Oh boy: I’m excited about writing this review.
While I’m not sure I can say this is my favorite Dresden book, this is where the series really, truly starts to pick up: Grave Peril is where the over-arching story of the series so far starts, and it also introduces my absolute favorite character in the series: Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross. The rest of the review will be moderately spoiler-y.
This one starts out with Harry and Michael in the midst of attempting to rid a hospital of a dangerous ghost, and from there moves into the main story of the book (and, a huge portion of the series) when Harry is invited to a Vampire’s Ball, a costume party of sorts. He refuses to allow Susan, his girlfriend, to accompany him — and she’s dying to go, as she wants to know more about the supernatural. She’s a reporter, and her interest in Harry’s life isn’t just being his girlfriend. Instead, he decides to take Michael Carpenter.
Now, a lot happens before that point: there’s a whole issue with the Nightmare, what appears to be one of the big bads in the book. It’s stalking everyone dear to Harry Dresden, and in a bid to stop the thing he ends up owing a favor to his fairy Godmother, the Leanansidhe, and she also gains possession of the Sword of the Cross Michael wields. From there, it’s even more down-hill. Michael and Harry end up at the party (and Harry chooses the absolute funniest costume, but I’ll leave that gem out), and so does nearly everyone else of consequence in the story.
All hell breaks loose, and it doesn’t stop breaking loose through the end of the book. This was very nearly a one-sitting book for me, if I didn’t actually sit myself down and actually read it all at once I certainly did from the party forward. It’s not a short book by any means; I believe the paperback is near 400 pages. But it’s an addicting book.
If you liked the first two books in this series, or if you have a sense of humor and a pulse, this is a great read. The series gets more exciting starting with this book, and Jim Butcher really hits his stride. If they were to make a movie of the Dresden files, I’d like to see it be this book — it’s one of my favorite fantasy books of all time, not just one of my favorite Dresden Files books.
Stop reading this, and start reading it: