• Grave Peril

  • The Dresden Files, Book 3
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (30,717 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden has had a rough couple of weeks. As the only openly practicing professional wizard in the Chicago area, he has squared off against a multitude of supernatural bad guys. Harry has won the day against demons, poltergeists, sorcerers, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and even an evil faerie godmother. You might think nothing could spook him. You would be wrong.

Something is stirring up angry apparitions all over town. Something that can break all the laws of supernatural physics. Something that doesnt like Harry. His closest friends are being targeted. The net is closing in. Harry must find a solution soon or find this is one Nightmare from which he will never waken.

©2001 Jim Butcher (P)2004 Buzzy Multimedia

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What listeners say about Grave Peril

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23,511
  • 4 Stars
    5,740
  • 3 Stars
    1,185
  • 2 Stars
    190
  • 1 Stars
    91
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22,543
  • 4 Stars
    3,362
  • 3 Stars
    647
  • 2 Stars
    123
  • 1 Stars
    85
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20,204
  • 4 Stars
    5,018
  • 3 Stars
    1,177
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    70

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Spike makes good

As I listened to this audiobook, I couldn't help but picture the character James Marsters played in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". He brought the characters to life without doing obnoxious falsetto voices for the female characters as so many other readers do. I have read all the Dresden books in print thus far, and while I enjoyed reading this book at the time, I felt much more "in" the story while listening to this production. I listened to "Storm Front" before this one, and the reading of this audiobook is much more enjoyable than "Storm Front" because of Marsters' enthusiastic performance. The timing is great, the characters are distinguishable without being obnoxious and there is just enough acting to make it really exciting. I'll concede that there were some mispronounciations but not enough to really detract from the story. I listen to lots of audiobooks and this one I will recommend to everyone!

79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dresden just keeps getting better

I've read the first two Dresden novels - which were good. But this one really kicks things into high gear. There's much more character development than previously. I didn't find myself frustrated with Dresden as much for walking idiotically into impossible situations and taking responsibility for everyone's problems. The reader, Mr. Marsters, is much more polished here than in previous outings, where he seemed to be sighing between every sentence. He continues to need editing...I was constantly catching him mispronouncing words (e.g. he would say "ruins" when he meant "runes"; or "retched" when he meant "wretched.") Otherwise, he is a good reader, and I hear than in future books, he improves quite a bit. Looking forward to Book 4.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I was lied too, bad mouth noises (speed 1.5x)

What did you like best about Grave Peril? What did you like least?

The story only seamed so-so compared to the previous books. I felt like characters just popped up and a previous character I really liked was just missing from this book, which was unfortunate.

Has Grave Peril turned you off from other books in this genre?

Grave Peril has not turned me off to books in the genre as I greatly enjoy similar type stories, and if I had the time/ability to read the print (paper/eBook) versions I might have enjoyed this story (and the series as a whole) significantly more.

Would you be willing to try another one of James Marsters’s performances?

I have listen to other things on Audible narrated by James Marsters's (e.g. his performance in "The Importance of Being Earnest") but this series of books is so horribly done by him that I get physically angry (scratch your nails on that chalk board one more time and you'll lose some fingers, type angry) at the thought of enduring his poor performance again.

Could you see Grave Peril being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I think this story has been done too many times before in movies/tv shows, unfortunately for it to bring a significantly new and unique experience to the telling.

Any additional comments?

As the headline says, I felt lied too. I talked to many people who love these books (i.e. at cons - Butcher was at the last one I attended doing a signing, in my circle of friends, on first dates these books have come up in conversation) and I expressed my issues with the performance in books 1 and 2 and almost unanimously they said, "oh, Marsters gets better." Lies I say, LIES! Granted they might mean he is better by book 13 (at the time of this writing, 15.5 has come out).

I scoured the reviews of this book looking for the tail-tail reviews about the mouth noises and if they were bearable or not and there were significantly fewer which made me think maybe he was getting better. After listening to the book, I think that the number of reviews reporting this issue was significantly because the people that are/were offended by the slurping mouth noises didn't purchase this book and had given up on the audiobook version of this series or the series in general (as I had).

I ran across one review that suggested dialing up the listen speed to 1.25x to lessen such noises. Personally I dialed the speed up to 1.5x and it worked, well enough, but they were still there and there were still way too many of them; luckily they passed by fast enough it was not nearly as infuriating as before. There are a great many reviews that highly praise Marsters's performance suggested to me that just maybe Marsters and the few reviews that did criticize the performance might been being too picky. Having listened to the book myself I have wonder if people praising the performance had actually listened to it before they wrote their reviews.

