General Impressions (Ghost Story Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The Dresden Files' started by Taure, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Datakim

    Datakim Chief Warlock

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    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.
     
  2. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

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    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.
     
  3. Nae

    Nae The Violent

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    Yeah, could be it.

    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
     
  4. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    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.
     
  5. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    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. :/
     
  6. Cyclops

    Cyclops Unspeakable

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  7. Garden

    Garden Minister of Magic

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    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.
     
  8. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
  9. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    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.
     
  10. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
  11. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, but the longer he waits, the greater the chance her boobs start sagging before he taps that.
     
  12. Scrib

    Scrib The Chosen One

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    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.
     
  13. Nae

    Nae The Violent

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    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.
     
  14. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  15. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
  16. Brown

    Brown Third Year

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    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.
     
  17. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
  18. Garden

    Garden Minister of Magic

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    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.
     
  19. KillerEggLord

    KillerEggLord Third Year

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    I thought it was pretty obvious that Eternal Silence was the proxy of Deamonreach.
     
  20. Samuel Black

    Samuel Black Minister of Magic

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    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.