©2003 Jim Butcher; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks
My only complaint about the Dresden series is the waiting for the next audio book to come out. Hells bells, I'd pick up the coin and become a "Nickle Head" if it would produce the next 2 books faster.
Oh, and FYI, the TV series does NOT do the books justice in the least. The TV Series did what "Highlander 2" did to the first movie. Judge not the Dresden series off of that!
Jim Butcher himself admits that the Dresden Files series, the first volume of which was a writing exercise in the creative writing class he was in, really starts coming into it's own in the third volume, Grave Peril. I agree with him, the first two books where really raw. They are worth reading, don't misunderstand, but they are nowhere near as good as the books which came later.
In Death Masks, I personally feel that Jim Butcher really gets things into full gear. His writing gets into full gear and he tones down on the overdriven amounts of battery and damage his hero must somehow survive to levels that someone might actually survive. That sort of thing. The plot is great and you can really see him bringing the series into maturity. It's great fun and tons of action, I strongly recommend both this book and the series!
In Death Masks, Jim Butcher seems to have hit his stride as an author. After the first two books I wasn't sure, but I'm glad I came back. The Archive and Kincaid were interesting characters that I'd like to see more of in the future.
I rather miss James Marsters' deep manly breaths that were so frequent in the early books, but his narration in this book was top notch, especially his rendition of Father Vincent, the Italian priest. It's a good melding of author and narrator, in my opinion.
I hope book 6 is available soon!
What a great series, and with James Marsters' narration, you can't go wrong.
This book was right up there with one of the best. A great cast of characters, hearing more from Susan, and that Thomas is a hoot. It had some surprise allies,( if only for awhile), adding to the book's charm.
Harry didn't have a chance to get bored, as bad guys kept popping up everywhere, in his quest to find the stolen shroud.
If you follow the series, don't miss this one.
Fantasy and Romance Author
This is another fun installment in the Harry Dresden series, fast-paced with tremendous jeopardies, bittersweet romance, and Butcher's trademark humor.
The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by James Marsters, who not only gives Harry the perfect, slightly world-weary film noir detective voice, but also skillfully does a variety of accents for other characters, including Japanese, British, South American Spanish, and Russian (I loved the voice he did for Sonya, the Russian atheist Knight of the Cross.)
I'm looking forward to listening to the next books in this series--the audiobooks really make the Dresden Files come alive!
The last chapter has been added now, so purchase at will! It's a great book, and the reading is on par with everything else read by James Marsters. Enjoy!
Great book, per usual. Looking forward to 6 & 7.
As in title, final chapter is now included.
*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible.
Harry Dresden, wizard and PI, is hired by Father Vincent to find the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing on Harry’s plate. The Red Court has sent Ortega to Chicago to kill Harry, either outright or in a duel. It’s Harry’s choice, but if he doesn’t agree to the duel then Ortega sees nothing wrong with killing anyone Harry cares about. Of course Harry agrees to the duel. All three of The Knights of the Cross are in town looking for the Shroud and trying to keep Harry away from it because they believe he will be killed, his girlfriend Susan is back, but not for the reason she tells Harry and the Denarians are also sniffing around Chicago. Poor Harry. When it rains, it pours.
A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter
T ~ my 14-yr-old son
K ~ my 13-yr-old son
Ok, there is a lot going on in this book, but everyone is still loving the series. Big surprise there. Not. :D The humor continues to entertain and is a big part of why this series is a favorite. The plot had several things going and we worried Harry would drop one or more of the balls he was juggling. With help he manages to not only stay alive, but return the Shroud to the Church. How could we have doubted him?? Everyone agreed that it was nice of Harry to give Marcone the ultimatum at the end and they didn’t doubt that Marcone would comply.
New faces won approval: Kincaid, The Archive, Butters, Sanya, Shiro, Molly and even Ms. Gard. Old faces have returned: Bob, Susan, Murphy, Thomas, Michael, Marcone, Ebenezer (phone appearance) and Mac from McAnally’s. Oh, and Anna’s favorite…Mister. Can’t forget him. Some new faces were not liked such as Ortega (though we saw him very briefly in Grave Peril), all of the Denarians, but Nicodemus in particular and we’re on the fence about Martin.
Everyone thought the duel was pretty cool and that Ortega was a liar liar pants on fire. They loved meeting the other two Knights and Ebenezer impressed the crap out of them with this little thing he did at the end. I won’t say what because that would spoil it, but it’s frickin awesome. The fight for the Shroud at the end was pretty good and what’s a helicopter swooping in to fight without Ride of the Valkyries playing? Which is actually a pretty funny inside joke that will come up in a later book. K & I laughed since we’ve read the books.
