer(sp?), and Mort being fleshed out, and I this is one of the more character driven stories, an aspect I enjoyed immensely. There was a ton of set up in this book for the rest of the series. Harry is no longer just the P.I. wizard he played for the first few books. He's definitely moving up a few pay grades as far as magical skill and access to information (On that note, can we stop the bullshit talk about power levels? Butcher goes out of his way to show, repeatedly, that it isn't about the amount of raw power, but how you use it).

I really enjoyed Harry's maturation and changes in perspective this book. In truth, this one should have been named Changes, and the last one Catalyst. Its here we actually see the growth or diminishing of various characters. Murphy's downward spiral was handled pretty well and mostly off screen. I like it. And the fact that these characters are being made to make choices without Harry's protective shadow.

Molly is back on the path to redemption, no longer the cute apprentice. Finally. Thomas is getting over his emo with Justine's help. Finally. Justine calling him on that was one of my favorite parts in the book.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was what wasn't there, namely what the hell is going on in the grand scheme. It wouldn't have made sense to put it into this book, but as satisfying as Harry maturing was, I still want to know more about what happened and is happening as a result of Harry wiping out a super power. I guess we'll get that next book with a heap of delicious Fae history and politics.

All in all probably one of my favorite Dresden books.

Taure
07-27-2011, 10:11 AM
(On that note, can we stop the bullshit talk about power levels? Butcher goes out of his way to show, repeatedly, that it isn't about the amount of raw power, but how you use it).

Not really. This only applies to Harry because he has plot armour. If any other character tried to go so seriously above their power level as Harry does they would just get squashed. Squashed with a blink of an eye.

Harry Dresden is remarkably similar to Harry Potter in this regard - he gets by mostly on pluckiness and luck. I mean, earlier in this thread people were saying that we should take into account that Harry killed the entire Red Court as a reason to consider him more dangerous than Kincaid. That's just ridiculous. He didn't destroy the Red Court through any power of his own. It's not a feat he could replicate. He just took the spell that other, more powerful, beings had created, pointed it in a different direction and pulled the trigger.

Sol
07-27-2011, 10:30 AM
That's not my impression at all. You have mortals taking on supernatural baddiess and winning consistently due to superior preparation. Butcher does a good job, in my mind, of making his underdogs' victories believable enough not to seriously question my suspension of disbelief.

And when exactly does Harry go seriously above his power level without some kind of mitigating factors to even the odds? I'm not talking about just harry being a wise-ass to people with the power to crush planets. When does he ever go toe to toe with someone completely out of his range and come out on top in a straight fight? I don't think its happened. Call it plot armor if you like, but its been fairly consistently shown that timing, skill, and knowledge trump pure strength. The only time its ever even been a factor is when some T-1 Prime like Mab or Ferrovax wants to put Harry in his place. At the temple in Changes, Harry had Bob's help, Lea's armor, Winter Knighthood, Swords of the Cross, and his own will, and still got put in his place by a bunch of minor godlings until the cavalry arrived. Even then they didn't win that fight through sheer application of strength, but through trickery. Murphy said in Ghost Story that she took out several midmajor sorcerers. And we've never seen anyone on Uriel or Mab's level who isn't constrained by universal rules. So, again, all of this power level talk seems rendered somewhat pointless.

Aekiel
07-27-2011, 10:38 AM
Not really. This only applies to Harry because he has plot armour. If any other character tried to go so seriously above their power level as Harry does they would just get squashed. Squashed with a blink of an eye.

Harry Dresden is remarkably similar to Harry Potter in this regard - he gets by mostly on pluckiness and luck. I mean, earlier in this thread people were saying that we should take into account that Harry killed the entire Red Court as a reason to consider him more dangerous than Kincaid. That's just ridiculous. He didn't destroy the Red Court through any power of his own. It's not a feat he could replicate. He just took the spell that other, more powerful, beings had created, pointed it in a different direction and pulled the trigger.

I disagree, somewhat, because the majority of Harry's feats of excellence have been because of a quality in himself, rather than Harry Potter's continual good luck against incompetent villains. Hell, it's pretty much stated as fact that Harry's sheer stubborn will is actually a force in its own right (and if he learns how to use it as a weapon it will be very potent) and it has an effect on every spell he uses.

Where Harry Potter was a thoroughly average wizard in all but a couple of areas, Harry Dresden is genuinely exceptional. The only places I can recall him getting a big lucky break (that didn't bite him on the ass soon after) are Dead Beat (when Marcone showed up to save him from Corpsetaker), Proven Guilty (all of Arctis Tor's guards being dead) and Changes. Everything else can be directly attributed to his skills as both a detective and a wizard, as well as having the right allies to back him up.

Taure
07-27-2011, 10:45 AM
I can't even count the number of times Harry's enemies have had killer blows on him but don't immediately take them.

Also, I wouldn't really call Harry exceptional. He's got a better work ethic than Harry Potter, sure, but Butcher is clear that a) he has no great talent with controlling magic (e.g. Elaine and even Molly have much better control) and b) though he is gifted with a lot of raw power, there are many other wizards who have equal or more power, and even disregarding that, having a lot of power for a wizard is still not much power in the grand scale.

He generally gets through situations not through exceptional skill or power but rather exceptional bravery, allies, and incompetent enemies.

Sound familiar?

Scrib
07-27-2011, 10:47 AM
I disagree, somewhat, because the majority of Harry's feats of excellence have been because of a quality in himself, rather than Harry Potter's continual good luck against incompetent villains. Hell, it's pretty much stated as fact that Harry's sheer stubborn will is actually a force in its own right (and if he learns how to use it as a weapon it will be very potent) and it has an effect on every spell he uses.

Where Harry Potter was a thoroughly average wizard in all but a couple of areas, Harry Dresden is genuinely exceptional. The only places I can recall him getting a big lucky break (that didn't bite him on the ass soon after) are Dead Beat (when Marcone showed up to save him from Corpsetaker), Proven Guilty (all of Arctis Tor's guards being dead) and Changes. Everything else can be directly attributed to his skills as both a detective and a wizard, as well as having the right allies to back him up.

This. It's also repeatedly stated in the 'verse that few things can stand up to a prepared wizard. They're ridiculously versatile. And Harry always has something on hand or nearby to help him in any given situation. He wins a lot because he knows how to apply himself against beings dozens of times his age. He knows their weaknesses, their strengths, and how to fight them.

Aekiel
07-27-2011, 11:15 AM
I can't even count the number of times Harry's enemies have had killer blows on him but don't immediately take them.

Also, I wouldn't really call Harry exceptional. He's got a better work ethic than Harry Potter, sure, but Butcher is clear that a) he has no great talent with controlling magic (e.g. Elaine and even Molly have much better control) and b) though he is gifted with a lot of raw power, there are many other wizards who have equal or more power, and even disregarding that, having a lot of power for a wizard is still not much power in the grand scale.

He generally gets through situations not through exceptional skill or power but rather exceptional bravery, allies, and incompetent enemies.

Sound familiar?

Familiar, yes, but not comparable. Dresden is an exceptional wizard, for his age. I mean, he's not even near his active maturity (stated to be around 100 years old for Wizards) and he's still considered one of the most powerful Wizards on the White Council. As I recall the only others we've seen from the Council that are actively more powerful than him have been the Senior Council and Morgan/Luccio. That's a very small list compared to the thousands of Wizards out there.

Sure, he has some problems controlling his power, but that's a matter of him still being a young man compared to the rest of the Council. Compared to any of the Senior Council he's still a teenager, if a strong, talented one. As he ages his control improves, and his teaching Molly was enough to put him on the same scale as the likes of Morgan and Luccio, if not quite up to their level.

And no, I very much disagree that he plays little part in his own victories. Where Potter often had to rely on running for his life and the mercy of his opponent for victory, Harry Dresden is extremely proactive in taking out the threat so that it will not come back. Entities like the Bianca, Aurora, Leonid Kravos, Nicodemus, Vittorio Malvora and many others were all taken down because of the knowledge, power and resources that Harry could bring to bear against them. Every single one of those beings was taken down because of some aspect of Harry's power, whether that be his ability to change even the most immutable of enemies (Lash) or utilise his magic in a particularly inventive way (Kravos and Bianca especially come to mind).

Besides, it's not a stupid move to bring in other exceptional individuals to help you out if you need it. One man cannot cover all the bases and even one as powerful as Harry can be overwhelmed with numbers or beaten in skill by a superior foe. Harry plans for this. He plans ahead to assure his victory, that he can use the fatal flaw of the bad guy's personality against him, or turn his weapon back upon him.

That is why Harry is an exceptional wizard. Because he knows better than to try and tackle everything by himself. He knows his skills can't take on everything and so he does everything in his power to make sure someone else can take it down if he can't.

Agayek
07-27-2011, 12:33 PM
I had thought Eternal Silence was Uriel. He didn't want Harry to learn his body was still alive because he wanted to keep Harry focused on introspection/coming to the point where he had come to terms with what he had done and was ready to move on. Only once he had done that would he have the fortitude to face Mab and keep himself.

It just occurred to me that all of Harry's friends will think he is dead for sure now. Looking forward to them coming across him again, with him as the bad guy.

I'm pretty sure Eternal Silence is a manifestation of Demonreach.

If it was Uriel, why would it run out of "prepared speech", when Uriel is free to talk at all other times?

Not to mention that Dresden says he recognizes Demonreach's "voice" as very similar, but less mindbreaking, to the one he heard from the graveyard (which was Eternal Silence's).

The reason behind it's not telling him about his body, as far as I can tell, is yet another of those obscure rules governing the behavior of immortal beings that Dresden does not know.

Sol
07-27-2011, 01:51 PM
Once again we have more questions raised than answered, on scales big and small:

Who or what exactly is the creepy little girl ghost, Inez, that told Dresden he'd turn into a monster. Is she important?

What's Marcone doing in Italy? Recruiting from more retired gods? Visiting his grandma? Stealing more religious artifacts?

What's the White Court's stake in the Justice League's business? Who is Felicia in the grand scheme of things?

Why did Harry have almost zero contact with Will Borden?

Is Harry really just going to leave the swords with Murphy?

What happened to Bob?

Schrodinger
07-27-2011, 03:56 PM
Was I the only one who felt it was missing a chapter in the end?

Klael
07-27-2011, 04:50 PM
No, I definitely agree with you there. It did have that unfinished feel to it, sort of unresolved tension. I also think that there was considerably less rehashing of prior events in this book, mostly amongst the secondary characters' actions and situations. I would have liked more info about what Molly had been doing, as I felt there was really only oblique references to how she coped with Harry's 'death'.

At the same time, however, rehashing in the previous books was done from Dresden's POV, and he didn't have any more knowledge of what it had been like for everyone than he was told during the book. Still, I would have liked to hear more about what was going on with the Council, since all the information we got was that they were busy elsewhere.

Also, the Forom or whoever--there was NOTHING on them. Apparently, they're a formerly major Fae power that has a lot of influence in cities where there isn't Council presence? And we're just now hearing about them?

Erandil
07-27-2011, 05:28 PM
Also, the Forom or whoever--there was NOTHING on them. Apparently, they're a formerly major Fae power that has a lot of influence in cities where there isn't Council presence? And we're just now hearing about them?


They were a minor power but got powerful with the massacre of the Red Court and the following unrest in the world. And they seem to fear the White Council so they are probably not that powerful.

Aekiel
07-27-2011, 05:54 PM
Also, the Forom or whoever--there was NOTHING on them. Apparently, they're a formerly major Fae power that has a lot of influence in cities where there isn't Council presence? And we're just now hearing about them?

They're covered in the side stories, Aftermath in particular.

Euroclydon
07-27-2011, 09:37 PM
I now wholly ship Harry/Molly. That is all.

Tehan
07-27-2011, 10:04 PM
How could you not ship Harry/Molly? Murphy's officially entered her forties, so, you know, ew. Meanwhile Molly's not even halfway through her twenties, and she's got wizardly healing powers to hold off the horrible march of gravity. Harry probably still has five years or so before that perfect youthful firmness starts to fade, and even if he does leave it too late, he'll always have the memory of her butt-naked at seventeen from Proven Guilty.

/Bob

(As far as I can tell, there's a minor continuity goof regarding Molly's age: she's said to have been born eleven years BSF* in Death Masks and Proven Guilty, but in White Night and all books after, it's twelve. So you could make the argument that she was actually eighteen then. And on a related note, 17 is the age of consent in Illinois, but that's raised to eighteen if the sexer has a position of authority or trust over the sexee, so you might want to go with the retcon if you want to write fanfiction of that memorable fireside scene while keeping everyone's actions completely within the bounds of the law.)

*BSF: Before Storm Front

Klael
07-27-2011, 10:07 PM
I don't think that Illinois's law recognizes Wizard and Apprentice Wizard as one being in a position of authority of another, but I'll ask my dad.

EDIT: You really never know, Illinois's a weird state. It might actually be on the books.

Celestin
07-27-2011, 10:24 PM
And on a related note, 17 is the age of consent in Illinois, but that's raised to eighteen if the sexer has a position of authority or trust over the sexee, so you might want to go with the retcon if you want to write fanfiction of that memorable fireside scene while keeping everyone's actions completely within the bounds of the law.

You would think that there are bunch of fics with this scene, yet I've never seen even one.

And yes Murphy is definitely getting older. Aside her not yet consumed relationship with Harry, I wonder when she will start using Kusanagi, because soon enough she will be old to go into retirement. ;)

LittleChicago
07-27-2011, 11:34 PM
First off: loved it.

Second off: A couple things made me twinge, but they all came at the end:

The scene with Thomas and Justine and the new girl? Felt like fanservice. (I'm NOT complaining, but there are a great many folks who have noted that an unusual number of ladies in Harry's life seem to be bi - hell, even Murphy once made out with a crazy female-thing. And this will cause more finger wagging.)
Also: Why the fuck did they not think of this before?

Shouldn't Harry have checked in on McCoy during his whirlwind family tour?

And wasn't Murphy supposed to be pissed off about Fitz and co.? I know Harry rationalized the anger away musing about Kincaid and the likelyhood of Murph figuring he was the trigger man, but during the raid, she seemed to be totally on board with Harry, awkwardness minimized.

I assume Georgia is home nursing at this point, but Harry never even noticed or mentioned her absence. Normally, she and Will are inseperable.

Anyone else worried about Bob?

A few responses to earlier points:

Yes, Harry goes to the drive-ins. It's been mentioned before, actually. Might have been Proven Guilty, might have been WoJ. Need to do a total re-read. (It's also been WoJ'd that he sometimes goes to a bench in front of an electronics store and watches TV with the captions on. Sad.)

We've known of Molly's geekosity at least since PG (Hannah's nickname is Hobbit) and in Turn Coat, she specifically makes reference to Star Trek on the Water Beetle, unprompted by Harry.

The Fomor, like so many others, were scarred of Harry, and thus never moved in.


There are other things, I'm sure, but that is all for now.
Overall, happy with it. Scene with Mouse and Maggie actually made me cry.

I weak.

DarthBill
07-28-2011, 12:29 AM
Anyone else worried about Bob?


This. That is the only thing that I thought the book should have addressed, but didn't. There are still a lot of other things left in question, but that seems like the only thing that shouldn't have been left for future books.

I am hoping that Harry will soon have a way of letting his loved ones know that he's alright, but knowing his luck, it'll be months before he sees any of them. He'll probably go to Mabs court for a coronation or something only to come back and see that the Nevernever sped up time to make him miss stuff.

All in all, I am very happy with this book.

Cyclops
07-28-2011, 01:25 AM
I now wholly ship Harry/Molly. That is all.

As long we're still talking The Dresden Files and not Harry Potter.

Skykes
07-28-2011, 01:31 AM
As long we're still talking The Dresden Files and not Harry Potter.

Fact.10chars

Schrodinger
07-28-2011, 01:58 AM
Also, other observation: Did Butcher rewatch Star Wars or something? Dresden's always a nerd, but there was a rather intense escalation of SW references from previous books. Hell, a star wars quote is a decently important plot point.

Water Mage
07-28-2011, 03:20 AM
Scene with Mouse and Maggie actually made me cry.

I weak.

I was way too sad at the whole scene and then Uriel called Mouse little brother, and it officially became one of my favorite parts. I love that damn dog.

