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By Don Gilbert on 05-29-14
Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back.
When the Dresden files began with “Storm Front,” Harry was a private detective and the only openly working professional wizard in Chicago. Then he became a warden for the white council, fought all kinds of supernatural monsters, including the Red Court, and recently he was dead. Now in book 15, “Skin Game,” he is the warden of the island Demonreach, and oh yeah, also the reluctant knight of winter court. What great story progression.
From the previous book, “Cold Days,” we know Harry has a parasite in his head and its threatening to end his life. Now Mab, the queen of the winter court, and Harry’s boss, is using his infirmity as leverage to get him to do a job. She’s loaned him out to one of his most hated foes, Nicodemus Archleone and the Denarians. Having done battle with Nicodemus before Harry knows he has his hands full; but locked and loaded with his usual nonstop smartmouth commentary and banter Harry is ready to fulfill his obligation and at the same time thwart his old enemy’s plans. Harry will need the help of his friends, although Thomas and Molly do not make an appearance we get a lot of Murphy, Michael and Butters, and he must use all of his cunning to get him and his friends out of this story intact.
I did like the development of the characters, notably “Butters,” and, as usual, there are plot twists. Some loose ends from the previous books are tied up with others left hanging; but this is “The Dresden Files,” and, if you’re like me, am glad that Jim Butcher always leaves us wanting more.
A note about the narrator; if you’re wondering whether to read the book or listen to this audio, James Marsters is Harry Dresden; his voice inflections captures the clever wit and subtle nuances of the character perfectly.
83 of 86 people found this review helpful
By Joshua on 05-30-14
A great installment on the Dresden files. Characters grow and change, adding to the rich world Butcher has built. Harry is faced with an even more impossible task, and finds allies old and new to help him. Throughout, he examines large problems and small, exploring what it means to have power and what to do with it. There are also some completely awesome stand-up-and-cheer moments you won't want to miss!
Long live Sir Harry Dresden!
26 of 28 people found this review helpful
By Bruce Derflinger on 05-29-14
Butcher and Marsters create magic, again!
Skin games is the 15th book in the Dresden Files series and a solid addition to the franchise. After fourteen books you might think that Harry has done just about everything a wizard in the 21st century can do. But things just keep coming at him that we or he don't see on the horizon. Sort of like running aground in the middle of the ocean on a cruise liner with all charts showing open seas. (Could Harry's ability to knock out modern equipment, bring down an ocean liner during a honeymoon cruise?)
Once again James Marsters demonstrates his voice acting ability to bring Harry Dresden's world into living, breathing, characters that make you care about them. James Marsters is the voice of the Dresden Files - at least in 14 out of the 15 audio books. In each he adds depth to the characters - making them come to life in our earphones. Demonstrating the depth of this acting skills by playing all the parts and making us not only believe all of them, but care about them. I first took notice of him as 'Spike' in the 2nd season of the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". His screen presents took what was to be a bit part to a major character in the 7th and final seasons and then, on the the Buffy spinoff Angel.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
By Steve on 10-25-14
Probably the best/most complete Dresden novel
Jim Butcher does urban fantasy right. If you don't agree with that statement, you should just stop reading this review. In this most recent entry into the Dresden Files, Butcher is on his A game. He foreshadows future plots and ties up loose ends and unties ends we thought were forever tied up. This is a quality heist novel with all the standard players and it just works. Marsters is on his A game as well and no one else should EVER do the audio for a DF book.
I laughed, I cried, I want book 16 right now.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Gr on 06-02-14
Harry is Back!
I stumbled onto Storm Front four years ago and was immediately hooked. Since devouring the first dozen books, I have waited with the rest of Butcher’s readers in anticipation of the next book in the series. After the last few books, I was not sure where the series could go, but Jim has done it without losing the feel of the characters or this series.
Skin Game includes some of my favorite characters including Murphy, Michael and Butters. You even get a chance to spend some time with Mouse.
Marsters is an amazing narrator and as always he does a fantastic job capturing the sarcastic nature that makes Harry one of my favorite characters in fiction.
Jim ends this book with some very interesting avenues for Harry’s next adventure. Now all can do is wait, and maybe go back and listen to the last few books again. A must buy If you enjoy Dresden.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Cliff on 06-09-14
Get ready for some fun. PARKOUR!
The Dresden Files series is back in top form for Skin Games. The book is less plot and character driven and gravitates more towards action. This is a nice change of pace from the past few books. Jim Butcher writes great action scenes and this story keeps you on the edge of your seat from begining to end. I particularly like all the swerves in the story. I usually can predict where a story is heading, but in this case a lot of the story caught me by surprise and that's a good thing.
I won't go into details as I do not want to spoil anything, but several new characters are added and one old favorite gets a major power-up in this novel. The new characters are really interesting and I hope to see more of them in the future. Also, we are given answers to several long standing questions that have been fodder for debate for a long time.
The meta-plot for the series is moved a long a bit, but this novel seems closer to a stand alone novel than most of the previous ones. While the author does a good job of explaining the backstory, I would still advise reading the previous novels to get the full impact of this story.
In order to be as fair and balanced as possible there are a few things worth noting. First, there is a pretty heavy sex scene in this novel so be aware you might have to forward through that scene if you are listening with younger people.
Second, some of the character changes are getting mixed reviews from people I know who have read the books with some saying it is really cool and others not so much. I personally like them but found myself scratching my head at a few points and going, huh? That isn't to say the changes were not cool and interesting, just that that portion of the story seemed a bit forced. Kind of like the author said wouldn't it be cool if X happened and then shoe horned it in rather than letting it occur more slowly and organically. That is my only complaint with Jim Butcher as an author is that sometimes he gets into a hurry and rushes major plot changes that would be better developed more slowly.
The narraration is top notch as usual. Mr. Marsters is clearly one of the best in the business and I wouldn't want anyone else reading these stories if I could help it. The only negative is he was reading very slowly at first. This may be to show how Dresden was feeling at the time but it did drag a bit for my tastes. Still a superb performance and my negative is more of an aside than actual complaint.
Overall, this is one of the better books in the series and is definitely worth a credit. The author took some major chances with making huge changes to the series in the past few books and now they are starting to pay dividends. Hurry up and get this one, you will not regret it.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful