If I were a writer, I would want to write like Jim Butcher. It’s a very strange thing, because he’s not my favorite writer of all time, nor did he write my favorite book of all time, etc etc. But while I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld a little more than The Dresden Files, and while Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite book of all time (yeah yeah I’m one of those people, shut up), there is something remarkable, compelling, and deeply enjoyable about Jim Butcher’s writing.

It’s not just the fact that The Dresden Files occupies a unique niche in the world of fantasy fiction, or the fact this niche covers all my favorite elements at once — Wizards! Humor! Epic Magic! Detective-ing! — that makes me want to write like Jim Butcher. It’s also the lovingly crafted protagonist, who always comes through for his friends even at great personal cost, and can always see the humor in dark situations. The supporting cast is always interesting and well developed, and it’s always a pleasure when they come back in subsequent books like an old friend. His plots are intricate, yet well thought out with a minimum of obfuscation. And they’re always EXCITING.

Ghost Story is no exception, although truth be told I found the ending to be a bit deus ex machina. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s really avoidable when you bring death and even a breath of higher powers and angels into the mix. I accept that it was a necessary thing, and that the book was still kick-ass, and a great set up for future epic stories.

Verdict: Can’t go wrong with the Jim Butcher.