I noticed that a few of us are reading Jim Butcher's "Ghost Story" this summer, so while I can't do a full review of it -spoilers!- it does make a great relevant topic for the Bookshelf, so here goes-
I love the references in the covers of the Dresden books- there is always something"hidden" in them- either it's a just-barely-out-of-focus face, or a building sign that you can hardly see, or something. The cover of "Ghost Story" is very cheeky- you can definitely read the tombstone that Harry is kneeling in front of. I won't reveal what it says here, but if you haven't looked at it yet, you are missing out on a wonderful plot point from a few books back...
Oh, that reminds me of another thing that I like about Jim Butcher's writing- the way he weaves plot points, devices, characters etc. in among the books of the series. He doesn't get boring or predictable with it- the books don't pick up right where the last one left off; friendships develop or fail "offcamera"; and best of all, Harry has a life while we aren't "looking". Butcher doesn't rely on the books for his character's reality- he is confident (and sneaky) enough to fill in the blanks or create new story lines outside of the readers scope to keep the series moving forward at an unpredictable pace. I like that- it has kept Harry's story fresh for me. I don't know what has happened immediately before I pick up the next book. I don't know everything that Harry has been through. And since Harry bases his actions on his own memories and experiences, it has kept me from knowing what Harry's actions will be when I pick up a new book.
Oops- you caught me. Another book review before Friday. What can I say? I like to read...a lot!