M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Buying Books by Intriguing Titles

The family lending library finally delivered Jim Butcher's Ghost Story, the thirteenth Harry Dresden novel. Thought the title rather cliched since the twelveth novel in the series, ended with Dresden getting shot. If I wasn't a fan of the series, I don't think I would've pick the book up. 

[Google "Ghost Story" and see how many different books come up, if you're curious and have lots of time. I was surprised at how many.]

In Butcher's Ghost Story, Harry Dresden's caught between life and death after he's been assassinated. In no-man's-land, he's told that three friends will die if he doesn't solve who killed him. So, he returns to Chicago only to discover he's a ghost who can't interact with the physical world. Imagine Dresden invisible, inaudible and unable to blast his way out of danger. On top of this, you just gotta know that the world has become a more dangerous world after his last encounter with the Red Court vampires. 

Watching Chicago's favorite wizard learn how to manipulate events indirectly is fun and the plot twists and turns through a distopian Chicago. New and old characters join the romp as Dresden tries to save his friends. Though Molly seems to have gotten burnt the most by Dresden's adventures.

More important, the story introduces a thinking Dresden. I found this an interesting character development in this long enduring series. I'll have to add this to my list of ways to keep a story line evolving to different heights rather than sinking into carpal tunnel syndrome. I looking forward to new additions to the series, featuring a new more subtle Dresden.

Butcher's prose is just as delicious, as always. An example of distopian Chicago:
"Seedy wasn't a fair description for the place, because seeds  imply eventual regrowth and renewal. Parts of Chicago are wondrous fair, and parts of Chicago look postapolcalyptic. This block had seen the apocalypse come, grunted, and said, "Meh." There were no glass windows on the block--just solid boards, mostly protected by iron bars, and gaping holes."

Yeah the books going on my keeper pile. 

Titles:
Have been muttering about titles -- "on and off the air" ... since my Half-Elven work in progress is title-challenged. Current title is: Traitorous Tides, which at least hints at the scope of the story more than The Somant Troubles.

Titles are one of my many weak spots. Seems every thing I write goes through several title changes. Like, if you've read me for any length of time, you know I've twiddled with the title of this blog too. Felt good to learn I'm not the only one. Kirkus McGowan complained about sappy blog titles. Check it out for a fun read.
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