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Publisher's Summary

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Recent examples: A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...Hit men using Harry for target practice...The missing Shroud of Turin - and the possible involvement of Chicago's most feared mob boss...A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...Not to mention the return of Harry's ex-girlfriend Susan, who's still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature - and who seems to have a new man in her life. Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you're charging.
©2003 Jim Butcher; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Dresden gone philosophical

The most notiable piece from this book is the amount of introspection that Dresden has. This in turn caused me to have some of the same moments of introspection. I don't want to say that this book is "deep" yet it is.

Death Masks also marks the introduction of Christian undercurrent that will continue for the rest of the series. A nice touch that Jim Butcher masterfully weaves into the book as if it's gold string into quilt. Instead of feeling beat over the head with philosophy and religion the undercurrent pushes the story along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable story, fantastic characters

Any additional comments?

Well, this audiobook was another solid, excellent narration by Marsters. I adore his voices, but then again I've adored him since he was Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The story itself is also solid, and delivers all the twists and action that one expects from Dresden Files books. <br/><br/>**Spoilers alert:**<br/><br/>We see Harry Dresden's love interest Susan returns. You will find that you will root for it to work out. Harry's patient waiting for over a year for Susan to return kindles a sort of desire for their relationship working out inside me, it made me sit on the edge of my seat until the end of the book, wanting to know what will happen and if I get my way with the story. I won't spoil anything further than that, you just need to listen and learn.<br/><br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 03-26-13

Not the best Dresden, but still worthwhile

The backstory into Dresden's family and past adds some interest to a character that is slowly deepening over the course of these fun bubble gum buffyesque stories. James Marsters' performance is always entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian
  • KNOXVILLE, TN, United States
  • 03-11-13

In which, the series continued to improve

Again, as promised by my wife, this series gets better and better with time. This is the second in a row of what I consider to be the truly good ones. The author has really started to get a feel for the character and lets loose with both characters and story lines, less concerned about what the reader might think, and more concerned with being true to the characters.

The humor really starts to take hold here also, pulling many all-out guffaws from me while driving and listening.

I'm going all the way through with this series. Wish me luck. I have a lot of catching up to do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Skaneateles, NY, United States
  • 03-11-13

Always entertaining Dresden

Any additional comments?

Just fun light entertainment. Many of the recurring characters are becoming more interesting and likable. The series seems to get a little better with each installment. If you made it this far into the series you are already a fan so not much more needs to be said.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RK
  • 03-11-13

As always, LOVED IT!

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books in this series tremendously!! James Marsters makes you believe he is Harry Dresden and Harry's world becomes a reality through his talent!!! I will definitely read them again and again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another excellent addition to the series

This is a very good story with an excellent reader. The first few audible books in the Dresden Series were hampered by too much extraneous noise by the reader, such as swallowing and mouth noises. Thankfully, I have not noticed this in the last few books.

Rather than relating just another Dresden story, in Death Masks, the relationships mature and the overall story line and world become more rich and interesting. I already have #6 downloaded and ready to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Much Improved Narration

What really impresses me about this series is how it improves little by little with each book. Through five novels, that has held true, which is no small accomplishment considering how good Gravel Peril and Summer Knight were.

It also seems like the stakes get a little higher in each novel, and they are definitely pretty high in Death Masks as Harry finds himself smack in the middle of a sinister plot by some major demon-types to wreak havoc on the denizens of Chicago. Harry not only requires the help of resident Knight of the Cross, Michael Carpenter, but also two other Knights. Trust me, you're talking about some big league baddies if you need three Knights of the Cross to deal with them.

There were a lot of things that I really liked about this novel in particular. It had a great plot, twisting and turning through mysteries and misdirection. It had a great cast: some characters that we know and love and some new characters on both sides of the coin. I was particularly amused by the character of The Archive. Beyond all that, like all Dresden novels, it had great pacing, action, and a little dark humor.

One of the biggest improvements, in my mind, that Butcher made came in Grave Peril when he took a deep breath and slowed things down a bit, gave Harry some breathing room, gave him some time to reflect rather than just react, and gave the reader a chance to keep up. Those reflective moments continue in Death Masks and tend to be some of the best passages in the novel.

Oh, and what an amazing ending. I won't spoil anything, but it was delightful and definitely made me want to dig right into the next novel.

This review would not be complete if I didn't mention the significantly improved narration by James Marsters. I really liked Marsters' performance of Harry Dresden in the first four novels, but when Penguin Audio began producing the audio books (taking over from Buzzy Multimedia), they must have had a couple of suggestions. With Death Masks, Marsters now has a voice for each character, his speech is crisper, and the overall production quality is much improved. I'm definitely very happy with the change.

Overall, Death Masks was a great read. If you enjoyed the previous novels, don't stop, you've got to read this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like harry potter? This is ten times better.

What made the experience of listening to Death Masks the most enjoyable?

James Marsters, he captures the image of Dresden better than I could have myself. He is the perfect reader for one of the best book series i have ever read. Morgan Freeman couldn't read this as well as james (sorry freeman fans, he just doesn't cut it)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Death Masks?

I dont even know... Probablt the introduction of more great characters. The other two knights of the cross, the archive, kincaid, butters.

What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I cant read books in the shower. haha. but really he is the best man for the job (see the above for a better answer)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The combination of such a great story/series/great writing and james marsters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another Engaging Harry Dresden Story

Would you listen to Death Masks again? Why?

I've listened to it several times now and find the story quite engaging every time. The Dresden series continues to be one of my favorites because I love perfect mix of drama, humor, and action.

Which character – as performed by James Marsters – was your favorite?

Harry remains one of my favorite flawed heroes. I find myself thinking, "Yep, that's exactly what would happen to me and how I would have screwed it up too."

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes, I am always engaged by the story lines in the Dresden series.

Any additional comments?

Keep them coming, Jim, and I'll keep listening!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 02-21-15

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

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  • louise
  • 05-28-13

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.

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  • Hilary T.
  • 04-10-13

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.

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • 12-23-12

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!