Sound engineers/directors everywhere, lets do the math:
When your performer (in this cases Marsters) makes mouth noises in their performance you are limiting your audience and good will (willingness to push your product on their friends) from that audience to the people who can tolerate those horrible sounds. With the mouth noises removed your audience and good will increases the number people who will tolerate it (but wouldn't even notice if it's missing) by the amount of people that would be offended by said noises (i.e. something + something more is greater than something + 0 and much greater than something + negative feels about it). Granted you can't make everyone happy, but in this case by forcing your performer to do less slobbering the audience that enjoys the performance it will only increase because no one will know that those sounds could have (definitely should NOT have) been there.

Conclusion:
I thought I was done with the series after book 2 because of the poor performance and I should have stayed done because this book didn't grab me in any meaningful way (not the story, not the performance) to keep me interested in the series. My only interest in the series now lies in my friends that have listen to these and the Iron Druid Chronicles that want me to catch up in this series so we can talk comparatively about the two main characters (Atticus vs Harry - that's one heck of a debate/battle, I personally think they would get along with each other just fine). If I can summon up the will to try the next book in the series, I think I will have to go with 2x playback speed.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

So confused, so much brooding

It feels like there is a book missing between 2 and 3. It took time to make the puzzle fit, and by that time the story was too complicated to make further connections and solve any mysteries. I didn't like the lack of Murphy. I don't enjoy that Harry blames himself for everything and broods eternally in this book - not out of character for him, but get over it! His girlfriend is beyond annoying. Harry, it's her fault too! She took her chances. I'm almost done now with book 4, and that one is better, which means I'll continue binging this series.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love Harry

I just found Jim Butchers wonderful world of sourcerers, vampires, wizards and all that goes bump in the night. The heroes are charming, funny,soulful and original. The story lines are exciting and they keep your interest from page one to the final word. I plan to purchase the entire set.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

'I licked my lips and tried again'

me too.
the plot becomes more complex in 'Grave Peril', and I loved the introduction of Michael as well as godmother. This story held my attention. Unlike other reviewers I find James Masters' breathiness adds to Harry's persona. It fits.
Even the Vampires develop some personalities.
My expectation is these stories will get better and better.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

OK but I don't get it

This is the third in this series I've tried because so many people give it such high ratings...but I don't get it. The writing is fine but I don't feel any connection to the people at all. There is no character development, unlike some other similar series.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Harry Dresden Stirs the Hornet's Nest

What did you love best about Grave Peril?

I liked the interaction between Harry and his friends and fellow crime fighters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harry is a great character...he's gifted with magic, conflicted about people and how and when to use his magic, he's bothered by the council that rules the wizards, his fairy godmother is wicked....Harry has a wry sense of humor and a sense of the absurd.

What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

I like James Marsters performance because he portrays Harry perfectly--just as I imagine him. The wry humor, the inflections in his voice. It would be great if James Marsters could star as Harry Dresden in a movie--he would be perfect.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The vampire ball was interesting...also, the aftermath of the ball and the happenings with poor Susan Rodriguez.

Any additional comments?

No. Good, solid story. I highly recommend this series to my friends, it's great on audiobook.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Narration Monotonous

Normally I can get through readings that are below average, but for my first Dresden book, I found the reading monotonous. Story seems good, but when Drsden is in pain, sick ecetera, a minimal emotional whisper gets in the way of the drama that is happening. Very disappointed. No more Dresden for me even if writing is superb. My third graders could do a better job of reading than the narrator. Better to read this book than to listen to a whispered book. When there is passion and emotion is happening, I want to hear and feel it. Not the case with this narration of the book.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Meh...

Funny, but too contrived. There was always something else happening that the main character just didn't see coming. It was as if the author had ideas for five plots and tried to cram them all into one book. Thanks for the laughs, but I don't think I'll come back for seconds.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 12-30-09

An EXCELLENT audiobook

If you are reading this review, I assume that you have read/listened to the first two books in the Dresden files series (if not, you are well advised to do so as the books are linked and you wont get so much from them if not read in order).

\"Grave Peril\" is where the series really takes off (as Jim Butcher acknowledges in a brief intro to the audiobook). It is a darker, more complex tale with a storyline that simply hurtles along building to a terrific climax. The character, fantasy and back-plot development are very cleverly done, and the balance between the urban reality, as it were, and the fantasy is very well judged - an excellent story.