I really liked this book. Agreeing with the majority in saying the introspection and character building was nice after the epic chaos that was Changes. So much happened in the last book there wasn't really breathing room to process the awesomeness that went down in like every other chapter. Seeing Dresden reflect on his choices is what I was honestly waiting on, since Changes made him do things I would swear up and down he'd never do.

I hope Cold Days gives us more insight into what's been going down with the Council. I really wanted to see firsthand how the WC reacted with Dresden ending the war. Also, excited to finally figure out what's been going on with Mab. I'm crossing my fingers that we get details into her 'anger' that's been brewing since Small Favor.

Ghost Story's one of my favorite Dresden books now for making me see the light of Molly/Dresden. May their children be the heirs of King Arthur and Merlin that every HP fanon author dreams of.

KaiDASH
07-28-2011, 03:24 AM
Also, other observation: Did Butcher rewatch Star Wars or something? Dresden's always a nerd, but there was a rather intense escalation of SW references from previous books. Hell, a star wars quote is a decently important plot point.

I remember Dresden shooting off various SW or SW inspired lines to Molly, so him proving himself to her in that way isn't so out-there.

Cyclops
07-28-2011, 03:24 AM
Also, other observation: Did Butcher rewatch Star Wars or something? Dresden's always a nerd, but there was a rather intense escalation of SW references from previous books. Hell, a star wars quote is a decently important plot point.

Yeah, there was way too many references to SW and geekdom in general.

I did however laugh out loud at how Molly confirmed Harry wasn't an impostor, with him telling her to go to the Dagobah system.

Also, the Enterprise bridge in Molly's head was worth it, if only for the pleasant image of multiple Molly's running around in Federation uniforms with extremely short skirts.

Scrittore
07-28-2011, 04:16 AM
I just finished it, some general thoughts:

1.) Butcher has moved to Harry/Molly at this point if it wasn't already apparent.

2.) We are left with as many questions as we were given answers. This helps to contribute to the whole "something missing" feeling.

3.) I'm not really getting all the hate for the pop culture references. Harry hangs out with quite a few young people to say the least, it's not terribly surprising that he would pick up on some of the culture.

Also, I'm surprised nobody mentioned (least in this thread) the Pink Floyd reference.

"How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" :awesome

4.) I also don't believe that the Christianity parts are overwhelming the story whatsoever.

5.) Most importantly, I thought this was a great addition to the series. After Changes where it was twist after twist, action scene after action scene, there was no time for Harry to think about the consequences of his actions. This changed with Ghost Story where Harry not only had to deal with the consequences of his actions but realize that Changes wasn't the first time this happened. I think we're going to see some interesting changes in the Harry/Molly dynamic because of that among other things.

There's some more thoughts but figure I'll save it until after I get some sleep.

Jon
07-28-2011, 06:00 AM
3.) I'm not really getting all the hate for the pop culture references. Harry hangs out with quite a few young people to say the least, it's not terribly surprising that he would pick up on some of the culture.

Lol the thing is, the Alphas? Yeah they're almost in their thirties at this point. >_>

Scrib
07-28-2011, 06:30 AM
Lol the thing is, the Alphas? Yeah they're almost in their thirties at this point. >_>

The Alphas aren't so bad, it's not like they're gonna forget their nerdier days. It's Molly who's annoying.

Twenty-something who likes OT Star Wars...borderline, many people got introduced to Star Wars in the 90s. Twenty-something who likes both Star Wars and Original Star Trek, well enough to use it in a battle for her body? Come on.

Tack on the fact that every time Harry makes a reference you have to run it through your head to see if he should know it and you have an extremely annoying trend.

Jon
07-28-2011, 07:07 AM
Shut your whore mouth.

Molly is the second coming of Jesus.

Tehan
07-28-2011, 07:14 AM
It's logical if you think about it. Harry's walking kryptonite for technology, so he'd only know a series if you could see it all in a drive-in - like Star Wars. Molly isn't so harsh on tech, and her dad keeps everything in working order at home, so she could watch Star Trek.

And just because Molly's got tattoos, piercings and a rack doesn't mean she can't be a nerd (cf. Suicide Girls (http://suicidegirls.com/), BMEzine (http://www.bme.com/)). She was helping run a convention, for crying out loud. She was well entrenched in her geekery long before Yoda Harry came along.

Blazzano
07-28-2011, 08:34 AM
Though it's kinda unfair to point out (not Jim Butcher's fault), I have to wonder why, after all this time, the copy editors for the Dresden Files still suck tremendous ass. The density of errors for 1st edition Dresden books is as high as I see anywhere, including lower-volume niche books (read: crappy books).

In this one, off the top of my head (the hardcover, BTW):

At one point, somebody applies a car's breaks.
During the encounter with He Who Walks Behind, Harry "struggled to his feet and started town the aisle."
And worst of all, here's the very last sentence in the novel: "There is much work to do be done."


How the fuck do the editors miss something like that in the last sentence of the fucking novel? :facepalm Their asses should hire yak from this forum, pay him a couple of thousand, and have him turn out more accurate copy editing than their "professionals."

As far as the rest of the book goes, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don't like ranking Dresden novels just after I've read them, but I figure this one will end up somewhere in my top three or four among the series. The book was quite a bit more introspective than most, and that was usually quite interesting. There were a few times when I wanted Butcher to hurry up and move to the next plot point, though.

The nerd references alternately amused me and annoyed me. But:

Science Molly screamed back, and swung a fist into Captain Molly's stomach.

Music started playing. Loud. High-pitched. Strident. Most would recognize it.

Was I the only one who paused there, to start humming the appropriate music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCamCYip2t4&feature=related)? :awesome

Sol
07-28-2011, 10:49 AM
I'm on board with Scrit, the Alpha's may be in their late twenties, and Molly mid-twenties, but that hardly precludes them from being nerds. Ditto, Butters. These are the guys who still routinely get together to play DnD. So Harry saying "Epic Fail" is hardly that jarring. Same with the Star Wars references. I'm barely older than Molly and I've seen most of the original Star Trek and all the movies. Seems like nitpicking.

As far as the worry about Christianity taking over, I don't get it. Harry has known basically since Death Masks that in all likelihood there's something like a higher power. And it still hasn't changed the way he operates. Sanya is agnostic. Neither Michael or Forthill try to force their faith on Harry, and Uriel would be the last person to do so. Thus, I have a hard time understanding the fear of Dresden turning into a evangelomancer. Seems absurd and unwarranted. This isn't Twilight.

My only real problem with the book was that once the reveal of this book's bad was shown to be Corpsetaker redux, I lost a bit of the tension. Granted, the book wasn't so much about that fight, but it lost a bit of the drama. There was no reason, book-wise, to bring Corpsetaker back to life, so she felt a bit like a straw dummy. I was glad it was Mort who took her out though. That was pretty awesome.

Aekiel
07-28-2011, 12:22 PM
My only real problem with the book was that once the reveal of this book's bad was shown to be Corpsetaker redux, I lost a bit of the tension. Granted, the book wasn't so much about that fight, but it lost a bit of the drama. There was no reason, book-wise, to bring Corpsetaker back to life, so she felt a bit like a straw dummy. I was glad it was Mort who took her out though. That was pretty awesome.

I disagree. Corpsetaker was one of my favourite villains of the series and only really got taken out by a lucky shot. Bringing her back was a nice change to the introduction of new enemies, and given that Corpsetaker would take to death like a fish to water she seemed the natural enemy to put up against Ghost!Harry.

Also, just got my paper copy of Ghost Story so a re-read is in order.

Thorn
07-28-2011, 12:40 PM
Did anyone else get a VERY Vader/Palpatine vibe from the beginning of the Dresden resurrection scene? Granted that falls away once Dresden gives her the "my way or the high way" bit, but I thought the opening was very reminiscent of it otherwise.

magglez
07-28-2011, 02:31 PM
I have no idea where you're coming from with the Palpatine/Vader thing, I didn't get that at all. I was too busy basking in the :awesome that is the work of our lord and savior, Jim Butcher. What about Sir Stuart? Was anyone else incredibly happy that he wasn't just left as a mindless drone? And for those of us who haven't had the chance to read all of the short stories, what are the Forom?

Agayek
07-28-2011, 04:25 PM
I have no idea where you're coming from with the Palpatine/Vader thing, I didn't get that at all. I was too busy basking in the :awesome that is the work of our lord and savior, Jim Butcher. What about Sir Stuart? Was anyone else incredibly happy that he wasn't just left as a mindless drone? And for those of us who haven't had the chance to read all of the short stories, what are the Forom?

The Fomor are basically the predecessors of the Fae. They originate from Irish mythology as the "Fomoire". I'm not sure about the specifics of the Dresden-verse, but the original myths have them as roughly analogous to the Titans of Greek myth. Beings that preceded the gods and were embodiments of chaos and nature.

As best I can tell, in the Dresden verse, they were beaten by the Faerie Courts and sent into exile. Because of the obliteration of the Red Court, however, they found an opportunity to become a threat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomorians

Aekiel
07-28-2011, 05:44 PM
Physically they tend towards the bulky and quick charging bull stereotype of villains, though there are some powerful spellcasters amongst them (they use entropy magic, which is a subset of water magic). They're also hybrid fish men.

They seem to be a lot like the spawn of Dagon from the Shadow Over Innsmouth, given that they seem to reproduce through breeding with the locals.

Thorn
07-28-2011, 06:11 PM
It wasn't so much Dresden as Vader so much as it was Mab was giving me Palpatine vibes.

Agayek
07-28-2011, 07:18 PM
It was so much Dresden as Vader so much as it was Mab was giving me Palpatine vibes.

I would probably agree with you, but I have gone to great lengths to eliminate the existence of all three prequel movies from my memory, so I cannot honestly do so.

Zennith
07-29-2011, 02:31 AM
Read the whole thing in one go yesterday. Gave it a day to digest.

This was my favorite of the series so far. Mainly, mainly, because I never got bored and legitimately did not know how it was going to end. I LOVE the ending, and am really freaking excited about the next book. I have more to post, but it's late and I'm tired. So I'll leave it with that - this, IMO, is the best Dresden book in the series so far.

Lightfighter
07-29-2011, 08:28 PM
So, first post here, though I've been lurking for quite a bit. I was gonna post (eventually) in the Intro section, but then it had to go and get closed...pity, that.

Anyway, there seem to be a number of differing opinions here on Ghost Story but honestly, I loved it. My first impression was that it was a much needed catharsis after the adrenalin-fueled apocalypse that was Changes. I mean, in the grand scheme of the Dresden Files, the "villain" was relatively small compared to the faerie wars, vampire throwdowns etc. we've become used to; Harry might not have even come to Chicago if Jack Murphy hadn't slipped in that half-truth about the whole three deaths thing. This book was a lot more introspective and FINALLY, to me at least, had Harry grow up mentally, not just his powers (like taking the time to think about his strategy instead of just rushing in).

This book did seem to be a bit more of a "bridge" novel - I mean, Cold Days is going to be so epic on so many levels I can hardly think about it, but it was only thanks to the buildup of this book. Winter Knight Harry is going to be awesome and the way he dealt with Mab was :awesome, though for a second there I thought she might just decide 'to hell with it' and pull a Lloyd Slate on him (torture wise, that is). Also, regarding her "starved insect" appearance: I couldn't decide if that was due to the "madness" we've been hearing about for the past couple of books or just the strain of keeping Harry's body alive. Or maybe both..?

Other points: this book did seem to put the final kibosh on Harry/Murphy; there's just to much between them now, though the "You are not Patrick Swayze. I am not Demi Moore" think did make me laugh. I was against Harry/Molly in the past, mostly cause the whole age-difference thing kinda grossed me out, but I am now a true believer. After all, if "heroes know better than to hand the universe lines like" the one Morty gave to Dresden, than Harry should know not to say things like "I'm never going to be in love with her." Just sayin' :D

I was glad to see Thomas, if only for a minute, and that was an, uh, creative way on Justine's part of getting around the love protection thing. Kinda missed seeing Ebenezer during Uriel's whirlwind tour, though. I'd liked to have found out Bob's fate too, but ah well.

All in all, great book, glad to see some introspection on Harry's part...now just the year's wait til Cold Days.

TheSoundOfSilence
07-29-2011, 09:35 PM
Also, regarding her "starved insect" appearance: I couldn't decide if that was due to the "madness" we've been hearing about for the past couple of books or just the strain of keeping Harry's body alive. Or maybe both..?

WoJ says she's not mad, she's injured. I mean, sure she's mad as in pissed, but not mad as in crazy.

Klael
07-29-2011, 09:49 PM
It might be one of those mab-as-reflection-of-her-realm injuries. That seems in line with the story. Remember in book 8, where Harry rescued Molly from Arctis Tor? There was a large army that had attacked them, it couldn't all have been from the...scarecrow guy. What was he called again? Argh, I wish that book was more prominent in my head. There was also the brimstone smell. Seems like the Nevernever is still rife with chaos and uneasiness.

Speaking of speculation, is it time to start up a Dresden 14 spoilers/speculation thread? ;)

Agayek
07-29-2011, 10:59 PM
Cold Days isn't even up on jim-butcher.com yet, we may want to hold off until then at least.

I Burn Water
07-29-2011, 11:59 PM
I say this is the best book in the series, it's very fresh, interesting, and never bored me. I also laughed hard when the random red-dressed Molly fell dead, as happened often in the original Star Trek.

Mab calls Demonreach Ancient One and seems to consider him an equal?
Mouse is like an Archangel's little brother? These two are definitely the most interesting characters in the book.

The little brother raises as many questions about Uriel's nature as it does Mouse's. So it's established that mouse is an ice-demon far from his place of power, and he is a foo dog. Are the two one in the same? Or did Dresden come across the one-in-a-million creature that seems be capable of delivering credible threats to Winter's number two? It seems like Dresden would have heard of the type of ice-demon that Mouse is supposed to be if one can weild such power. Note that I don't mean one of Mouse's liter-mates, as they would not have a Wizard companion to help them "cheat".

Also, what about an Archangel links Uriel to Mouse? It may be that they are both powerful entities in different religious beliefs, with Tibetan buddhism being the less popular of the two religions, or it could just be a reference to Mouse's age and weak stature when compared to Uriel.

Or, and I find this incredibly unlikely but still interesting, Butcher could be hinting that the Archangels are beings of great power that have been around for a very long time and just fell into or were suitable for the role of being a Christian Archangel. Instead, they are some sort of separate sect in the Nevernever just as powerful as the Queens who were. I know I'm grasping at the sad, faded shadows of straws, but I still find the idea intriguing.

My main point is that Demonreach is the shit and I want to learn more about it.

Edit: May have been previously stated, anf may be a dumb question, but who was the angel who told harry to kill himself supposed to be? First thought was Lash is REALLY fucking evil, but now that I've had time to process I'm not sure at all.

Nae'blis
07-30-2011, 03:13 PM
It could simply be that Uriel was just speaking, you know, figuratively. All the creatures are God's children and all that. I doubt we'd find see any more abilities from Mouse. He's a dog that can rip plenty of evil shit to shreds, can wake an entire building with his bark, and can live for hundreds of years.

Him being an ice-demon? Not sure where you're getting that from. Anything more will seem over the top, frankly.

Demonreach indeed is the shit. I look forward to his role in the upcoming books.

And finally, we can't confirm the identity of the fallen angel who whispered in Harry's ear. Theories are abound that it was Lash, Laciel, or maybe even some other fallen who isn't a Denarian.

I Burn Water
07-30-2011, 04:00 PM
Him being an ice-demon? Not sure where you're getting that from. Anything more will seem over the top, frankly.

Demonreach indeed is the shit. I look forward to his role in the upcoming books.

And finally, we can't confirm the identity of the fallen angel who whispered in Harry's ear. Theories are abound that it was Lash, Laciel, or maybe even some other fallen who isn't a Denarian.

By him do you mean Mouse? I'm pretty sure that the Ebs called Mouse an Ice demon and claimed Dresden cheated by bringing such a creature. Implying he is on an equal berserker status with the Ick.

Unrelated question, are the Icks an offshoot of the Red court or an entirely different species, and if so, would they have been killed off as well?

RJL333
07-30-2011, 05:16 PM
Enjoyed the book, nothing to say except that I noticed one thing that was odd. In this book, chapter thirty specifically, the enthrallment of Elaine and the walker attacking Harry happen on the same day. But in Summer Knight the enthrallment happens two weeks before the demon was sent after Harry. Am I missing anything here or is this a mistake in the book?

