So, Ghost Story, the runty middle child of the series as far as I can tell. But it’s the 13th book I hear you cry, there’s only 15 out how can it be that? Well from what I understand, the series will have at least another 10 books. Even just in terms of series flow this feels like a filler book, something to put in the middle of a bigger tale. Nothing ground breaking happens in it really, all of its actions being a direct result of Changes. Which is my problem with it.
With how Changes ends, this book couldn’t really be anything other than it is. Harry has to go through something like this to avoid Changes’ ending feeling cheap, but it just leaves you wanting. Harry’s not got his powers, he can barely interact with his friends, and the stakes are just so low compared to Changes.
“I once lost five years listening to a Pink Floyd album.”
I know this just feels like I’m harping on about how good Changes is compared to Ghost Story but I kind of have to. The two are intertwined much more deeply than any other pair in the series. But I get it. I should judge it on its own merits, not compared to the masterpiece which preceded it. Let’s get to it on its own then.
Harry’s in a special place in this book. Hanging out with Mort, Uriel, and Molly, he goes on a twilight adventure between the Chicago he knows and the Chicago that’s remembered. We dive deeper into the world of ghosts and ghouls, watch titanic battles of wills between wizards both new and old, and finally ends with an awakening that reminds me a bit of A Song of Ice and Fires Weirwoods.
“Life is precious, fragile, fleeting – and Murphy’s life was one of my favorites.”
Now after the slightly more sombre tone of Changes, Harry falls back into the old routine, with the jokes and quips coming faster then ever. His usual gallows humour being a bit more poignant then usual given his situation. Nothing is sacred, all the jokes you can think of about death and ghosts are present and accounted for, and best of all, there’s a handful you’ve not heard before.
“I’ve been a young man. Boobs are near the center of the universe, until you turn twenty-five or so. Which is also when young men’s auto insurance rates go down.
This is not a coincidence.”
Summing up Ghost Story is an odd thing. It moves the world forward, ties up loose ends, and sets up for the next stage in Harry’s journey. Nothing world shattering occurs, characters change but all off screen, and everything is just slightly underwhelming. I still don’t like to call it filler, as it needs to be as it is, but that’s what it feels like to me. Still give it a read, but know that much better is to come.
“I may have had good reasons. I may have had the best of intentions.
But intentions aren’t enough, no matter how good they are. Intentions can lead you to a place where you’re able to make a choice.
It’s the choice that counts.”