James Marsters brings it all superbly to life with another terrific piece of narration.

A five star listen if ever there was one - strongly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 01-02-15

Never a dull moment!

I wasn't much impressed with Storm Front (book 1) and had originally given up on the Dresden Files after a disappointing first dose. However, being a bit stumped as to what to listen to I decided to try again. Reading a previous reviewer advising that skipping book two was okay I launched into Book 3 instead. Thanks to that review, I am now hooked on Harry Dresden... and yes, if you're a newbie - Book 1 is essential (although not that great a book), so you have a grounding in the characters but as I found skipping book 2 didn't put me at a disadvantage story-wise at all. Book 3's story does run straight into 4, so don't skip that one as you will be a bit lost.

Grave Peril is a great mix of detective noir, the supernatural (werewolves, vampires) in a magic mix (witches, fairies and monsters). The detective genre, action and it's setting in a modern day grounds it for me (otherwise, I don't think I could stomach the "tinkerbell" pizza-crazied fairies). This is pulp fiction and should be enjoyed as such. It's a fun, light, action-packed and pacey page-turner with a sprinkling of knowing humor. Don't expect a literary masterpiece, but treat it like an entertaining, fun roller-coaster ride and when it's over you'll find yourself instantly missing it and wanting another ride.

I really enjoyed this and have already bought tickets for my next few Harry Dresden misadventures.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sophie
  • 01-17-14

Entertaining but Exhausting

I am new to the Dresden Files so I haven't listened to the rest of the series yet.
I enjoyed the story, but I found the book a bit exhausting. It's like watching an action film that is non stop action for hours and hours. I think I needed just a little more 'down time' (for want of a better phrase) where we get to know the characters a little better. I am no writer but the 'down time' in stories helps build up to the exciting action scenes.
Good Narration and I will definitely listen to the next book before I give up on this series.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lisa
  • 03-12-12

Outstanding

I am going to be bias, as I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher.
James Marsters really brings the character to life and makes the book and story alive.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • EC W
  • 03-15-14

Clear your diary - not one for turning off

My problem was I kept trying to listen to this audiobook in short chunks. It REALLY doesn't lend itself to a casual listen.

This is great noir detective fiction - complicated plot lines crossing over and re-crossing over as more information gets revealed; final dénouements that end up being not that final at all; great magical battles when you think that this time, Harry really, surely has had it after all ... hasn't he?? BUT, the drawback there is you do need to be able to put the listening time in. I kept just wanting to leave it on for another 5 minutes, then another 5, then another .. stuff just kept happening.

In the end I was "saved" by a 4 hr train ride to see my sister - 4 hrs each way that is. Which was fantastic! I finally had time to plug my ears in and listen to the whole thing in pretty much one go. If you're looking for a book you can just put on in the background and listen too with half an ear, this is not it. Too exciting. Too many plot twists. Needs to be given the attention it deserves.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicolina Andall
  • 02-25-10

Fantastic!

I just wanted to echo everything Tom said above (excellent review). I'm new to the whole Harry Dresden saga - I've now read three of them and have loved every single minute of each of them - i cannot wait to send more of my monthly credits on hearing the next book.

Harry is a great wizard and the supernatural elements he deal with are fantastically portrayed. Harry is always trying to do the right thing and he's a great man despite all the wierd and wonderful things he has to do and the sacrifices he has to make.

BRILLIANT - get it - but I do agree - read it in order.

Nicolina

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 09-02-14

Bigger and Badder

It is official, I am now hooked

Story – 5/5

Just as I was told by friends, this is where the story becomes a lot more epic. Jim Butcher has taken this from a detective story into all out battles, politics and plots between different factions in the supernatural world – vampires being the most prominent in this book. This goes to show that epic and urban fantasy sub genres can indeed be mutually exclusive.

There is a huge amount of exciting action with fear, humour, and intrigue throughout. I think Butcher does an excellent job in making us worry for the main cast, especially given that first person narratives tend to trivialise danger. This, in my eyes, makes him a masterful author.

Each of the existing characters develop nicely again, with some more characters adding to the fray (also very likeable). Jim Butcher’s characterisation is also amongst the best I have come across.

If you have read books 1 and 2, and you are not sure whether to continue, give it until the end of book 3 first.

