Grave Peril by Jim Butcher: Audio Book Review

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Title: Grave Peril
Author: Jim Butcher (Reader: James Marsters)
Publisher: Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Corp.
Publication Date: June 2009
Length: 11 hr 59 min (378 pages)
Series: The Dresden Files (#3)
Audio or Book: Audio
Reason for Discovery: the Internet

From GoodReads:

Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you're the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.

But in all Harry's years of supernatural sleuthing, he's never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble - and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone - or something - is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself.

Yea for a blurb that discusses the story! :) 

I have several friends who love The Dresden Files and after much discussion and persuasion, I agreed to give the series a go. I have to admit that I am not loving the series so far; however, I was warned that the series doesn't pick up until book five. ::sigh:: 

Let's talk about what I enjoyed. I love ghost stories. I am a sucker for a tale about a haunting and ghosts needing to find peace. Grave Peril gave me this in droves. Fool Moon was fun but I don't like werewolves nearly as much as I like ghosts. Also, this book did not involve the police as much as the previous books. I thought this was a bit refreshing. I like Murphy and the other cops, but I find it tiring to have Dresden hanging out with people who don't believe in magic all of the time. I just want him to do magic already! Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was that he didn't withhold as much information from other people as he did in the first two books. In Storm Front and Fool Moon, Dresden purposely chose to withhold information from people in an effort to protect people. Unfortunately for him, all this did was cause more trouble. Dresden does continue to engage in this behavior in this book, but he does it to a lesser extent. I was happy not to listen to Dresden pat himself on the back for being a noble guy for refusing to tell someone "X" even though he didn't bother to ask why the person needed the information. 

Although I enjoyed Grave Peril more than the first two books in The Dresden Files, I found that this book still suffered from some problems. First and most importantly, the pacing seemed off. Some scenes felt really short and a handful of scenes were really, really long. I found myself listening to the same scene when I was getting ready for work, when I was driving to work, when I was coming home from work, and when I was doing chores around the house later that day. A second problem I had with this book was that Butcher would shift to the present, the past, and dreams fairly quickly. If I was reading the print book, I am sure that this would not have been a problem; however, when I was listening to the audio book sometimes I didn't realize that we had moved. Finally, I must admit that I am getting a bit tired of how the female characters are written in this series. The Dresden Files does fit into the noir category a bit, so I have to give it a bit of a pass though. The female characters aren't bad; they are just a bit too cookie cutter for a noir novel. 

Audio: Although I am a bit iffy about this series still, James Marsters does a great job as the reader. His gruff voice works really well for Dresden and this noir-esque, urban fantasy, mystery series. Marster's pacing and tone is great. He is a little too quiet at times, but this shouldn't bother the average listener. I don't have an auxiliary hookup in my car, so when I listen to audio books in my car, I listen to them with my cellphone's volume cranked up. When I listen to The Dresden Files, I sometimes have trouble hearing Marsters, if there is a lot of noise outside. If you are considering reading The Dresden Files, I definitely recommend the audio books. 

Overall, Grave Peril was a fine addition to The Dresden Files. To be honest, this book doesn't make me want to pick up the next book tomorrow, but this book also doesn't make me want to stop reading the series. I am going to keep trucking with this series until I get through book five, and then I am going to re-evaluate. 

I give this book a 3 out of 5.  

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