The text from Summer Knight for reference.
I saw her dim shape bow its head. "Justin caught me about two weeks before he sent that demon to
capture you. That day I stayed home sick, remember? By the time you got home from school, he had
me. I tried to fight him, but I was a child. I didn't have enough experience to resist him. And after he had
enthralled me, I didn't see why I should fight anymore."

Aekiel
07-30-2011, 05:51 PM
Mistake in the book, probably. It happens occasionally and if it gets past the betas there's not much you can do about it.

Klael
07-30-2011, 06:10 PM
~snip

I understand where you're coming from with this, and I think it may be a little bit of bad writing, but is it not impossible that the enthrallment happened, say two weeks before Harry came home then to the scene in Ghost Story? And then, that would be the time when Harry actually KNEW that she was enthralled, is what I'm getting at.

Agayek
07-30-2011, 06:29 PM
I understand where you're coming from with this, and I think it may be a little bit of bad writing, but is it not impossible that the enthrallment happened, say two weeks before Harry came home then to the scene in Ghost Story? And then, that would be the time when Harry actually KNEW that she was enthralled, is what I'm getting at.

That's possible, but highly unlikely. The quote from Summer Knight says explicitly "Justin caught me about two weeks before he sent that demon to capture you. That day I stayed home sick, remember?", and the memory was Harry coming home early because he was worried about Elaine, because she stayed home sick.

The most likely explanation is simply that Butcher forgot about the 2 week qualifier there and none of the betas caught it. If it makes you feel any better, just pretend that Harry was on the run for 2 weeks before he tried to knock over that convenience store.

Shinysavage
07-30-2011, 06:38 PM
It's possible that the scene in Ghost Story was a reinforcement of the enthrallment, rather than the enthrallment itself. Still slightly dodgy due to the sick day thing, but plausible.

RJL333
07-30-2011, 06:40 PM
When Harry got home he sensed an energy that he had never felt before. If the enthrallment was before he would have sensed the energy before.

Red Aviary
07-30-2011, 07:00 PM
Maybe Elaine has some memory issues regarding the enthrallment?

Anyway. I loved this book. I didn't find many of the pop culture references particularly annoying. :awesome @ Molly-in-Star Trek scene... but I hate the phrase "epic fail." Sooo much. Cringed when Harry said that.

Also, I didn't feel like they were very out of place. Harry gets a lot of secondhand exposure to this sort thing, even if he is walking techbane, through the Alphas, Molly and such, and he could've watched Star Trek on the TV before he started working magic in earnest. It aired in the 60's, after all, and has been rerun continually since then. Same goes for certain movies and the like. It's only around the early 90's that he would've started to make things explode.

The Christian stuff doesn't really bother me. Mostly because they're not the only set of myths being put into the spotlight. If by the end Heaven and Hell are the only relevant factions for some reason, yeah, I'll be a little pissed (well, maybe not... provided everything gets a decent wrap-up before then. I don't know.)

Great display of ghostly powers. Agree with whoever said it above, this originally worried me, but they turned out to be very entertaining.

The lack of focus on certain characters is understandable. The Dresden Files has a huge cast after all. It'd be a little awkward to fit in a dozen characters Harry might have thought to check up on in that scene. Maybe he just assumed some of them were dealing with things fine on their own.

Regarding the shift in tone from Changes to Ghost Story... we're about halfway through the series now, right? IIRC he said there would be about twenty books. So it seems logical to me for this to be a sort-of bridge between different sections of the series. The lack of explanations for prior happenings and such, as we've had frequently in the past, seems like a big hint.

So, yeah, all in all, immensely satisfied with this, and I'm expecting great things out of the next one.

If memory serves, WoJ is that Changes was the halfway point of the series.

Well, close to the halfway mark. Whatever. Point being that this is meant to be a transition, regarding the series as a whole, which explains why it has a more subdued style than all the rollicking adventures in Changes.

Agayek
07-30-2011, 07:16 PM
Regarding the shift in tone from Changes to Ghost Story... we're about halfway through the series now, right? IIRC he said there would be about twenty books. So it seems logical to me for this to be a sort-of bridge between different sections of the series. The lack of explanations for prior happenings and such, as we've had frequently in the past, seems like a big hint.

If memory serves, WoJ is that Changes was the halfway point of the series.

Scrittore
07-30-2011, 07:16 PM
If memory serves, WoJ is that Changes was the halfway point of the series.

This is correct.

Aekiel
07-30-2011, 08:37 PM
Yep, and the total book count is around 23 at the moment. 20 of the usual books plus the Big Apocalyptic Trilogy.

Anlun
07-30-2011, 08:56 PM
Just finished it, similar thoughts as what has already been posted.

Overall enjoyable, but I was annoyed by some things.

What was the point of Daniel Carpenter? Seems like a useless character. No magical ability, no special skills. And it doesn't seem to fit with the way the Carpenter's raised the kids. I just can't imagine Michael or Charity(?) allowing their son to fight evil when he's just a regular human?

How has no one used the swords yet? I would think after Dresden's death, Murphy would taken the mantle or at least someone would of by now.

Also Ghost Story overall just seemed like a pointless exercise. Dresden goes through all this trouble to avoid being the Winter Knight and ends up becoming it anyway. Just seemed very futile of a book. Everything went back to the status quo after this. Nothing really changed.

Where the hell is Ebenezer? I'd think he above anyone else would of wanted to track Dresden's killer?

Thomas got short changed.

All I can think of at the moment, though Butters and Mort were a welcome addition in this series ( I know Butters is always in it, but I liked his growing importance).

Aekiel
07-30-2011, 09:39 PM
What was the point of Daniel Carpenter? Seems like a useless character. No magical ability, no special skills. And it doesn't seem to fit with the way the Carpenter's raised the kids. I just can't imagine Michael or Charity(?) allowing their son to fight evil when he's just a regular human?

Likely his part in the series is going to increase from here on. He may even act as a darker replacement for Michael, at least as far as swordsmanship goes. I doubt he'd get a Sword, though he seems to be somewhat attached to them, which introduces conflict into his character.

How has no one used the swords yet? I would think after Dresden's death, Murphy would taken the mantle or at least someone would of by now.

1) Aftermath clearly maps out Murphy's thought processes in regards to the Swords.

2) Murphy still believed Dresden was alive, so she was merely a caretaker for the real person tasked with giving them out.

Also Ghost Story overall just seemed like a pointless exercise. Dresden goes through all this trouble to avoid being the Winter Knight and ends up becoming it anyway. Just seemed very futile of a book. Everything went back to the status quo after this. Nothing really changed.

Sometimes the good guy's plan doesn't work out as intended. Other than that though, this book has established a lot of background material that will likely be important in later books.

Where the hell is Ebenezer? I'd think he above anyone else would of wanted to track Dresden's killer?

He's the Blackstaff and Senior Councilmember for one of the most powerful organisations in the world. In the wake of having a superpower on the level with the former Soviet Union having just been annihilated. Chances are he hasn't had enough time to do much.

Thomas got short changed.

Thomas always gets short changed. Have you not been reading this series?

All I can think of at the moment, though Butters and Mort were a welcome addition in this series ( I know Butters is always in it, but I liked his growing importance).

Agreed. I liked Butter's growth in this book and Morty was well written for the parts of it he wasn't tied up/being tortured.

Custer
07-30-2011, 11:32 PM
Funny thought that crossed my mind: We got more proof that Mister is more than he appears.

Things that physically touched Harry: Lea, Mort, ghost dusted walls, Sir Stuart, and Mister.

What do they all [with the exception of Mister] have in common? They're all either part spirit or ectomancers.

And back in Changes, there was that scene where Lea has put Martin and Susan to sleep and strokes Mister while she waited for Harry to get back. Snuck in there is a throwaway line along the lines of "Mister had the same eyes as Lea".

Coincidence? or Tricksy LittleChicago?

Krogan
07-30-2011, 11:35 PM
So I just finished it and I have to say I loved this book, it is easily my one of if not my favorite book of the series and seems to continue Butchers trend of improving with every book. Most of what I could say about it has been covered so extensively already in the thread I don't see much point in rehashing it. A few things though I was extremely pleased at the fact that Dresden got to see all the consequences of his actions, intended or not. It was a needed event and I loved the way Butcher handled it. I also loved the fact that the Guardian Angels remarks directed at the Carpenter house was not figurative and they have what amounts to the freaking angel Secret Service watching over them 24/7. It does make me question though how anything managed to ever attack the Carpenter house if those angels were there though, were they a perk of Micheal's "retirement?" Finally I loved the ending and already feeling withdrawal pains for Cold Days. Seeing Harry in full Winter Knight mode not just dancing around it with Mab is something I have been waiting for since Summer Knight and Vashs fanfic which was the very first time I saw the idea put to text.

Edit: Didn't Sir Stuart spell out fairly plainly that every single cat could see and interact with spirits and that they just didn't really care?

Psychotic Cat
07-30-2011, 11:45 PM
Didn't Sir Stuart spell out fairly plainly that every single cat could see and interact with spirits and that they just didn't really care?

Yep


“And dogs,” Sir Stuart added. “Maybe one in ten of them seem to have a talent for sensing us. Probably why they’re always barking.”
“What about cats?” I asked. Mister had fled the living room upon the arrival of other people and wasn’t in sight.
“Of course cats,” Sir Stuart said, his voice faintly amused. “As far as I can tell, all cats. But they aren’t terribly impressed with the fact that we’re dead and still present. One rarely gets a reaction from them.”

Chengar Qordath
07-31-2011, 01:12 AM
The scene with Thomas and Justine and the new girl? Felt like fanservice. (I'm NOT complaining, but there are a great many folks who have noted that an unusual number of ladies in Harry's life seem to be bi - hell, even Murphy once made out with a crazy female-thing. And this will cause more finger wagging.)
Also: Why the fuck did they not think of this before?
That is one thing that really bugged me; it's way too obvious of a solution for it to not have occurred to either one of them in all the years since Blood Rites. It needs a bit more justification, like saying that they'd thought of it a while ago, but Justine hadn't recovered enough to be regularly fed upon again and/or Thomas wouldn't go along with the plan because he was too scared of over-eating on Justine again.

They [The Fomor] seem to be a lot like the spawn of Dagon from the Shadow Over Innsmouth, given that they seem to reproduce through breeding with the locals.
Agreed, I pegged the Fomor as Deep One (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_One) expies within minutes of their introduction. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have a bigger role in the story, but that's probably just because I'm enough of a Cthulhu Mythos fan to like the idea of seeing more Lovecraftian elements in the Dresdenverse.

Of course, odds are pretty good they'll play a bigger role in subsequent books; they're definitely being built up as new baddies that need to be dealt with.

Tehan
07-31-2011, 02:18 AM
Funny thought that crossed my mind: We got more proof that Mister is more than he appears.

Things that physically touched Harry: Lea, Mort, ghost dusted walls, Sir Stuart, and Mister.

And Mister's 15 as of Ghost Story...

Re: Thomas and Justine, Thomas was on a strict no-full-feeding diet up until Turn Coat, and since he wasn't going to restore the true-love-sex protection, Justine wasn't going to nuke the advantage that had gotten her so deep within the White Court. And after that he was probably refusing to munch on Justine due to guilt over the last time that happened, so again, not going to nuke her advantage until she was sure Thomas was ready to screw it back into place. She didn't force the issue, probably hoping he'd work through it on his own, until he went on his hunger strike, at which point the risk of it not working and leaving her without her protection faded next to the greater concern of Thomas' starvation.

As for Fomori, they were used in the Werewolf: the Apocalypse as humans infected with spirits of corruption that do shit like spew flesh-eating worms on their enemies, but apparently their original source is Irish Mythology. When the first humans returned to Ireland after the Biblical flood, the Fomorians were already there - whether the Fomorians were actually human is up in the air, with some stories having them descendents of Noah via Ham, and others having them as vaguely human shaped monsters:

And thus was that vessel: a single warrior, dark, gloomy, devilish, on the stern of that good ship, and he was laughing roughly, ill-fatedly, so that every one saw his entrails and his bowels through the body of his gullet... Then the big man came ashore to them into the strand, and stretched forth his long, sinewy, hideous arm to seize Cúchulainn in the very front of his royal tribute.

Outside of legends, the name apparently devolved until it referred to anything bad that came from the sea - pirates, raiders, sea monsters, etcetera. Tracking etymology is tricky as fuck, but there's a few maybe-roots I can see - Muir: Sea. Mór: Great. Mahr: Phantom. Fomuir: Land near the sea.

So yeah. Could be Irish Innsmouth. Could be sea monsters. Could be to the Fae what neanderthals are to us. Or it just could be some group of ugly underwater fucks that are using the name for shits and giggles. Too soon to tell.

Rainstorm
07-31-2011, 03:48 AM
I really enjoyed this book. There was still the action and drama that I enjoy but it was tempered by Harry catching his breath and taking a much needed moment to look over his actions of the last book. It was also interesting to watch how the characters developed without Harry's presence (was not expecting Murphy to turn dark avenger for example). The sheer number of geek related references did start to seem rather gratuitous after a while though.

If nothing else, I could really feel the effect of the last book on the world. Harry's old house becoming a jail/command centre staffed by his lot, the Einherjar and Marcone was a massive surprise and it was good to see the effects of a massive power vacuum.

Also, did anyone else notice the line from Demonreach at the end of the book? "Mab gave you breath. Here provided nourishment. The parasite maintained the flow of blood."

I can only think of one thing relating to Harry that could count as a parasite.

Chengar Qordath
07-31-2011, 04:44 AM
When it comes to Thomas and Justine; the fact that removing-and-reapplying the protection didn't occur until Ghost Story is certainly justifiable with a bit of a thinking, I just would have preferred having some of that justification be mentioned in the book itself instead of requiring the reader to put it all together themselves.

Sol
07-31-2011, 12:23 PM
When it comes to Thomas and Justine; the fact that removing-and-reapplying the protection didn't occur until Ghost Story is certainly justifiable with a bit of a thinking, I just would have preferred having some of that justification be mentioned in the book itself instead of requiring the reader to put it all together themselves.

Lazy. :P

I thought the Thomas issue was handled well. We have enough emo vampire angst in fiction. Take that stuff offscreen, thx.

Thorn
07-31-2011, 12:32 PM
Wait one goddamn second.

Was this the first book to not feature Mac?

Mordecai
07-31-2011, 01:13 PM
And where exactly would you have included him? As multiple people have said, yes some characters were left out or given smaller parts than normal. It was going to happen unless the book was going to be 4 or 5 times the normal size.

Blazzano
07-31-2011, 09:58 PM
Also Ghost Story overall just seemed like a pointless exercise. Dresden goes through all this trouble to avoid being the Winter Knight and ends up becoming it anyway. Just seemed very futile of a book. Everything went back to the status quo after this. Nothing really changed.


There's been an important change in Harry's character - arguably the most important in the entire series so far. Though we don't know how extensively Butcher will reference it in future books. It's a psychological change, brought on by the knowledge that Dresden gained in the book. Which I suppose is fitting for a book that's about Harry mulling over his own life.

Put simply, Harry knows a hell of a lot more about the nature of power, and how to use it.

1. He knows now about how important his presence was to the city of Chicago; he knows that any number of creatures and enemies could be kept back simply through their fear of him.

2. He now has a much greater understanding about how for some supernatural entities, the opposite is true. Certain wizards and creatures have been keen on building and preparing Dresden's power, while intending to eventually have that power working for them.

3. He knows a lot more about the consequences of applying power, e.g. how the destruction of the Red Court had extensive, global effects.

4. At the very end, he learns that he is not Mab's puppet - that even in the light of the Winter Knight's oath, he can still assert himself if his will remains strong.

He knew a little bit about nos. 1, 2, and 3 before, of course, but this is the first time that he's really digested that knowledge. And that may make all the difference. If he starts applying his power consciously and proactively (and intelligently!), instead of merely reacting to threats, hoo boy.

