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Death Masks

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Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for: A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards... Professional hit men using Harry for target practice... The missing Shroud of Turin... A hand Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for: A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards... Professional hit men using Harry for target practice... The missing Shroud of Turin... 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.

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Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for: A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards... Professional hit men using Harry for target practice... The missing Shroud of Turin... A hand Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for: A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards... Professional hit men using Harry for target practice... The missing Shroud of Turin... 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.

30 review for Death Masks

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I mostly like this series. However, I'm certainly not a die hard "Dresdenite" from the Church of Harry. Dresden is NOT my literary BFF and, truth be told, spends far more time languishing under the heading OAA (Occasionally Annoying Acquaintance). I like the stories (so far), but that enjoyment comes with some mondo qualifications and some serious groans. However, before I rail against the main character's penchant for lame cheesy-flavored popCORNY, I'm going to begin with what I think are the I mostly like this series. However, I'm certainly not a die hard "Dresdenite" from the Church of Harry. Dresden is NOT my literary BFF and, truth be told, spends far more time languishing under the heading OAA (Occasionally Annoying Acquaintance). I like the stories (so far), but that enjoyment comes with some mondo qualifications and some serious groans. However, before I rail against the main character's penchant for lame cheesy-flavored popCORNY, I'm going to begin with what I think are the real bright spots of this book, and the series. THE SUPERB: The world-building and various supernatural factions are both TIPPY TOP NOTCH, and I would almost continue to read the series for that alone. Almost. From previous books (though mentioned or appearing in this book) we have: The White Counsel (Wizards), the Red Court, White Court and Jade Court (all vampires), the Realm of Fairy (dealt with extensively in the previous book, Summer Knight) and the Knights of the Cross (maybe my favorite group). In addition, several news groups/factions are introduced in this installment. My favorite of these are the Denarians, who I thought were definitely applause-worthy. Describing them would necessitate spoilers, but their background/origin warrants some kudos to Mr. Butcher. So....kudos. I also crushed on the Archive (a powerful, neutral character) and the Fellowship of St Giles. Despite the plethora of different races, Butcher handles their power and socio-political backgrounds very well, and he provides enough "rules" and "limitations" to keep the whole thing from getting silly. This aspect of the book, and the whole series for that matter, is a no-brainer 5 STAR EFFORT in my opinion. Related to the worldbuilding, but separate enough to warrant special mention is the magic system created for the series. Dresden’s wizard powers are very well handled and never "jump the shark" into the realm of farce where you're left thinking he has a spell for everything. Like the worldbuilding, Harry's spells, wards and magical abilities are pretty well “grounded” and explained, and this gives them enough realism to make their presence a compelling part of the series. Again, for this aspect of the book and the series, I would say 5 STARS ALL THE WAY. THE GOOD: The plot of the book is fast-paced, well written and engaging. The writing is, for the most part, good (with one exception…see below), and the dialogue is decent to good (with one HUGE, GALACTIC-SIZED exception …again see below). However, while the writing is good, it doesn't measure up to the quality of Butcher’s other series, the Codex Alera. I don’t know if this is because he spends more time on the other books, but the prose and dialogue in the Codex Alera just seems to me to be more polished. This may just be a matter of personal taste. THE BAD TO SHITTY TO DOWNRIGHT PAINFUL: Okay...so, here we are...time for the bad stuff. Unfortunately, my biggest gripe with the book, and the series, has to do with good old Harry himself, beginning with the “dialogue” exception I mentioned above. Now, I have no problems with sarcastic and wise-cracking main characters, especially in books that are meant to be "light" reads. Thus, for much of the time, I think Dresden's wise ass not-quite-wise-but-not-dumb-ass remarks are fine and I even sometimes enjoy them....deep breath HOWEVER, when Harry is tied up and facing certain, brutal death/dismemberment, or confronted with a "the world is ending" scenario, then the “I am not really taking this seriously” jibes rocket into dumb-assville, and ruin all sense of dramatic tension. Even in a fairly “light” read, I find this problematic as I think the author wants me to feel the tension and suspense of those moments....I don't. Harry’s reactions really take the air out of what is supposed to be pivotal moments of the narrative. I would LOVE, just once, to see Harry become truly enraged and threaten to shove his staff up some magi-being's poop shoot. But no, my desire for a raging MAD-ON goes unfulfilled leaving my anger sack full and very, very "blue." Guys, we all know how painful that can be. Also loaded with much SUCKNESS is the way Harry is always going on about his being “over protective” of women, or “not always thinking rationally” when it comes to women, or the “sucker for a pretty face” moments. Holy gag-reflex-testers, Batman...enough already. These all to frequent moments make me just want to shake Harry until the douchy falls out of him. It isn't manly, it isn't chivalrous...It's just STUPID!! My final gripe is simply that, as many things as Jim Butcher is good to great at, writing a love scene is NOT ONE OF THEM. The 10 pages or so of this book in which Dresden and Susan are trapped in his place and "getting down to business" was NAUSEATING on a scale I have not experienced since the Kathy Bates nude scene in About Schmidt. Mr. Butcher, for the sake of your fans....no more (that goes for you too, Ms. Bates). Overall, I think the series has some real strengths. It just has “areas” that annoy me enough to really burrow under my skin. I still like it, but it is precarious. 3.0 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    What I noticed right away after reading the first few chapters would be that the series has a routine. It starts of with Harry complaining about his broke life, then a lover appears or a new villain. It's not a bad routine, on the contrary I actually enjoy it. Harry Dresden's life is really fascinating and adventure filled. The plot tried to be more action packed but ended up on the mild side. The new enemies presented were quite interesting but honestly were all over the place. They weren't intr What I noticed right away after reading the first few chapters would be that the series has a routine. It starts of with Harry complaining about his broke life, then a lover appears or a new villain. It's not a bad routine, on the contrary I actually enjoy it. Harry Dresden's life is really fascinating and adventure filled. The plot tried to be more action packed but ended up on the mild side. The new enemies presented were quite interesting but honestly were all over the place. They weren't introduced well enough to make a lasting statement. I liked them but they were all forgettable. I like characters that are awesome enough to be remembered. Harry Dresden himself is obviously unforgettable, but I'll need more than one to really enjoy the novel. Murphy and Michael are also old favorites, but I need new ones. I'm not fond of the Harry-Susan love team. I just don't see any love between them. I didn't like that this novel focused more on their relationship too, aside from the duels Harry had. Susan has this pretentious vibe that I never really liked right from the start. I'm hoping not to see her that much in the next novels. 3.5/5 stars. Not my favorite of the series, but at least it's still not the worst. This novel was enjoyable for some parts, but quite tiresome for the most. It was still good though, so I'm still recommending this. I can't wait to continue on with the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    TS Chan

