This is not a five star book for me, but I liked it better than four stars, also, and feel weird rating it the same as other books I’ve rated four stars and enjoyed less. It is a perfect encapsulation of the 4.5 star book. So round up or down? Up or down? It is a terrible decision.
Don’t read on if you haven’t read through book twelve. Spoilers ahoy.
A little bit of the luster wore off this on re-read, so I’m feeling like maybe I should demote it down to four stars. A lot of my five star rounding up enthusiasm was the novelty of it. and that was still fun! I really like the perspective being dead gives Harry on his life and on the people in it. He does a lot of soul-searching here, and the book is actually a stealth flashback story, as Butcher’s idea of ghosts is that they are made of memories, and thus Harry has access to memories in a much more vivid and real way than he did in life. The focus on consequences here is also very satisfying. Not only for Harry, and the big decisions he’s made, but the little ones as well, how one small choice can ripple out, and with enough time passing, change things in a large way.
Some major character development on the Molly front, and Butters gets some nice action as well. Murphy doesn’t have a great time this book, as Harry’s death and the part she believes she played in it (as well as everything that happened before) are really messing with her head. It’s character development, but this book is Murphy’s dark night of the soul, just as Harry’s is, though we don’t get as clear a picture of her coming out of it as we do with him. Harry comes out of this book very clear on who he is, and who he’s not going to let Mab or anyone else make him be.
Actually, now that I’m typing it all out like that, I am going to leave the five stars. (ETA: Now that I’m posting this on CBR from Goodreads I’m lowering it down to four again). (But it’s still really 4.5.)