Qazi
08-01-2011, 12:17 AM
In Ghost Story, Lea says, Once, they were the enemies of my people, Winter and Summer alike,” she said, lifting her chin as her emerald eyes grew distant. “We banished them to the sea. Now they are the exiles of myth and legend, the outcasts of the gods and demons of every land bordering the sea. Defeated giants, fallen gods, dark reflections of beings of light. They are many races and none, joined together beneath the banner of the Fomor in a common cause"So, Fomorians aren't just the Irish mythcycle ones. Loads of disparate myths have rallied to that one banner.
For example in Aftermath, the Fomorian we saw was... well, to be blunt: that particular Fomor was a classic Innsmouth-look style Deep One of Dagon. The description wasn't very ambiguous.
The master of the Fomorian servitor in Ghost Story was Cantrev Lord Omogh. Which as far as Google is concerned just throws up something about ancient Welsh kingdoms.

Butcher has set up this Fomor faction to be quite the curveball. He can go fucking crazy on what sources he wants to draw from with that kind of backstory; so long as it is from a country with a coast.

Aekiel
08-01-2011, 12:30 AM
Butcher has set up this Fomor faction to be quite the curveball. He can go fucking crazy on what sources he wants to draw from with that kind of backstory; so long as it is from a country with a coast.

Which narrows it down to just about all of them, considering how the number of countries/cultures that have risen/died on the coasts of the world.

Mordecai
08-01-2011, 02:07 AM
On the topic of the Christian influences, I wonder if, given the interaction between Mouse and Uriel, maybe Butcher is going to go for a sort of unified religious theory. Where all the world religions, or at least the monotheistic ones, are just variations on the same theme. It could be an interesting way for him to advance the storyline without appearing too fundamentalist crazy.

Agayek
08-01-2011, 02:19 AM
On the topic of the Christian influences, I wonder if, given the interaction between Mouse and Uriel, maybe Butcher is going to go for a sort of unified religious theory. Where all the world religions, or at least the monotheistic ones, are just variations on the same theme. It could be an interesting way for him to advance the storyline without appearing too fundamentalist crazy.

Considering the primary monotheistic religions all worship the same god, and they freely acknowledge that, that isn't exactly much of a stretch.

Christianity, Judaism and Islam are the only monotheistic religions with any sort of strong following, and they're all derived from Judaism and the Abrahamic God.

Mordecai
08-01-2011, 02:32 AM
Well, you can take it further than the Abrahamic religions. My understanding of Hinduism is quite basic but at a basic level can you not all the deities are aspects of Brahman? So that could tie into a Unified Religious Theory. And with Buddhism you could say that if, in Butcher's canon God represents a Greater Truth, you could equate that with Enlightenment.

So there you have the 5 major world religions covered.

Nae'blis
08-01-2011, 06:46 AM
Even Hindus don't know the basic aspects of Hinduism. Trying to understand Hinduism is a headache inducing task, take that from someone who lives in India. I'm not a hindu, but I know a good deal about it, and it's filled with contradictions over contradictions.

And Buddhism has no God, so I assume you were suggesting the ultimate 'enlightement' in Buddhism is a metaphor for God.

But yeah, I get what you're trying to say. There is only one God, and He is worshiped in different religions by different names et cetra. Thing is, this plot line would've been more believable if he hadn't already adopter Christian stuff like angels as ambassadors of the 'true God'. By doing this, it's sort of already implied that the God in the books is, in fact, the Abrahamic God.

Mordecai
08-01-2011, 06:55 AM
For Buddhism I was more suggesting that God is a metaphor for the Ultimate Truth, for which Enlightenment would also be a metaphor ;)

But the other major religions all have in some way, supernatural beings who are subservient to the God/Truth...admittedly in Buddhism its more wooly, but Tibetan buddhism certainly includes things that, in English, are referred to as Demons which are both good and bad.

MattSilver
08-01-2011, 08:40 AM
This book. Oh my fucking god. Allow me to fanboy for a bit, because damn, I just finished, after reading every other book and all the side stories over the course of the past two weeks. It's like a culmination of awesome, and I can't wait for some more. Now, to stray thoughts:

- My favourite part of the book was the Harry/Molly relationship building. I'm a horribly biased shipper for those two, and even if I wasn't, the character development for the both of them would've been awesome enough. The scene in the Denny's was one of my favourites: Molly completely countering Harry's reasonings for not wanting to go into a relationship with her, and combine that with the ultimate reveal and the "Molls" thing, I mean, come on. I'm really thinking Butcher will actually head down that ship's path, but even if he doesn't, what we got here was enough even in a platonic way. Completely and utterly awesome. That, and I'm glad that Molly went up a bit in badass scale, and didn't end up where I feared she would by the end of Changes (Held by the White Court).

- The circumstances behind Harry's death were epic. It made everything else in the book carry this sense of irony, and when I reread later, I think I'll find more, but right now: Harry thinking about Kincaid being in town to kill him and go comfort Murphy, Lea's comments about the killer... Good times. That a Fallen manipulated Harry into it - which in turn made Molly into what she was now - was a damn good tease. No ideas on who it could be, but something tells me it's not Lash, at least. Lasciel, maybe, but not Lash. Difference.

- My other favouritest part of the book were the callbacks to everything else. The main book series rewards those who read the side stories. Nick Christian, the Astors, Forthill's secret room, the Fomor (Both Marcone's and Murphy's stories), and even something as tiny as Bob mentioning the time Molly had acid chew through one of her shirts in Day Off. The flashback to life under Justin's tutelage, the thoughts about Elaine and the confrontation with He Who Walks From Behind were just great. Justin was nothing like how I pictured, but in a good way: He shouldn't have appeared to be a monster right away, and he didn't feel much like it in the first flashback, maybe because of Dresden's age at the time or the fact he desperately wanted his father figure. Either way, good shit.

And a ton of other stray thoughts about how things are developing, but at the sake of going on too long I'll just sorta go with it: Maggie being so nearby felt strange to me (And I'm wondering what'll happen when Dresden starts doing his own thing again in Chicago with her so close), but being with Mouse and the Carpenters felt right, Butters and Bob were a great odd couple, happy to see Mister alive and well, the book raised Morty up in my eyes, Thomas... Not much Thomas unfortunately, but hey, Justine and Mara was win, so yeah, didn't see Corpsetaker's return coming (Figured Lady Shade was Kumori at first) and finally, looking forward to seeing other updates, especially White Council stuff.

I wonder about some of the new characters, though. I doubt we'll see Sir Stuart again, but I really liked Fitz, was intrigued by Felicia and thought that Daniel Carpenter was a nice addition (Though he's not a new character, we haven't got much of him other than being the eldest son and being affected by the phages in Proven Guilty), because hey, his parents are Michael and Charity, and his sister's now a illusion-toting badass. He can step up too, I don't mind. But yeah, hoping for more Fitz and Felicia. It's cool that Butcher can introduce a new character or two this late and make me want to see them again alongside my favourites.

On the two issues everyone's been talking about in this thread, I will say that yeah, there are quite a few more pop culture references, but the osmosis of hanging out with Molly and the Alphas for years might've made Harry a bit more geeky, though he was always a bit of a geek. Reading the books in a row like I have has shown me that Dresden's become more and more snarky, I think the word would be, in his narration - something that could be chalked up to the character's fraying sanity or Butcher falling back on sarcastic lines and stuff because it's one of his strengths.

On the Christian thing, well, meh. That the book's a fantasy world with all kinds of powerful beings makes it cool to me that a big Capital-G God would exist, and I don't think Butcher's really shoving anything down my throat - it's not like we're getting thinly veiled "creation vs evolution" arguments or anything like that. Christianity is all about faith and stuff, and faith is a type of magic in the story, so it's part of the ongoing mythos of the Dresden Files. I'm not really affected or anything - it's not offending me, I don't exactly agree with it all but I can agree with how it works for the story and the characters. Besides, Uriel is cool.

Okay, fanboy over.

TheWiseTomato
08-01-2011, 11:11 AM
Funny thought that crossed my mind: We got more proof that Mister is more than he appears.

Things that physically touched Harry: Lea, Mort, ghost dusted walls, Sir Stuart, and Mister.

What do they all [with the exception of Mister] have in common? They're all either part spirit or ectomancers.

And back in Changes, there was that scene where Lea has put Martin and Susan to sleep and strokes Mister while she waited for Harry to get back. Snuck in there is a throwaway line along the lines of "Mister had the same eyes as Lea".

Coincidence? or Tricksy LittleChicago?

In Storm Front, Dresden remarks that Mister is the only thing he's ever looked upon with his Sight that appears exactly as it does in real life.

I suppose you could argue that means Mister is either a normal cat and appears as normal in the Sight because cats have a paw in both worlds, or that Mister is some sort of super-secret-doubleoh-spy that can even fool a wizard's Sight.

Mouse defers to Mister too, doesn't he? ;)

Perspicacity
08-01-2011, 11:21 AM
Just finished the book last night. A few thoughts (and I apologize if this is redundant--I haven't read the rest of the thread or the spoilers so as to let my impressions be fresh):

Decent overall and better than Changes (which was as close to a shark-jumping book as they've come in the series), though not epic. I guess I found the whole ghost thing less entrancing than the other books. Literally the first thing Harry does is steps out of the car and goes to someone with whom he can communicate and who happens to be the center of the entire story. That's a little contrived and convenient, even for Butcher. Perhaps it's that there was an undercurrent of righteous fury throughout Changes and this book had a sense of detachment, much like the ghost thing Harry was experiencing. We saw several instances of his pausing and not doing the brash thing. If he carries some of this with him forward in the series, it'll evince further maturity of the character.

Dresden's calling in the hit on himself via Kincaid? Saw that coming way back in Changes, though not in the specific details. (Yeah, yeah. Me and thousands of others). We already knew memories can be taken--his memory of fire by Mab, e.g.--so his not knowing of the hit called in on himself was never such a big deal.

Molly's psychological descent because of Dresden's mindscrew and the Winter Queen's? Yeah, that worked for me. I liked that Harry questioned throughout whether the Red King battle was enough to make her that way. He kept rationalizing it as PTSD, though it was pretty clear that he didn't quite buy his own answer.

Star Trek mindscape batte? Campy.

Murphy's transition? A darker side to her personality that was always there, but that was suppressed by her idealism. Now that she's lost the latter, she's what she is. Stronger in many ways, but more vulnerable as well. She's finally come to grips with Harry's being gone, so she's no longer holding the swords for him, but holding the swords full stop. I see her taking one up now, especially if the "parasite" and her associates come knocking in an upcoming book.

Is it ever established what connection Uriel has with the swords? For a random Archangel, he seems to be awfully involved with their bearers and their associates.

Just another stray Uriel thought: what if the "parasite" in question were not the Fallen, but rather connected to Uriel through the soulfire Harry uses? It could possibly explains Uriel's being afraid of Harry's messing with his name. (He's already changed one fragment of angel residing inside him--and a name change was part of it).

The frequent pop references got tiresome. A few are fine, but not everything is Star Wars, Princess Bride, and X-Men. Harry didn't do it to such an extreme in his first person narrative in the other books. The excess of such references here stood out and seemed to me more a fanbase shout-out than anything.

Dresden's ending up with Molly? Plausible, especially now that Molly is showing an independent streak, that her skills far surpass his on many levels, and that he's formally acknowledged that she's not his student anymore. He's seeing her as a peer (and, to a lesser extent, she him), as evinced by his continual comparison of her with a full-fledged White Council member. His daughter is part of her family. I do think this is where Butcher is going eventually, though not for another couple books. It's taken awhile to get to this stage and Dresden's still telling himself he's not considering tapping her ass.

"You're a hell of a woman, Molly" in the restaurant and phone scene was a nice touch. The Dennys scene was excellent in general.

Corpsetaker's eating other spirit types to build up her insanity to the point where she can manifest? Um, okay. Yeah, didn't work for me. It felt like a contrived way of letting Harry suddenly show up in the flesh in order to die again in front of Molly. (Boz was pretty irrelevant to the overall plot).

Daniel Carpenter stepping into the fight as dumb muscle? I'm sure he'll grow into some kind of special role in their world, but he has a ways to go. His just blurting out about the swords in front of a White Court succubus was a little hard to take. I find it hard to believe that Murphy would have him there if he were such a loose cannon.

Maggie's being with Mouse and the Carpenters was as expected.

Poor Thomas. That Harry didn't spend much time thinking of him, given their closeness before, bothered me throughout the book (and still does, honestly).

Uriel's scene at the end, showing the aftermath of everything: It's tidy, a nice way to resolve the story, it shed a lot of light into his role in the world (moreso than his comments in the Mean Streets novella), and it did set up the final scene between Mab and Harry nicely. Points for this.

I've more, but this is a start. Okay, now to read y'all's impressions.

Aekiel
08-01-2011, 12:05 PM
In Storm Front, Dresden remarks that Mister is the only thing he's ever looked upon with his Sight that appears exactly as it does in real life.

I suppose you could argue that means Mister is either a normal cat and appears as normal in the Sight because cats have a paw in both worlds, or that Mister is some sort of super-secret-doubleoh-spy that can even fool a wizard's Sight.

Mouse defers to Mister too, doesn't he? ;)

Cats have pretty much always been seen as semi-spiritual, from the cult of Bastet in Ancient Egypt to the modern day 'cats can see things we can't' thing.

The two most common theories on the JB forums are that Mister is either just a regular (if giant) cat or God. Assuming that ain't Mac, at least.

Celestin
08-01-2011, 12:08 PM
Literally the first thing Harry does is steps out of the car and goes to someone with whom he can communicate and who happens to be the center of the entire story. That's a little contrived and convenient, even for Butcher.

Well, yes, but Butcher at least gave suggested explanation why Harry thought of Morty so quickly and it connects quite nicely with the rest of the story.

Thorn
08-01-2011, 12:58 PM
Yeah...it seemed like the logical choice. If he would've spent time bumbling around before realizing it, I think it would've seemed stupid. We know Harry is acquainted with an Ectomancer, so why should bother going to anyone or anywhere else?

Forgot to mention this in my other posts, but Lea continues to be one of my favorite characters. She is just awesomely badass, and on some level, I want to see her and Harry stage a coup for Winter.

Euroclydon
08-01-2011, 04:18 PM
Poor Thomas. That Harry didn't spend much time thinking of him, given their closeness before, bothered me throughout the book (and still does, honestly).



I was under the impression that Harry didn't think about Thomas on account of the mind-whammy that Molly put on him.
Having just re-read those parts, I know it didn't state it, but I just assumed so anyway.

Nae'blis
08-01-2011, 11:16 PM
He was in denial mode. Thinking of Thomas would've brought back the memories of him betraying Thomas' trust during that conversation with Molly. So, he didn't think of him.

Agayek
08-02-2011, 12:03 AM
I was under the impression that Harry didn't think about Thomas on account of the mind-whammy that Molly put on him.
Having just re-read those parts, I know it didn't state it, but I just assumed so anyway.

Actually, it does flat out state it. After he relives the memory, he says something along the lines "No wonder I hadn't even thought of Thomas. How could I think of him without thinking of the massive betrayal of his trust?" That pretty clearly states he couldn't even remember Thomas because of the mind-whammy.

Perspicacity
08-02-2011, 12:06 AM
I never said there wasn't a reason, just that it bothered me throughout as I read.

Kalas
08-02-2011, 01:16 AM
I think everyone here has missed something incredibly important. Bob, a spirit of knowledge, has iirc unfettered access to the internet. Think of the implications of this. If the Archive only 'knows' printed media Bob could one day surpass her.

Agayek
08-02-2011, 01:19 AM
I think everyone here has missed something incredibly important. Bob, a spirit of knowledge, has iirc unfettered access to the internet. Think of the implications of this. If the Archive only 'knows' printed media Bob could one day surpass her.

I think the "printed" knowledge the Archive gains is everything intended to be stored. It's not outright stated, but it is implied that she knows everything humanity wants to record. That means everything, not just the paper records.

I'm fairly certain the Archive is essentially the mystical equivalent of Google, in addition to the books and whatnot she knows.

Aekiel
08-02-2011, 01:34 AM
Bob could theoretically learn everything the internet has to offer, but he'd have to do it the same way we do. The Archive has Intellectus. It doesn't need to learn, it just knows.

ILikeLurking
08-02-2011, 02:01 AM
Hiya. By the name, you might be able to tell that I've been around a while. In fact, I've been lurking for years, and once this message is done, I'll probably go right back into hiding.

I felt now was an appropriate time, however, to make my presence known in order illustrate the reason for my (and I think maybe some other members) leeriness of the growing influence of the White God of Christianity and his entourage...