Performance – 5/5

James Marsters is an absolute star, his addition to the Dresden audio-books is perfection, as he reflects the character superbly, and he develops the story, and the rest of the main characters very nicely throughout the series. A lot of other reviews say “James Marsters IS Dresden”, and after 2 audio-books, I have to agree. His voice acting is distinctive and he portrays Dresden’s mood and the pace of the story extremely well.

Not many narrators get 5/5, but James Marsters definitely makes the cut.

On a side note, to those who aren’t aware, James Marsters is the guy that played Spike in Buffy the Vampire slayer according to a colleague of mine. Just in case you are a particular fan…

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. J. Ambler
  • Mr. J. Ambler
  • 01-31-15

Best yet...

There should be a sixth star for mr marsters. Superb book, sublimely read. Loved every second of it.
Butcher's books were superb when I first read and re-read them, this recording further enhances it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anela Anne
  • 01-19-21

No Way

I’ve persevered through 2 of these audiobooks. I tried to finish listening to this 3rd instalment, but there is absolutely no way. I do not like any of the characters and I absolutely despise Karen with all my being from the bottom of my heart. I have never in my life read characters so stupid, pointlessly angry, and dumb. Why do these books sell loads. Oh yes. The female nudity and misogyny. I’m done. I tried to enjoy these books long ago and thought they’d be good again. If only I could get through the first ones again, I thought the new ones I haven’t read might be good. No chance. I should have remembered they are terrible. Waste of my money.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-20

Better than book two, 1 star, not as good as one, 3 stars.

Liked the concepts.

The plot, characters and explanations feel over done. Comparing them to sugar, a bit is enjoyable, reading this book was like eating a bag of it.

Harry is always on the verge of dying, always exhausted, starved of power that returns in the last seconds before doom, which in itself gets tiring. You just loose the will to care as he’s always that way but always pulls through. Character development feels heavy handed, Murphy in particular and the relationship with Harry is frustrating, it reads like it is supposed to be that way but her actions and comments don’t make sense, she comes off as a device for conflict rather than a believable character.

I’ve read that the first 4 books are a bit of a slog to get through before things get better. With this many positive reviews I think it’s worth carrying on.

James Marsters has some good voices but how much saliva does he produce and swallow!?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-19

Sensational read

Easily my favourite book of the series so far. Just when you think things are moving to wrap up a new twist hits you in the teeth. Jim also wields his wildly dry humour in this one. Excellent read.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gareth Le clezio
  • 01-17-19

Things heat up from here.

Great story as always, lots of character development, intense battles, insurmountable odds and quick witted comebacks. The ending broke my heart.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Millennia Pullen
  • 01-13-19

Great story

I enjoyed the first two books in this series but this book really steps up the story in a great way. performance is great too with the heavy breathing gone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jade
  • 03-14-21

done!

I always love these books!
on to the next one!
will listen again once I'm done with the rest the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janette J Ryan
  • 01-02-21

This is the book that got me hooked!

I was a little ho hum about the first two books, but this one pushed all the right buttons.
Great storyline, great demons.
Harry never seems to get anything easy despite him thinking it all looks simple in the beginning.

I often cringe at the diet of pizza and coke. How anyone can appreciate either in vast quantities makes my stomach roll.
Poor diet doesn’t seem to impinge on the stamina needed to perform magic though...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vuth
  • 09-10-20

Performance enhances the great story

With narrator James Marsters' doing the third book in the series, you can tell he's getting more into the role. He not only narrates, but performs; exaggerating where necessary and portraying emotion well; this is all helped by the first person perspective.
The story itself is improving on the last, with new characters that blend well with the established lore, with enough mysteries and twists to keep the listener engaged throughout.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • matt douglas
  • 07-31-20

hell's bells

The series really steps it up a notch for this one. it is the beginning of an excellent series

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • N. Hill
  • 05-08-20

Not the best but readable

I found myself losing interest in this entry, and found the narrator’s tendency to quieten his voice a bit frustrating as I’d have to fumble to turn it up only to turn it down again straight after. The story itself was entertaining, but not as entertaining as the others. I’ve heard that this isn’t his strongest sequel, but it gets better, so I’ll definitely keep reading this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-20

too elements but still great

I think this story had one too many elements that seemed to pull me away from the story. otherwise it still built up to be greater then the sum of its parts. Narrator was excellent as usual.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carlos
  • Carlos
  • 09-13-19

Great book and stellar performance.

Another great book in the Dresden files series and a stellar performance as usual from James Marsters.

Highly recommend.