“…The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the morgue. This, all by itself, is enough to really ruin your day. I was lying on the examination table, and Butters, complete with his surgical gown and his tray of autopsy instruments, stood over me.
‘I’m not dead!’ I sputtered. ‘I’m not dead!’”
I am an entertainer...so I spend a lot of time on the road. I take my audio seriously. I appreciate great writing and outstanding narration.
If you like your paranormal detectives with a noir-kinda-wizardy flavor...this is it.
You'll love the Dresden Files.
Now that I've heard the complete audiobook, including the final chapter, I enjoyed this Harry Dresden adventure just as much as the first four books. I'm looking forward to Book 6 (Blood Rites) and Book 7 (Dead Beat) now, which we might have to wait for until July 2010. Hope I'm wrong about that.
"Up to now one of the best"
Excellent entry in the series, the world is really becoming interesting. The narrative links from book to book whilst introducing something new in an unobtrusive way.
loved every minute of listening to this! brilliant story and nothing compares to James Marsters performance. highly recommend it.
"Butcher does it again!"
Story - 5/5
Yet another superb addition to the Dresden files. This series just keeps getting better and better, with the action, world and characters constantly stepping it up a gear each time. I can’t see how he can keep this up for another 10 books – but I will definitely be finding out.
There’s not really a whole lot else to say that I haven’t already said in the previous book’s reviews, but I would definitely recommend reading them in order for the gradual progression they give. Although my urban fantasy read pile isn’t that large, Dresden is by far the best amongst it so far. The wit, humour and the sheer epic magnitude make it really stand out.
Performance – 5/5
Another masterful and flawless performance from James Marsters, and I am glad to see that he narrates all of the later books too – as he IS Dresden in my head, and it would be too disruptive to not be him. He is a brilliant actor, performing the book and dialogue beautifully to fit the mood that Jim Butcher has created.
Overall - 5/5
"Quite Poor compared to other books"
Having listened to 6 Dresden File Audio books i found this one to be quite week, the story does not have the level of detail that 1-4 had and i found the pace quite jumpy thankfully book 6 is better so am thinking this is just a rare bad day at the office for Jim Butcher.
"Superb Harry Dresden book"
I suspect that Harry Dresden books are like Marmite - you either love them or hate them. I love them and have spent years complaining that whilst Audible USA had these books, we in the UK did not. At last they are here.
Harry Dresden is a modern-day wizard in Chicago, grappling with the proclivity of 21st century equipment (computers et al) to go into melt down when he is near. He has all the modern problems of paying his rent and taxes, but with the added layer of having to deal with the politics of the White Council of wizards ( he is too anarchic to ever fit in there), fight the vampire courts and deal with the odd demon. If you like this type of fantasy book, you will love the Dresden series.
In this book, Harry duels with a vampire committed to killing him ( even if it means cheating); searching for the stolen Shroud of Turin (before it falls into the wrong hands); being a target for his own side ( if his death prevents a war with the vampires, goodbye Harry); and many more complex threads. All dealt with by a Harry who gets very battered at times, but never loses his wry ( though at times, tired) wit.
There are many other characters in this book - Susan ( Harry's former love); Bob ( the spirit of a very experienced wizard, trapped by curse to inhabit a skull for eternity) who assists Harry with his knowledge; Murphy ( a Police Officer who does not want to believe in magic and ghosts and other horrors, but having known Harry for some time, knows what she has seen); and so on.
I really cannot recommend this book, and all of the others in the Harry Dresden series, too highly if you like this genre.
"Oh, and hit men, just a few of them too."
I am a big fan of the Dresden Files and have read them all over the years. A few years ago I bought Storm Front in audio format and I was not disappointed, James Marsters is a great narrator. As soon as I got my Audible membership I bought Fool Moon and Grave Peril soon after. It's been a few years and I intermittently check if the rest of the series has become available on audio. Lo and Behold! A few weeks ago I found that they were now all available! I used up the credits I'd stashed for a rainy day and got Summer Knight and Death Masks for listening.
Private detective/wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is neck deep in the action again, his ex girlfriend has returned, a red court vampire challenges for a duel and the Chicago PD need help in a case involving a headless and handless corpse... Oh, and hit men, just a few of them too.
The greatest thing about audio books is being able to multi task... playing with toddler, washing up, housework [Yuk] and knitting are all things I can do while listening to these great books.
I can't wait for my next credits to arrive and I can get some more Dresden audiobooks!
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