This series has been one of my favorites for quite a while, and though I would continue reading it and I'm sure still love it regardless of what direction Butcher decides to take the plot, I do not want everything to tie back to God and the Enemy. When that happens in a series, especially a fantasy series that ties multiple theologies as seamlessly as this seems to, it seems to me like it invalidates, even cheapens those other gods and monsters and the believers in them in many ways, some more subtle than others.

I'm not against Christianity being involved in the story. It is a power in the world, and that kind of power has been shown to translate into power in the world of magic that JB has crafted. To expect Butcher to ignore it on principle would be unreasonable, and plainly stupid, since he IS a Christian man. So far, the story has been leaning more towards an inclusive method of dealing with divergant beliefs. They all have power, and they all have validity, whether or not their significance has waned as Odin seems to have. To introduce the Abrahamic God as the "One Creator" god seems to me to reduce all others to being up-jumped spirits or the like, and everyone who believed in them to being deluded lackeys, and everyone who correctly worships the creator has an in-built advantage of their god being bigger and stronger and righter by nature. He made them all after all. <---(sorry for the run-on... no time to revise...maybe later...)

I read a DLP post a few days ago that addressed Butcher's feelings on the subject... I don't remember the post, but I got the impression that he was saying that in most fantasy, "you don't see Christianity take much of a presence," or something like that. To me, that is something I see all too much in fantasy. But I probably just see Christianity hidden in the message when I see The Enemy vs. the people for the One True God (because He cannot take part in the struggles of mortals. They must fight the Good fight for themselves...) The Creator Vs The Keeper, Shai'Tan, and Lord Foul among others; The Lord of Light vs. The Great Other (maybe... still hoping Melisandre is full of shit, or at least there is more to it...) Yadda yadda yadda... Sure, it is easiest to have conflict in a story with clear good and evil, but to me, it doesn't have to draw back to singular representations of them to work...

I should go on, but I can't really think at the moment... and honestly, I do have faith that JB will not dissapoint with the direction he takes the series, regardless of what happens on the subject. It is simply too fun a series to fuck up. Maybe I'll post again with more later before slinking back into anonymity.

Err... Now that I think of it, I didn't really give my impressions of this book... OMGWTFBBQSAUCEGIVEMOAR!!!

DarthBill
08-02-2011, 02:05 AM
I just thought of something. Haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if someone mentioned it already.

At one point Harry mentioned that it was odd that he didn't have his necklace while being a ghost. He said it meant something, but then never even thought of it again. Was it significant? Why mention it if it wasn't?

Agayek
08-02-2011, 02:20 AM
I just thought of something. Haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if someone mentioned it already.

At one point Harry mentioned that it was odd that he didn't have his necklace while being a ghost. He said it meant something, but then never even thought of it again. Was it significant? Why mention it if it wasn't?

Likely it is a signifier that he was only mostly dead. The necklace is clearly special, if only because of the Gem of the Ways (I forget if it had a name, but it's the thing that tells him every Way ever) is tied into it. It is also fairly likely Maggie Sr did something to/with it to make it more than it seems. Considering everything else she's done has had a fairly clear, if far-reaching, plan, it seems a safe bet.

afrojack
08-02-2011, 05:31 AM
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but that shadow at Harry's bedside. Is that Lash? IIRC, even by the light of Uriel's revelation the being is somewhat insubstantial, and the only 'Fallen' with that kind of access to Harry would be...Lash. Was she being true to her original nature all along, only waiting for the perfect moment?

EDIT: Never mind, saw the discussion on previous pages. Apologies.

Thaumologist
08-02-2011, 08:37 AM
Bob could theoretically learn everything the internet has to offer, but he'd have to do it the same way we do. The Archive has Intellectus. It doesn't need to learn, it just knows.

Also, magic.

The Archive was designed to be a repository of human knowledge. I've always gone with the 'the intent behind it is more important than the phrasing'. We see psuedo-latin, made up words, and so forth in the Dresdenverse. It is intent and will that guide the magic.

Started off hating the concept behind Ghost Story. And it was obvious Dresden wasn't going to get out of being the Winter Knight, as there's no way Butcher would make the choice last that long unless it really did mean something. But floating around the city for a few days, with most people unaware of him? That smacked of almost silliness.

I like Butcher's writing, and there's no way I'll stop reading his stuff (unless I die, or something annoying like that). But whilst I feel you could jump straight to any other Dresden book, and (maybe be a little bit confused) enjoy the story. I don't feel that would be possible for GS.

Does anyone have any inkling as to what the next release is going to be? I heard a while back that Butcher was trying his hand at Space Opera, and releasing that next. Then I heard it was just sticking to Dresden... Any knowledge?

Lightfighter
08-02-2011, 11:53 AM
I was re-reading Changes last night, and came across this fascinating little tidbit:

"'She [Mab] might lean on you pretty hard. Try to put you into a box you don't want to be in. But don't let her. She can't take away your will. Even if she can make it seem that way.' He [Ebenezar] sighed again, but there was bedrock in his voice. 'That's the one thing all these dark beings and powers can't do. Take away your ability to choose. They can kill you. They can make you do things - but they can't make you choose to do 'em. They almost always try to lie to you about that. Don't fall for it."

Looks like Ebenezer could have done the whole revelation thing for Harry just as well as Uriel, seeing how this is almost exactly the same point Uriel was trying to make. It also raises some interesting questions about Mab's ability to lie, something that's been discussed in this thread. Anyway, this just shows Butcher's habit of sneaking super important things where they might not stand out; after all, the Harry here is still incredibly shell-shocked. I guess that could explain why he didn't remember this at all during Ghost Story?

T3t
08-02-2011, 01:24 PM
To be honest, I remembered that and wondered why Harry didn't. Then I realized that Ebenezer told him that after he already ordered the hit on himself. Meh.

Fiat
08-02-2011, 04:59 PM
I got the book from Amazon the day it came out, but couldn't read it 'til the 28th. I don't know why I haven't commented on it earlier. Well, here it is.

My honest opinion of the book? Pretty fucking bad.

The religious elements have always kind of annoyed me, but I thought they'd probably be alright if they did things the early-supernatural way, rather than the late-supernatural way. It really descended a lot towards the latter in this book. I get that Christianity's god should - probably - be a rather powerful one in a world where knowledge and belief can power something, but the fact that it appears to be the Creator God with servants who can destroy planets is more than a tad irritating.

Murphy's character 'development' doesn't seem like character development at all to me. It's like he just looked at how he wrote her in Storm Front and did it again. You could successfully argue (as Pers has) that this is just the darker side of her personality shining through, but it felt far too much like Storm Front/Fool Moon.

I'm going to have to at least mention the editing. It's so poorly edited that you could easily mistake it for a shitty fanfic. A really shitty fanfic. It feels like every other sentence has something wrong with it, and this includes the last one. It's so fucking badly edited that I found myself losing immersion so often that there really was none.

The plot itself isn't necessarily bad, but it too feels like a throwback to the older books, where plotholes were to be expected. It had problems in spades - and unless they're intentional in order to set up for the next book, I'm really disappointed.

Most of my other problems with the book have already been articulated much better than I could currently do, and have been done so repeatedly, so I'd just like to finish by saying "What the hell, Jim?"

I'm really hoping that all the book's problems/plotholes are intentional and they serve to set up the next book (or the one after that) but I'm really doubting it. Jim Butcher's usually a lot better than this.

Sol
08-02-2011, 07:57 PM
Eh, I'm still not getting all the 'onoes Christianity' angst. Sure, Uriel is powerful. So is Mab. So are Mother Winter and Mother Summer. They're embodiments of primal forces of nature; not just hot/cold, but the seasons which are determined by gravity. So yeah, I have no problem with them being powerful. The Darkhallow was supposed to put a normal human in the realm of demigods by eating ghosts, so of course the White God and Archangels, who are all soul, and have the faith of billions on this planet in this reality alone, are going to be ridiculously powerful. I see nothing about it being a Creator God. We haven't even seen him/her/it.

We all knew Murphy could be bitchy from the first two books. How is it at all surprising that she's having a hard time coping with losing Harry (possibly by her lover) and then losing her job and watching the city she's sworn to protect descend into chaos. So much so that she's forced to work with Marcone, a man she would like nothing more than to see rot in prison, the White Court, and a bunch of civilians. Yeah, I think Murphy was handled just fine.

And finally, what plot holes?

T3t
08-02-2011, 08:08 PM
There was a minor plothole with the timing of Harry running away from Justin, defeating HWWB, and then killing Justin, but it really is minor.

Aekiel
08-02-2011, 08:28 PM
The religious elements have always kind of annoyed me, but I thought they'd probably be alright if they did things the early-supernatural way, rather than the late-supernatural way. It really descended a lot towards the latter in this book. I get that Christianity's god should - probably - be a rather powerful one in a world where knowledge and belief can power something, but the fact that it appears to be the Creator God with servants who can destroy planets is more than a tad irritating.

There are other cosmic level beings out there, such as the Dragons, which controlled parts of the entire universe at one point. So it's not as though angels are all powerful, especially given how they're not allowed to let loose. There's a direct correlation between amount of power a being has and how many restrictions they have on how to use that power.

Murphy's character 'development' doesn't seem like character development at all to me. It's like he just looked at how he wrote her in Storm Front and did it again. You could successfully argue (as Pers has) that this is just the darker side of her personality shining through, but it felt far too much like Storm Front/Fool Moon.

Do you know what the similarity is between SF/FM and Ghost Story is? Murphy doesn't have her best friend. Of course she's going to regress to what she was before Harry, because that's the only way she knows how to live without him. Jesus, think from the character's perspective for a minute before you jump on these things.

I'm going to have to at least mention the editing. It's so poorly edited that you could easily mistake it for a shitty fanfic. A really shitty fanfic. It feels like every other sentence has something wrong with it, and this includes the last one. It's so fucking badly edited that I found myself losing immersion so often that there really was none.

Somewhat agreed. The editing was pretty shitty in places, and the last line being wrong sucks massive balls, but I did find myself getting immersed in it.

I'm really hoping that all the book's problems/plotholes are intentional and they serve to set up the next book (or the one after that) but I'm really doubting it. Jim Butcher's usually a lot better than this.

Uh, what? Apart from the one T3t mentioned I'm not remembering any plot holes right now.

Fiat
08-02-2011, 09:05 PM
Uh, what? Apart from the one T3t mentioned I'm not remembering any plot holes right now.There are a lot of little things that can be viewed as either uncharacteristically contrived story telling or really minor plotholes. I've already tried futilely (twice) to write out all the ones I've got off the top of my head (as I don't have my book with me at the moment) but both times I ended up losing what I'd wrote. I'm starting to think that my main problem with the book is that I'm expecting something better from Butcher after the last few books and didn't get it - making all the little flaws stand out more.

On the Christianity issue: I'm not saying that It's fully jumped the gun to "Left Behind" level shit, but I'm just commenting on what I see as it moving down a slippery slope. I might be wrong - hell I hope I am - but it wasn't really a major reason for my dislike of the book. The same goes for Murphy: Yes, I get it, it makes sense for her character. Other possible developments in her characterization could have made the same amount of sense, however, and the fact that he decided to go with this one was a a decision I'm not a fan of.

I'll re-read it when I get my book back, and when comes out on paperback (and is re-edited) and maybe my opinion will change, but until then, I'd put it as one of my least-favorite Dresden books. It's still in my top ten books I've read recently, but by Butcher's usual standards, it seems rather poor.

Scrib
08-02-2011, 10:36 PM
I'm going to have to at least mention the editing. It's so poorly edited that you could easily mistake it for a shitty fanfic. A really shitty fanfic. It feels like every other sentence has something wrong with it, and this includes the last one. It's so fucking badly edited that I found myself losing immersion so often that there really was none.


I personally didn't notice many errors but I was racing through anyway. I went back and saw the final line and all I can say is...lulz.

TBH I think Butcher's pumping them out so fast it's difficult for the editors to keep up. And it can only get worse if he somehow manages to do two books a year like some people are claiming.Dude needs a hobby.

Also, did anyone else notice that Mab's talking again? I guess that now she has her Knight she's planning on doing some real ass-whooping, that's enough to cheer anyone up.

Do you know what the similarity is between SF/FM and Ghost Story is? Murphy doesn't have her best friend. Of course she's going to regress to what she was before Harry, because that's the only way she knows how to live without him. Jesus, think from the character's perspective for a minute before you jump on these things.


And she's going to be even worse now that she knows just what the hell is out there and how outgunned she is.

Taure
08-03-2011, 06:14 AM
Butcher should recruit DLP WBA to help edit. We'd sort that shit out for a low, low rate.

Sol: the problem isn't that Christianity is included. It's that the mythical elements of Christianity are given primacy. You've got all the rest of the supernatural on one level, and Christianity (or at least, Abrahamic religion) above it all.

The Fine Balance
08-03-2011, 06:46 AM
“Well . . .” she said. “If someone is naturally quick to anger and prone to fighting, you highlight that part of their personality. You give it more importance than it would have without intervention. If someone is prone to maneuvering politically to take advantage of a situation, you bring that to the forefront of their personality. If someone is nursing a grudge, you shine a spotlight on it in their thoughts, their emotions, to get them to act on it.”

I thought about that one for a second.

“It’s how I’d do it,” Molly said quietly, lowering her eyes.

I looked at the young woman I’d been teaching. When I saw Molly, I always saw her smile, her sense of humor, her youth, and her joy. She was the daughter of a close friend. I knew her family and was often a guest in their home. I saw my apprentice, the effort she put into learning, her frustrations, and her triumphs.

I had never, until that very moment, thought of her as someone who might one day be a very, very scary individual.

Foreshadowing for Molly.

Brown
08-03-2011, 08:16 AM
Hey, it's my first Internet Fight with Taure.

I don't think the Christian elements are on a higher level, they're just receiving more focus this book: much like we had more sidhe focus in Summer Knight and more necromantic focus in Dead Beat. It was one of the White God's fallen servants who messed with Harry, so it was one of the White God's angels who had to set thing rights - or at least balance them. Similar to Winter always acting against Summer (though I'm sure Forthill would phrase it differently).

There is as yet no reason in the Dresdenverse to think that Christianity is any true-er than another religion, is what I'm saying. And I'm pretty sure that's where Harry still stands. He might accept that he is a soul - having been only a soul for a while - but that doesn't mean he's going to accept Jesus as his rightful divine king.

On a side note, at first in GS I thought the fomor were being set up as the enemy for Cold Days and onward - but they seemed kind of incompetent. I guess that shifting from a little fish to a big fish requires some growing pains, but still.

Taure
08-03-2011, 08:23 AM
If the White God is "the Creator" (which it looks like he is) then Mab, Titania, the Dragons, the Fallen, the Archangels, the Mothers, the Outsiders, the Demon Gods, the vampires... all of these beings were brought into existence by the White God.

Hell, even if he isn't the big-C Creator, he's still responsible for the creation of all of the angels and archangels, including the Fallen. Given that a single Archangel is as powerful as any other single being in the universe, and that regular angels are no slouch either, the Almighty is still so powerful that he puts all other beings to shame.

Tehan
08-03-2011, 08:47 AM
Well, in Dresden, did the White God create everything or just the 'real' universe? If He's just the creator of our little obscure corner of the Never-Never, then He's probably on the same level as the Sidhe Mothers and the Dragons, but He'd be an especially heavy-hitter in the stories because it's almost always on His turf.

Taure
08-03-2011, 08:52 AM
I would quite enjoy a quasi-pantheistic Creator White God: supremely powerful, but all of his power is locked up in maintaining the existence of the universe, so that his will can only be enacted through his servants.

This seems to me to be a good way to have a Creator God in the story but for it to not be completely broken.

Tehan
08-03-2011, 09:24 AM
So what happens after the apocalypse frees up a significant portion of His power?

Taure
08-03-2011, 09:43 AM
If the Bible is to be believed, an eternity of unending paradise.

Tehan
08-03-2011, 09:59 AM
ಠ_ಠ

I mean in the Dresden Files, you twat. An eternity of paradise doesn't provide enough grist for three post-apocalyptic books.

Celestin
08-03-2011, 10:07 AM
ಠ_ಠ

I mean in the Dresden Files, you twat. An eternity of paradise doesn't provide enough grist for three post-apocalyptic books.

Why post? I thought that trilogy is going to be about Apocalypse in itself, not what happened after that.

Taure
08-03-2011, 10:19 AM
It's also not clear whether or not it's the Apocalypse or a apocalypse.

The first is the true end of the world. The second is just a really bad thing happening - so bad that it's worthy of being described as apocalyptic. One example: Nicodemus' plan falls into the latter case. It seems to me that the only type of apocalypse that allows there to be a post-apocalyptic world would be the second type.

Tehan
08-03-2011, 10:20 AM
...huh. I suppose WoG does say that, but I interpreted it as post-apocalyptic for some reason. Though I do think that going the Book of Revelation route for it would be just as bad.

LittleChicago
08-03-2011, 10:41 AM
So far, there has been no canonical reference to the White God being the creator. Mab certainly shows him no deference. Taure might be on to something: I think he's maybe, at best, the 'local' creator.

When Bob was talking about the naagloshii, he talked about Navajo creation myths as though they were real, and we've seen an aspect of the Norse Worldtree, so we know that in the Dresdenverse, all creation myths have the same weight.

If the 'creation' of Earth was a group effort by various deities, and devine beings wax and wane in power based on how much support they get from mortal belief and faith, it would make sense that the old gods are still around and weakened, as Changes told us, and the Abraham's Big G would be dominant right now, since about half the world's population is singing in the choir.

This allows room for 'God' to be the most powerful god, while not being truly 'above' the others.

Taure
08-03-2011, 10:46 AM
When Bob was talking about the naagloshii, he talked about Navajo creation myths as though they were real, and we've seen an aspect of the Norse Worldtree, so we know that in the Dresdenverse, all creation myths have the same weight.

Seems to me that this doesn't mean all myths have the same weight - just that all myths have some kind of supernatural instantiation. Which isn't quite the same thing as being equally true. Or even equally powerful.

Also, I still don't buy the whole notion that supernatural beings' power rests on faith/belief of humans. I think it applies to some beings, yes. Specifically, the Old Gods. But how many people have faith in or believe in dragons or faeries? Not many. But those two sets of beings are among the most powerful in the Dresdenverse. It seems to be that there are many different types of supernatural beings, and the faith-based ones are just one among them.

Scrib
08-03-2011, 11:09 AM
Also, I still don't buy the whole notion that supernatural beings' power rests on faith/belief of humans. I think it applies to some beings, yes. Specifically, the Old Gods. But how many people have faith in or believe in dragons or faeries? Not many. But those two sets of beings are among the most powerful in the Dresdenverse. It seems to be that there are many different types of supernatural beings, and the faith-based ones are just one among them.


It may not be faith as much as knowledge. The more people know about the being the more powerful they are. This seems to be supported by Backup where the whole point was to eradicate all knowledge of certain beings regardless of how many people would worship them today. And I think it's said there that the same cannot be done to the faeries because of people like the Grimm brothers.

And the power they get may not be magical power per se, a la American Gods, but more the power to affect the human world. When that crazy naid/nympho or what ever the fuck she was was trying to restore Dionysus she never said that he was weakened or powerless, just that he was "gone' iirc.

If the 'creation' of Earth was a group effort by various deities, and devine beings wax and wane in power based on how much support they get from mortal belief and faith, it would make sense that the old gods are still around and weakened, as Changes told us, and the Abraham's Big G would be dominant right now, since about half the world's population is singing in the choir.


According to Butcher (or according to people who follow WoG) the White God does not need human worship, which caused the whole problem in the first place. Now iirc what he may have said was that the WG predates humanity, which may be easier to reconcile with your theory.

LittleChicago
08-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Also, I still don't buy the whole notion that supernatural beings' power rests on faith/belief of humans. I think it applies to some beings, yes. Specifically, the Old Gods. But how many people have faith in or believe in dragons or faeries? Not many. But those two sets of beings are among the most powerful in the Dresdenverse. It seems to be that there are many different types of supernatural beings, and the faith-based ones are just one among them.

You may have a point. It seems the closer they are to Earth, or if they are living on it, the more their relative power levels are affected by mortal belief (Odin, Red King) and if they are removed a level or two, it is less important (Mab, the Big Guy.)

Sol
08-03-2011, 01:25 PM
Could also be that faith/knowledge of representations are as good as faith in the beings themselves. People may not believe in fairies, but they certainly believe in seasons. How dangerous extreme temperatures can be. Plenty of people hunt and have respect for the instruments and nature of it. Maybe that boosts the Erlking's power. Everyone depends on iron and its derivative products. Maybe that give Ferrovax a measure of power.

The Berkeley Hunt
08-04-2011, 01:12 AM
No, it was explicitly stated that Angels had watched humanity be born. (By Uriel near the end of GS, can't be assed to look up the page). Heaven is outside of the bounds of regular gods.

Also, its never said that faeries get power from human faith either. Their land is reflected in Earth, but just like Ferro, they aren't said to require human faith.

I really want to say that the White God is just a foreign power that is on a different level from what Earth can produce (an outsider?) but if, as the afterlife suggested, human souls do go to either Heaven or Hell then he may indeed be the one and only.

I Burn Water
08-04-2011, 01:34 AM
No, but connections and bargains in the human world increase their standing in the nevernever, Incredibly obvious example: Toot

I find it very unlikely that the old Gods would have ever had supremacy among religious beliefs as is indicated if the White God is The Oldest and Most Powerful. It seems that his Archangels would have layedeth the smackdowneth right off the bat when the Old Gods were trying to rise to power. It seems more likely that The White God is one of the old gods or just a different, probably stronger god that was perhaps more clever or sneakier than the other old gods, or just knew more about human psychology.

I'm also hesitant to admit the existence of a soul proves the White God's supremacy over other gods. All we know about a dresden soul is that it is the ground that holds the seed which is a person's spirit, and that it can be unlocked and used as a power with the help of an older and far more powerful soul being (uriel). The soul might be far more common then Dresden yet knows.

Also going to say that the fact that Odin directly participates in a fight, and that he claims to be only slightly higher than a lord of outer night gives credence to the theory that the Abrahamic religions are being given dominance over others. I, admittedly with little evidence, am willing to bet that Uriel would have had no trouble destroying the red king and his compatriots.

The Berkeley Hunt
08-04-2011, 01:57 AM
No, but connections and bargains in the human world increase their standing in the nevernever, Incredibly obvious example: Toot

Never was it said that Toot's increase in power was because of Dresden's faith in him. I think it was more about being around magic a lot, or perhaps assuming a leadership role.

I find it very unlikely that the old Gods would have ever had supremacy among religous beliefs as is indicated if the White God is The Oldest and Most Powerful. It seems that his Archangles would have layedeth the smackdowneth right off the bat when the Old Gods were trying to rise to power. It seems more likely that The White God is one of the old gods or just a different, probably stronger god that was perhaps more clever or sneakier than the other old gods, or just knew more about human psychology.


This paragraph :p. I see your point, but I don't think any religion had primacy over all the other religions and I also seem to remember a big deal about letting humans choose their own beliefs in there somewhere...

I'm also hesitant to admit the existence of a soul proves the White God's supremacy over other gods. All we know about a dresden soul is that it is the ground that holds the seed which is a person's spirit, and that it can be unlocked and used as a power with the help of an older and far more powerful soul being (uriel). The soul might be far more common then Dresden yet knows.

I agree with you, but I said that the soul appearing to go to the christian afterlife (trains, etc etc.) was suggestive. The existence of a soul proves nothing, but along with the afterlife, Soulfire seems to indicate some sort of connection with souls at the very least.

Also going to say that the fact that Odin directly participates in a fight, and that he claims to be only slightly higher than a lord of outer night gives credence to the theory that the Abrahamic religions are being given dominance over others. I, admittedly with little evidence, am willing to bet that Uriel would have had no trouble destroying the red king and his compatriots.

I don't see how this proves anything about the White God. Correlation doesn't imply causality, just because both of those beings are said to be similar in type doesn't mean the position of one indicates the position of another. Odin could merely by another human expression given form. That said, Odin is a special case since while he himself is not godlike in power (that we know of), but he does retain large elements of his mythology eg. Valhalla, Einharjar even though there are very few worshipers available to 'power' the place.

I think that before we can make judgements on divinity and such, we need more information on gods. So far, Odin is the only bona fide 'god' we've seen, and he is enigmatic as fuck.

TL,DR: I disagree.

Chengar Qordath
08-04-2011, 02:29 AM
I think that before we can make judgements on divinity and such, we need more information on gods. So far, Odin is the only bona fide 'god' we've seen, and he is enigmatic as fuck.
Have to agree there. Since it is established that deities derive a lot of their power from their believers i the Dresdenverse, it's not all clear what might happen if, for example, Odin and the Nordic pantheon had more worshipers than the Abrahamic faiths.

Styx0444
08-05-2011, 10:57 PM
Loved the book, although the errors sucked. I disagree with the bitching about the references, there were more of them in this book then the other, but I wasn't bothered by it.

Molly's mental defenses (the Star Trek bridge) actually seemed somewhat appropriate. Look closely at the character, look at everything else involved in that scene. The bridge is inside a tree house. The Molly that seems the most stable is the Ensign Molly, and she actually seems to be the 'real' Molly, since she said that she 'hasen't been able to get them under control since she killed Harry'. She's something like fourteen, it says she looks about ten years younger then the other Mollys. So the 'real' 'inner-Molly' was a fourteen year old kid. Her base of operations took the form of the bridge from Star Trek hidden inside a tree house.

Chengar Qordath
08-07-2011, 03:07 AM
One thing that sprang to mind recently; do Fomor servitors still count as human beings, or do the mutations the Fomor put them through change the servitors enough to make them no longer count as human?

Since Molly has killed off several Fomor servitors using magic, it is rather important to establish whether or not she's racked up several violations of the First Law.

Styx0444
08-07-2011, 06:39 AM
Since Molly has killed off several Fomor servitors using magic, it is rather important to establish whether or not she's racked up several violations of the First Law.

Does killing indirectly count? If so, she's killed at least one 100% vanilla cop.

Radiofreak
08-07-2011, 07:43 AM
Does killing indirectly count? If so, she's killed at least one 100% vanilla cop.

Nope, it's explicitly only if magic does the killing that the law is violated. Otherwise the wardens' magic swords would have Luccio on the chopping block.

Red Aviary
08-07-2011, 05:12 PM
Nope, it's explicitly only if magic does the killing that the law is violated.

I don't know... seems like saying if you push someone off a building with a wind spell, you didn't break the First Law because it was the fall and impact on the ground that actually killed them. I don't think the Wardens would make that sort of distinction for Molly, especially since she's already under a Doom of Damocles.

Otherwise the wardens' magic swords would have Luccio on the chopping block.

The Wardens being allowed to kill with their swords doesn't really sound like the same thing as what we're talking about. >_>

Agayek
08-07-2011, 05:47 PM
I don't know... seems like saying if you push someone off a building with a wind spell, you didn't break the First Law because it was the fall and impact on the ground that actually killed them. I don't think the Wardens would make that sort of distinction for Molly, especially since she's already under a Doom of Damocles.

Actually, yes that would not break the first law.

The reason behind it is the way magic behaves in Dresdenverse. Essentially, you cannot cast a spell you do not believe in. What this means is that directly killing someone with magic means you believe, fully and wholeheartedly, that you were right and justified to kill them.

Casting a spell and shoving someone off the side of the building/cliff does not mean you believe you were justified in killing them, just in shoving them around.

Do you see the difference there?

It's fairly subtle, and you're right insofar as I doubt the Wardens (or at least, those Wardens in the vein of Morgan) would let someone under the Doom of Damocles get away with such a technicality, but the difference is there.

Aekiel
08-07-2011, 06:02 PM
Actually, yes that would not break the first law.

Wrong. The RPG, which is used as mostly-canon directly states that indirect methods of murder such as that still break the First Law, because magic was involved in the cause of death. The Wardens' swords, however, are really just big hunks of sharpened steel, and their magic has nothing to do with killing people.

The reason behind it is the way magic behaves in Dresdenverse. Essentially, you cannot cast a spell you do not believe in. What this means is that directly killing someone with magic means you believe, fully and wholeheartedly, that you were right and justified to kill them.

Casting a spell and shoving someone off the side of the building/cliff does not mean you believe you were justified in killing them, just in shoving them around.

You're half right here. You can't cast magic you don't believe in, but then pushing someone off a building is still a pretty murderous thing to do, whether it's by hand or by wind.

Do you see the difference there?

It's fairly subtle, and you're right insofar as I doubt the Wardens (or at least, those Wardens in the vein of Morgan) would let someone under the Doom of Damocles get away with such a technicality, but the difference is there.

There is a difference, it's just further to the strict interpretation side of the scale than you think.

Chengar Qordath
08-07-2011, 07:10 PM
I would think that when it comes to the First Law a lot of it boils down to the intent to kill; the fact that you're tossing around spells intended to kill people is a lot more important than whether your magic is bringing about the deaths directly or indirectly.

Certainly, setting aside the issue of the Wardens' interpretation, I would think that the soul-corrupting effects would be tied to the intent to kill using magic.

Agayek
08-07-2011, 07:28 PM
I would think that when it comes to the First Law a lot of it boils down to the intent to kill; the fact that you're tossing around spells intended to kill people is a lot more important than whether your magic is bringing about the deaths directly or indirectly.

Certainly, setting aside the issue of the Wardens' interpretation, I would think that the soul-corrupting effects would be tied to the intent to kill using magic.

This is exactly what I was trying to get at.

If you throw around a spell (ie, a gust of wind), and someone happens to be hit by it and die as a result, you're not really breaking the law.

If you mean for the spell to throw them off the side of a building or something though, then you have broken the law.

It's a very subtle difference, but it is there and it is significant.

CBH
08-07-2011, 07:43 PM
One of the most interesting things in GS for me was learning about how the effects of wizards' magic can change over time. While it's highly doubtful it will change in the time the series takes place, it does offer an explanation for how wizards will be able to live in an increasingly technological world.

As to the arguments of who whispered to Harry in Changes, I don't understand how it could be Lasciel. By picking up the coin Harry let her into his mind to influence him. I took that to mean that if she had been whispering to him it wouldn't have broken the rules and allowed Uriel to act.

Some people have said that Uriel and the Archangels are way too powerful, but the story is told from Harry's point of view. Can he really be reliable in judging how powerful a god-like being is or what they can do with that power? While he is strong for a wizard, compared to them he's nothing. Perhaps the Mothers, dragons, or Outsiders are just as powerful or even more so, but Harry hasn't ever seen them exert that power.

About the servitors being killed, I don't think this really count as breaking the First Law. Harry even kills one when he possesses Molly and he doesn't worry about it at all.

Midknight
08-07-2011, 08:50 PM
Self defense on the sevitors though in that instance. However, Molly's been actively going out and hunting them, so self defense doesn't really fly there if they're judged to still be human.

I reread the book today and will be doing it a few more times in the near future, and something just drove me nuts. Harry has the weight of the fact that he's dead hit him.. like every few chapters. It really looses it's gravity after the first time or two Jim =P Murphy is inconsistent too, she gets upset when Mortimer passes the tests, when Mister shoulder blocks the air, when Molly confirms etc. Once or twice should've been enough.

Psychotic Cat
08-07-2011, 09:14 PM
snip

According to the rpg rulebook, the power rankings run along the lines of.




Jehovah/The Almighty/Allah
The Archangels, The Faerie Mothers
The Fallen, Old Gods, Old Ones
The Faerie Queens, The Erlking, Dragons, The Archive
Outsiders, Angels, The Faerie Ladies
Ancient Demons, Faerie Knights, Denarians, Knights of the Cross


Note: The Knights of the Cross only rank there when following their Holy Pagers. Which explains Charity claiming Michael always gets into more trouble answering Harry's calls than his bosses, he's literally being downgraded a powerlevel as a price for choosing his battle of his own freewill.

It also makes clear that their ability to exercise their power is on a scale in the opposite direction. The Knights(all three kinds) have Free Will, but the higher you go up the scale the less freedom the beings have in using their power.

We saw in SK that the Mothers pretty much lie dormant half the time, likewise Uriel makes it clear every time appears that he's there to protect free will.

Capital G might be the heaviest... but when it comes down to it he's also constrained by nature from using that power to interfere even more than the Archangels.

I can understand some peoples pessimism as abrahamic mythology appears, but I really don't think we'll be seeing any author tracts/divine curbstomps.

Styx0444
08-07-2011, 09:14 PM
Does anyone remember if Harry was worried about killing the thralls when he, Murphy, and Kincaid raided the black court hideout?

Murphy is inconsistent too, she gets upset when Mortimer passes the tests, when Mister shoulder blocks the air, when Molly confirms etc. Once or twice should've been enough.

It should've been, but Murphy was trying really hard to deny it. Hell, she was still denying it until he showed up at the end of the book. Even the other characters were getting pretty annoyed with her.

Blazzano
08-07-2011, 09:17 PM
IMO, Molly would be found guilty of violating the First Law, but her method insulates her somewhat from the mind damaging effects of murdering by magic. The examples she gives are illusions as follows: 1. an illusion of a gun in their hand, 2. green traffic light, 3. knife in hand, 4. wedding ring on finger, 5. a spot of blood on a shirt collar.

She only gives details about the first one, but it sounds like that her magic is the catalyst for their deaths, rather than the cause. All of those things merely escalate the odds of dying. In most cases, the actual death is caused by another person - like she says, her targets "tear into one another like animals." Also, if I'm remembering correctly, someone else (Butters?) says that not all the Rag Lady incidents are fatalities.

I think this is an important distinction, when it comes to predicting the damage done to the caster's psyche. In fact, maybe the majority of additional damage to Molly's head is the result of her sensitivity to people dying, instead of the usual First Law-related damage.

But as far as the Council is concerned, she's guilty. Her magic was involved in their deaths, and if they ever get confirmation of the details, it'll be off with her head unless she gets some sort of lucky break.

Agayek
08-07-2011, 09:38 PM
Does anyone remember if Harry was worried about killing the thralls when he, Murphy, and Kincaid raided the black court hideout?

Thralls, yes. Renfields, no. In the raid on Mavra's scourge, they were all Renfields, not thralls.

The difference being thralls are humans under a compulsion, while Renfields are functionally braindead and exist as extensions of the vampire that created them (I think, I'd have to re-read the book to be sure).

In either case, killing Renfields does not violate the First Law.

Celestin
08-07-2011, 09:46 PM
I wonder how happy will be Fix when he will hear about the new Winter Knight. I predict he will try to kill Harry the moment he will leave Mab's court on any errand.

Chengar Qordath
08-08-2011, 02:41 AM
I wonder how happy will be Fix when he will hear about the new Winter Knight. I predict he will try to kill Harry the moment he will leave Mab's court on any errand.
I doubt it; the Winter and Summer Courts are usually in more of a cold war (if one will forgive the term) with each other than outright open warfare.

That's not to mention that Fix wasn't too sure he could take on pre-Winter Knight Harry, and the fact that Fix and Lily are both generally shown as friendly towards, him, though wary of his ties to Winter.

Jon
08-08-2011, 03:10 AM
Fix will die.

The next time Harry meets him.

Know why?

Because friends don't greet friends with shotguns to the face.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 03:37 AM
I don't think Fix will die for a while. If HE knew he was weaker than pre-knight!Harry, then Mad must have an inkling now of how powerful the two of them are, surely?

So I would've thought Mad will want Fix around for a while, so she has the better position. So she may not exactly protect Fix, but she doesn't have to worry about trying to get him killed.

And I think if Fix does get killed by Harry, it'll be Fix's fault - he's been around the Fae too long (or something like that), and follows Fae logic, to kill Murph or somesuch. Harry will get a mite bit upset.

Styx0444
08-08-2011, 06:09 AM
I'm wondering how Harry being the winter knight will influence his affiliation with the White Council. At the moment they think he's dead, but that may not last for long.

Taure
08-08-2011, 06:22 AM
I suspect the Faerie Knights are one of those cases where the White Council would love to extend their jurisdiction over them, but don't have the power to do so. If they got their hands on him and felt that they could try him without invoking Mab's wrath, they would, but they probably can't.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 06:33 AM
I thought the Faerie Knights were each part of their respective Courts, and the Courts are signatories of the Accords. I really don't think the White Council could survive, let alone win, another war.

KaiDASH
08-08-2011, 06:47 AM
Mab would stomp the White Council so badly that there wouldn't be a White Council around afterwards.

Taure
08-08-2011, 06:50 AM
That depends on if the White Council knows her Name.

Chengar Qordath
08-08-2011, 07:21 AM
Not to mention that the Faerie Queens have a lot of limitations on how much of their power they can directly use in the real world; that's why they have Knights in the first place.

Zenzao
08-08-2011, 07:35 AM
That depends on if the White Council knows her Name.

And given her current state, I don't think she would put up as well a fight as even a couple of years prior. That assault to her main place in Winter Court territory probably caused some increased trouble to her already apparent instability.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 07:39 AM
I'm sure I remember reading a WoJ that Mab, on her own, would probably have an equal amount of power as the ENTIRE White Council (so every member, not just the wardens), but only if they knew her name.

If she could (and, oh wait, she can) muster up any support, then the white council would die. If she was in Winter, they'd die.

If she pointed out to Titania that the WC had started attacking her, and that Summer would be next...

Humanity would die.

Chengar Qordath
08-08-2011, 07:51 AM
If she pointed out to Titania that the WC had started attacking her, and that Summer would be next...
That would be pretty risky course of action though; there's a very good chance that Titania would actually join in on a White Council attack against Winter. After all, Summer is going to be the biggest beneficiary of anything that weakens Winter.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 08:15 AM
But it would be inevitable - as Harry pointed out in (I think) SK: if one of the Faerie Courts got a substantial control, then the weather on Earth would shift, and everyone would die.

If the White Council wiped out the Winter Court (or even just weakened it), they'd have to do the same to Summer, to preserve the balance.

Moridin
08-08-2011, 02:30 PM
But it would be inevitable - as Harry pointed out in (I think) SK: if one of the Faerie Courts got a substantial control, then the weather on Earth would shift, and everyone would die.

If the White Council wiped out the Winter Court (or even just weakened it), they'd have to do the same to Summer, to preserve the balance.

It would certainly be their objective, but there's nothing to say that they could.

The way this was raised was that Summer would help the WC against Winter. In the war against Summer that you are correct in assuming must follow, who would they ask for aid from?

Besides, wiping out Winter would have significantly strengthened Summer, so it wouldn't even be the case that they face an opponent of the same strength. They'd literally have to fight two wars - one against Winter, where they'd have it really tough, and one against Summer, which would be nigh impossible - and that's without factoring in the losses they would take in the first war.

The WC would probably realise this and not attack, but if they do, Summer is smart enough to figure it out too. Thus, it certainly is in Summer's interests to help the WC, as the worst that could happen is that they have to deal with a relatively minor threat a little down the road.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 02:36 PM
Which is why they'r either have to do the two wars at once, or, what I think more likely, just not start one in the first place.

If us internetpeoples can figure it out, you'd hope at least one wizard would be able to.

Aekiel
08-08-2011, 02:59 PM
Remember that if the White Council were to take on Mab and then Titania they would need both of their Names. That's not a small task in and of itself.

Tehan
08-08-2011, 03:19 PM
The part where Butcher said that, he said that they'd need every wizard on Earth fighting with them as well as having Her name to just to survive the throwdown. One after the other? Fuck no. And that's without even going into how the fuck they go about getting her name without her getting wind of their search and curbstomping them as they are - divided and without her Name.

Thorn
08-08-2011, 03:29 PM
If Mab had any doubts as to her ability to defeat them, she could always bring along Lea for back up. She's frequently described as the second most powerful fae in Winter, so she can't be lacking in power.

T3t
08-08-2011, 03:40 PM
Yeah, Lea's pretty damn powerful. She ripped through several Lords of the Outer Night pretenders in Changes without much effort.

Chengar Qordath
08-08-2011, 04:23 PM
As another point of order, I'm pretty sure that the only way to actually kill a Faerie is to do so in the Nevernever or an in-between place like Chicago-over-Chicago. Killing a Faerie in the normal world just leaves you with a bunch of ectoplasm while sending the actual Faerie back to the Nevernever.

Agayek
08-08-2011, 04:32 PM
As another point of order, I'm pretty sure that the only way to actually kill a Faerie is to do so in the Nevernever or an in-between place like Chicago-over-Chicago. Killing a Faerie in the normal world just leaves you with a bunch of ectoplasm while sending the actual Faerie back to the Nevernever.

I'm not convinced that's true. It's certainly possible, but if the Fae behaved the same as demons and other similar creatures of the Nevernever, dealing with them would be much less dangerous and whatnot than it is portrayed as.

For example, we know taking matter from the nevernever and closing a circle around it causes it to revert to ectoplasm, but no one in the series seems to think drawing a circle around Mab or Lea or whatever would do much good.

Then there's also the whole "they can't come [into the mortal world] unless they're called" (ala Binder's friends in TC and the Toad Demon from SF), which doesn't seem to be true of Faeries, seeing as Lea seems to be able to come and go as she pleases.

It's definitely possible that you are correct, and we won't know until we see a Fae die in the mortal realm, but I think Faeries operate on a different set of rules.

Thaumologist
08-08-2011, 04:40 PM
For example, we know taking matter from the nevernever and closing a circle around it causes it to revert to ectoplasm, but no one in the series seems to think drawing a circle around Mab or Lea or whatever would do much good.


Harry repeatedly traps Toot within a circle. The first time (onscreen) that this happens, Toot references the fact this has happened before. Several times.

Chengar Qordath
08-08-2011, 05:13 PM
Did a quick canon-check, and it's a bit confusing; the Fetches in Proven Guilty dissolve into ectoplasm, but being shapeshifters muddies the issue.

The Gruffs in Small Favor, on the other hand, are a bit of an odder case; they leave behind corpses, but Harry's conversation with Tiny makes it sound like they may not actually be dead, just wounded (and even then only on account of Harry using cold iron against them).

Thorn
08-08-2011, 05:48 PM
Don't forget, Harry trapped the Erlking in a circle (though if memory serves, it was one he had quite a bit of time and thought put into) and likely could've kept him there long enough had he not been bopped on the head.

Agayek
08-08-2011, 06:12 PM
Harry repeatedly traps Toot within a circle. The first time (onscreen) that this happens, Toot references the fact this has happened before. Several times.

Kinda my point. Toot doesn't get obliterated into ectoplasm like Binder's goons do. He's just stuck inside it. If the Fae followed the "normal" (as best I can tell) pattern of beings from the Nevernever, Mab, Lea and Toot would just dissolve if someone were to draw a circle around them. Since that doesn't happen, it's probably safe to say the Fae follow different rules.

It's hard to say, because it almost seems as if the rules change on a case-by-case basis, but as best I can tell, the Fae are, for lack of a better term, "more real" than the other beasties. Which means if you kill one, it's dead, regardless of where.

Jon
08-08-2011, 08:26 PM
Sidhe are part here part there.

Blazzano
08-08-2011, 10:20 PM
The earlier topic of discussion reminds me of Wizards vs. Muggles, except now it's wizards vs. Fae. :awesome

On an unrelated note, though, it goes to show you how beastly the Archive is. The RPG puts the Archive's power on the same level as faerie queens, which would seem to mean that Ivy could pretty much take on the White Council all by her lonesome.

I hope we get to see what she can do when she isn't energy restricted, some day.

Euroclydon
08-08-2011, 10:29 PM
I mean, in regards to magic, what exactly does the Archive not know?

Heck yeah she's a beast.

Tehan
08-08-2011, 10:59 PM
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody writes about it, the Archive doesn't know about it.

T3t
08-08-2011, 11:12 PM
I think we can safely assume that almost everything about magic has been written down at some point. See: Kemmler. If nothing else, she knows how to perform the Darkhallow.

Aekiel
08-09-2011, 12:07 AM
All the Fae are part mortal so they leave physical remains behind when they die. The youngest gruffs in Small Favor were killed in the Carpenters' back garden and it is specifically mentioned that because they didn't dissolved into ectoplasm then they must be Faeries.

Krogan
08-09-2011, 04:50 AM
I mean, in regards to magic, what exactly does the Archive not know?

Heck yeah she's a beast.
If its ever been recorded in any fashion whatsoever she knows it so I'd suspect damn near everything.

Zenzao
08-09-2011, 05:18 AM
If its ever been recorded in any fashion whatsoever she knows it so I'd suspect damn near everything.

Just think of all the LiveJournal and MySpace entries she has soaking up precious space up there, not to mention the other social media muck :fire

Taure
08-09-2011, 06:02 AM
Just think of all the CIA files she knows about.

Thaumologist
08-09-2011, 06:10 AM
Oh god, the poor thing...

4chan.

Psychotic Cat
08-09-2011, 06:39 AM
Just think of all the LiveJournal and MySpace entries she has soaking up precious space up there, not to mention the other social media muck :fire
Pfft, myspace?


Hmm, that's what you think of?


Ivy knows what you write in the search box of your porn site of choice.

You sick bastards.

Tehan
08-09-2011, 01:10 PM
Look at the problems historians face - all they know is what is written, and 'history is written by the victors' is a cliche for a reason. The only way she'd ever have first-hand information about something is if the person in question kept a diary, and even then, the human memory is incredibly fallible. Add in that universal literacy is a very new phenomenon and you get a very patchwork view of history.

As for magic, sure, the contemporary western view of magic involves tomes and whatnot. What about the many cultures out there that spread their secrets through word-of-mouth only? You think Injun Joe has ever put pen to paper to spill all the secrets of his dead tribe? And how many other pre-literate societies have been wiped out throughout history, and how many of them would have had potent magical secrets of their own? And sure, the Archive knows everything that's written down, but for every even remotely factual text you've got Lizardmen Jews Built The Pyramids Part 2: Comes With Free Tinfoil Hat. How do you tell what's true and what's not?

What about pictograms? Can she understand cuneiform and heiroglyphs? Does carving a story into the side of a monument count as writing it? If so, how would she know which of the dozens of languages and thousands of dialects a particular chunk of writing is written in? What if it incorporates idioms from a culture that's been dead for twelve thousand years, and is incomprehensible without understanding them?

Surely there's a line between cave paintings and cuneiform where artistic depictions trying to depict actual events and ideas became an actual abstract alphabet. At which point does it 'count' as writing for the purposes of the Archive's powers?

What about context? If someone hand-writes a manuscript for a fictional first-person book from the perspective of the man on the infamous Grassy Knoll, can she differentiate it from a confession the actual man on the Grassy Knoll wrote? Could she tell you who killed JFK, or could she just shrug and say maybe one of the thousands of accounts she's got swimming around in her head is factual instead of fictional?

What about ciphers? If someone invents their own language for keeping notes in, can she understand it? What if it was mentally encrypted beforehand? What if it used a one-time pad? Would Ivy be able to guess which of the millions of one-time pads that built up in her little database during WW2 was actually used? What if they used a random story in the newspaper as a one-time pad?

Surely you bright sparks can come up with hundreds of similar scenarios where the Archive's powers are constrained. Stop talking her up as the biggest power the world has ever known. She's a glorified time capsule in the form of a cute little girl that likes kitties. The job comes with a few perks, magically speaking, but it doesn't come with phenomenal cosmic powers - just a bunch of tips on refining what potential the Archive's current body might have.

Thaumologist
08-09-2011, 01:17 PM
The archive is meant to be a repository of knowledge, so I'd like to think she had some way of knowing what was truth and what was fiction. And, I think the intent so as to be a repository would mean that any form of stored data (carvings, pictograms, internet, written word) would be stored.

Agayek
08-09-2011, 01:19 PM
The archive is meant to be a repository of knowledge, so I'd like to think she had some way of knowing what was truth and what was fiction. And, I think the intent so as to be a repository would mean that any form of stored data (carvings, pictograms, internet, written word) would be stored.

This could also arguably be extended to include oral traditions as well. The stories, tales and teachings of such are intended, and designed to be remembered. One could argue that the Archive's magic does recognize such as something to note.

There's no evidence that I've seen one way or the other for it, but it's definitely plausible.

LittleChicago
08-09-2011, 01:29 PM
She's a glorified time capsule in the form of a cute little girl that likes kitties.

Also otters. She likes otters.


I agree with you though.

Remember Dresden's inner thoughts right before he asked Lea what his mother had left him? Knowledge is the only real legacy that can be left to the next generation. No matter what else people have, if they have no idea what to do with it, they're fucked.

Hell, every post-apocalyptic, we've-moved-past-the-dark-age-of-technology-and-have-no-idea-how-this-shit-works story is that idea, expanded.

Ivy is the legacy of all of humanity. No, we don't know all the ins and outs and limits she has or even what her relative processing power is, but I guess that's part of the point - even someone who knows everything is still only human.

Humans are limited and flawed - that's one of the main themes of the series: everybody makes mistakes. Ivy's above every wizard on Earth in terms of raw power, and probably in terms of understanding how to use it, but she's not a god.

Thaumologist
08-09-2011, 01:29 PM
I always just held by my belief (and will until WoG says otherwise) that it is intent that drives EVERYTHING with magic in the Dresdenverse.

The Archive was intended to be a store of recorded knowledge. Therefore she is a backup of ALL stored knowledge. We could take it literally, and only written knowledge, but that goes against my initial belief.

I got it from the laws of magic, specifically, Do Not Kill With Magic. After a long discussion between several of us on the JimButcher boards (same username over there) about what constitutes killing, I ended up on the side that it doesn't matter whether the magic is the tool that does the killing or not (throwing them off a building is killing, although gravity is the tool; stopping their life is killing, as magic is the tool), but it is based on intent. As opposed to the other side which is that effect matters more than intent (knocking them off a building is killing, deliberate or not).

Nae'blis
08-09-2011, 01:29 PM
You're thinking too much into this Tehan. By your logic, she can't even know what knowledge there is in the world at present, because for that, she would have to understand every language currently in existence. And as much fun it is to fantasize about how she can't knows ciphers and heliographs, ultimately, it comes down to the fact that she just knows. Doesn't matter if the language was for an imaginary troll, or an NSA cryptologist. She knows the meaning behind all those words.

On the other hand, I can get behind your argument about human knowledge not being the perfect way to record the actual events. Still, magic or technology, human factor always accounts for errors. ;)

Tehan
08-09-2011, 02:02 PM
I'm not saying that she's gotten the short end of the stick with all those examples I brought up, I'm saying that if you want to talk about what power Ivy has, you have to answer all those questions, and if your answer to every single one is 'she knows everything' you need a good smack upside the head. You can't just say 'magic did it', because Dresden Files demonstrates time and time again that magic has limits and rules.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that Butcher himself hasn't quite nailed down the details of the Archive's powers, considering he's waffled on the topic of whether printouts count.

Krogan
08-09-2011, 02:55 PM
No he actually has, you'd need to give me a bit to locate the quote but I'm sure I've seen him say that she gets absolutely everything even before they started writing things down including word of mouth and hieroglyphs and the like.

Celestin
08-09-2011, 03:31 PM
From Dresden RPG (that is considered almost the canon since Jim is working with authors and actually didn't let them write some things, because they figured out details that weren't in the books yet):

This is because she [Ivy] is the host for the living memory of mankind, the sum of all human knowledge: culture, science, philosophy, lore, traditions - all that’s ever been spoken, printed, or written down. (Electronic information doesn’t count until it’s printed out.) Her purpose is to procure and preserve that knowledge. And she understands it all, every last bit of it.

Tehan
08-09-2011, 03:44 PM
If her bailiwick covers everything that's spoken, why'd Dresden have to write down the message that they were en route in Small Favor?

Jon
08-09-2011, 05:40 PM
Because we don't record things by verbally communicating anymore? That isn't a way we as a culture remember information.

T3t
08-09-2011, 06:12 PM
The whole thing is a mess, but again - I think intent is the most important bit. Things which are meant to be recorded, in whatever medium, the Archive will know.

Aekiel
08-09-2011, 06:16 PM
I got it from the laws of magic, specifically, Do Not Kill With Magic. After a long discussion between several of us on the JimButcher boards (same username over there) about what constitutes killing, I ended up on the side that it doesn't matter whether the magic is the tool that does the killing or not (throwing them off a building is killing, although gravity is the tool; stopping their life is killing, as magic is the tool), but it is based on intent. As opposed to the other side which is that effect matters more than intent (knocking them off a building is killing, deliberate or not).

There is WoJ saying the exact opposite, I'm afraid, and killing without magic is perfectly fine compared to killing with it.

Chengar Qordath
08-09-2011, 10:23 PM
Look at the problems historians face - all they know is what is written, and 'history is written by the victors' is a cliche for a reason. The only way she'd ever have first-hand information about something is if the person in question kept a diary, and even then, the human memory is incredibly fallible. Add in that universal literacy is a very new phenomenon and you get a very patchwork view of history.
In the specific context of history, Ivy does have something of a huge advantage, since she wouldn't have the whole problem of ever losing a record. Most societies had plenty of writing among the elite upper class, it's just that 99.99% of that writing is gone a couple thousand years later.

I think Ivy's real problem would be the opposite; too much information (especially if oral histories/traditions are covered too). So, for example, Ivy would probably have an incredibly difficult time sorting out something like either of the World Wars, where she would have millions of different accounts from thousands of different perspectives to sort through.

Blazzano
08-09-2011, 10:59 PM
IMO, part of her gift is the ability to actually sort out the underlying pattern in the world's texts, despite the potentially high "noise ratio."

The human mind is fairly well wired for this sort of thing; we can look at a very noisy digital image (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Highimgnoise.jpg) and at least have a rough idea of what we're looking at. How long is it going to be before a computer could be given that image, and output a comprehensible description of what it's seeing?

I believe Ivy can do this on a grand scale with the world's documented knowledge, and with more accuracy than normal humans can. To complete the analogy with the image I linked, it would be like her looking at that image, and not only describing the scene, but telling you exactly where that photo was taken. How? Magic. :awesome

Aekiel
08-09-2011, 10:59 PM
That's the joy of Intellectus. You ask it a question and it just knows. it is like a database, in a way, but it's also so much more than that.

Chengar Qordath
08-10-2011, 12:15 AM
The problem isn't having to deal with unrelated noise, it's the fact that having access to all of recorded human knowledge would often give her dozens of contradictory answers to the same question. Different records written by different people are going to have different answers to the same questions. The problem isn't getting an answer, it's getting 20 different answers and having to figure out which one is the right one.

Fridge Horror realization of the day: if Ivy has all the written knowledge of humanity, that includes stuff like Nazi propaganda.

Jon
08-10-2011, 12:34 AM
...That means nothing.

Having all the knowledge ever written.

That means that if someone pisses her off enough she can bring back all the demonic gods that we've forgotten on purpose.

She could end the Oblivion War in one fell swoop.

And not for the good guys.

Agayek
08-10-2011, 12:46 AM
...That means nothing.

Having all the knowledge ever written.

That means that if someone pisses her off enough she can bring back all the demonic gods that we've forgotten on purpose.

She could end the Oblivion War in one fell swoop.

And not for the good guys.

You're missing Chengar's point.

What if she has thirty thousand different rituals to summon the Dark Gods? How the hell does she know which of those thirty thousand is the one correct ritual?

I mean hell, I could write a book explaining how to summon a Daemon Prince of Khorne, that doesn't mean it actually would work. The Archive would still know it however, and if I were to match my ritual closely with some other method of reaching beyond the Outer Gates, there wouldn't be a whole lot of evidence to prove it's incorrect.

It could be the magic of the Archive just removes that entirely, and she just knows what's true and what's false, but it is a valid concern.

Jon
08-10-2011, 02:21 AM
She doesn't need any of the thirty rituals you twat.

All she needs is the knowledge of them and that's enough.

Hurpa fucking Durpa.

Agayek
08-10-2011, 02:42 AM
She doesn't need any of the thirty rituals you twat.

All she needs is the knowledge of them and that's enough.

Hurpa fucking Durpa.

Yet she has the knowledge of all of them ever written. How does she know which rituals are true and which ones are bogus shenanigans someone put down to look like they knew what they're doing?

The point is not whether or not she knows all the rituals, because we all know and agree she does. The problem lies in the fact that she knows all the rituals. It's much like historical documents, it's very, very hard to really tell when something is a true story, based on a true story or a complete fabrication.

Maybe a better example is how can she differentiate between a real magical tome or a dedicated D&D RPer's spellbook.

Just because she knows something does not mean that knowledge is useful, practical, or even true.

Jon
08-10-2011, 02:52 AM
Alright, let me clarify.

The rituals? They mean shit all in the scenario I am describing. The simple knowledge of the beings is enough to bind them to Dresden's world, and fuck the entire world over. The mere knowledge of them being present in enough human minds if enough to doom them all.

Alright?

Good, glad you've got that through your thick head.

Now, let's clarify.

The Archive knows all that has been recorded, and understands it.

Now, extrapolating on this, The Archive would be able to comprehend and determine the out come of any ritual in it's memory, because you know, it fucking understands the components and what makes it work.

Chengar Qordath
08-10-2011, 02:53 AM
...That means nothing.

Having all the knowledge ever written.

That means that if someone pisses her off enough she can bring back all the demonic gods that we've forgotten on purpose.

She could end the Oblivion War in one fell swoop.

And not for the good guys.
Sure, she could do that but it's not good for much beyond screwing everyone over with no benefit to herself. It's not even very good as a nuclear option/threat, since the Venatori are the only people who would have any idea what she's talking about.

Plus, there are limits to her ability to use all the knowledge she has; I wouldn't be shocked if one of those limits involved Oblivion War related stuff.

Jon
08-10-2011, 02:58 AM
Indeed.

There are hard limits in place, such as the archive being true neutral in basically all things.

Blazzano
08-10-2011, 04:45 AM
The problem isn't having to deal with unrelated noise, it's the fact that having access to all of recorded human knowledge would often give her dozens of contradictory answers to the same question. Different records written by different people are going to have different answers to the same questions. The problem isn't getting an answer, it's getting 20 different answers and having to figure out which one is the right one.

Fridge Horror realization of the day: if Ivy has all the written knowledge of humanity, that includes stuff like Nazi propaganda.

Well, when I say "noise," I'm including the contradictory answers. For any important event in history (for which there would necessarily be many accounts, including those of people caught in the wake of the event), the truth of the matter would be self-evident for someone with Ivy's power.

The key here is that Ivy doesn't see history the same way a historian does. A historian might look at many sources, try to weigh each one objectively and cross reference it with other contemporary sources, etc. And yes, for certain events the historian is going to be SOL because of a lack of good sources to draw on.

Ivy doesn't have this problem. She doesn't look at two contradictory sources and think "Oh no, there's no way for me to know who was telling the truth." If the Archive is trying to learn the truth of some historical event, she simultaneously cross-references all the sources...to the entire expanse of human history and knowledge. Instantaneously and effortlessly. Not just the direct accounts of the event, but everything that came before and after.

When you can do that sort of thing, figuring out whether a source is accurate or not isn't a problem. Incorrect sources stick out like sore thumbs, in that they don't correspond to the rest of human history and knowledge. They can be eliminated, either logically or probabilistically. And just to emphasize the point, Ivy doesn't work through all this logical deduction in her head. The Archive's power does it instantly, and perfectly.

That's how I imagine her power works, anyway. I'm having trouble explaining it, but it makes sense to me. It's why I used the example of the noisy photograph - if you look at the individual pixels it looks like a collection of random dots, but you can step back and see the pattern. The Archive can do this, where the "picture" is the entire documented history of humanity.

Aekiel
08-10-2011, 10:37 AM
In the case of rituals you're forgetting that spells such as those have a pattern to them that can be found, which is enough to sort out which ones could work, which ones will, and which ones would do nothing.

But that's not the Archive's true power. If a Name has been written down at any point in time, Ivy knows it. That, I imagine, is why she's neutral, because otherwise she could take down pretty much any being in the world if she wanted to.

Agayek
08-10-2011, 02:09 PM
Alright, let me clarify.

The rituals? They mean shit all in the scenario I am describing. The simple knowledge of the beings is enough to bind them to Dresden's world, and fuck the entire world over. The mere knowledge of them being present in enough human minds if enough to doom them all.

Alright?

Good, glad you've got that through your thick head.

Now, let's clarify.

The Archive knows all that has been recorded, and understands it.

Now, extrapolating on this, The Archive would be able to comprehend and determine the out come of any ritual in it's memory, because you know, it fucking understands the components and what makes it work.

You're still not getting my point.

She knows all about the dark gods we've purposely forgotten about, yes. We're agreed there.

She also knows all about the Warhammer Gods of Chaos, Lolth and every other fictional god ever created. A number of the fictional gods, especially for lore-heavy things like D&D, have just as much, if not more, documentation on their corresponding beliefs, rites, rituals and practices as every other deity in human history.

And in the Dresdenverse, it's not exactly unlikely for at least some of them to be based on, or at least very similar to, real rituals the creators didn't believe were real.

In that case, there's little she could do to determine which are real deities and which are fiction, unless the magic of the Archive covers that as well (and there's been no indication of such in the books).

In order to actually cause any chaos with such knowledge, she would need to spread it. To do so, she would need to either A) determine which are the real rituals or B) share everything.

In the case of A, it's likely the Gatekeeper, if not the whole White Council, will pick up on her tests and stop her with extreme prejudice.

In the case of B, she is limited by a human lifespan and all the standard human limitations. She could share it with some people, but it's likely that someone will find out about it before the knowledge spreads too far and put a stop to it.

It's fully possible she could just fuck over everyone whenever she gets in a mood, especially if her magic flags fiction for what it is, but it's not terribly likely.

Aekiel
08-10-2011, 02:34 PM
In that case, there's little she could do to determine which are real deities and which are fiction, unless the magic of the Archive covers that as well (and there's been no indication of such in the books).

Dude, this isn't some passive database that simply stores information. This is Intellectus. As in, ask it a question and it will know the answer. You may simply be overthinking things here; if Ivy wanted to know how to summon Nub-Shiggurath and someone had written the ritual for it down (as well as a dozen fales), chances are she could just ask the Archive and it would just know.

Garden
08-10-2011, 02:57 PM
Snip.
This not hard to get. Ivy knows. There's no struggle from her to comprehend or sort out fakes. There is knowledge, and Ivy knows it. Or rather, the Archive, and by extension her, knows it. There's no process of understanding or analysis. Just understanding.

"""A kind of intellectual construct. [...] A kind of entity composed of pure information. [...] The Archive is a magic so complex that it's practically alive-and it just knows. Anything that gets printed or written down, the Archive knows. [...] it was created as a repository of learning, a safeguard against the possibility of a cataclysm of civilization, a loss of all knowledge, the destruction of all learning. It was bound to neutrality, to the preservation and gathering of knowledge."" Small Favor, Chap. 35 (taken from Dresden Files wikia)"""

T3t
08-10-2011, 03:24 PM
Well... so she knows, but she's completely neutral - she can probably only draw on her power in self-defense or in situations where it doesn't matter (like decorating her house, or something). Or I guess as an arbiter between parties (Death Masks). Still, she held off several Denarians, including a sorceress, with limited magic and no trouble at all.

Random Shinobi
08-10-2011, 03:28 PM
Dude, this isn't some passive database that simply stores information. This is Intellectus. As in, ask it a question and it will know the answer.It's likely a limited Intellectus. If it were the real thing, she certainly wouldn't be limited to human knowledge. Besides, Dresden is a very unreliable narrator, and he might very well be totally wrong about her ability.

Agayek
08-10-2011, 06:10 PM
This not hard to get. Ivy knows. There's no struggle from her to comprehend or sort out fakes. There is knowledge, and Ivy knows it. Or rather, the Archive, and by extension her, knows it. There's no process of understanding or analysis. Just understanding.

"""A kind of intellectual construct. [...] A kind of entity composed of pure information. [...] The Archive is a magic so complex that it's practically alive-and it just knows. Anything that gets printed or written down, the Archive knows. [...] it was created as a repository of learning, a safeguard against the possibility of a cataclysm of civilization, a loss of all knowledge, the destruction of all learning. It was bound to neutrality, to the preservation and gathering of knowledge."" Small Favor, Chap. 35 (taken from Dresden Files wikia)"""

Yes. She knows everything ever written down. Nowhere does it say, or even imply, that she "just knows" whether it's a fictional account or a real record. She knows everything that has been put onto paper (or otherwise passed down), regardless of its basis in reality.

That does not mean she knows whether it's true or not. Hell, the vast majority of human records are false to varying degrees. No one is saying she doesn't have the knowledge, just that there's no guarantee everything she knows is factual. A lot of human knowledge generated over the years, especially in the scientific field, has been proven time and again to be either incomplete or blatantly wrong. Nothing in the books gives any indication that the Archive is capable of sifting fact from fiction, just that it knows it.