    This is my favourite Dresden File to date because for the very first time reading this series, I actually felt emotional resonance. In the past few instalments, I was entertained, intrigued, and mostly treated these books as my guilty pleasure when I needed something I can breeze through for some fun and action with more than a touch of snarky humour. In Death Masks, there were less unrealistically badass moments where I'll go "Oh, come on! Really?!" Instead, at least a couple of scenes in here This is my favourite Dresden File to date because for the very first time reading this series, I actually felt emotional resonance. In the past few instalments, I was entertained, intrigued, and mostly treated these books as my guilty pleasure when I needed something I can breeze through for some fun and action with more than a touch of snarky humour. In Death Masks, there were less unrealistically badass moments where I'll go "Oh, come on! Really?!" Instead, at least a couple of scenes in here elicited poignancy and really tugged at my heartstrings. As I have alluded to in quite a few of my other reviews, emotional investment a significant factor in determining whether the book is merely good or great, for me. Hence, with me coming out of this feeling the way I did, I have to say that Harry's story is moving to greater heights as I am starting to care. I was also fascinated by the introduction of a new kind of adversary in this book. Without giving away too much, let's just say that eternal battle between Heaven and Hell (or between the angels and the fallen ones) has been a perennial favourite supernatural theme of mine. (Side note: The Constantine movie with Keanu Reeves is another one of my guilty pleasures, and I have watched it at least half a dozen times). While I'm not sure of how I feel about the romantic angle in these books yet, I am loving the themes of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Even Michael whom I found too self-righteous and stuffy in the previous novel, is great here. I'll end this short review by saying that this was also the first time I felt like starting on the next volume immediately after finishing one of the Dresden Files. That alone probably indicated how much I enjoyed Death Masks. This review can also be found at Booknest

  4. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    3ish stars. To anyone who still isn't convinced that Harry is a chauvinistic, narcissistic douchebag: "My blasting rod thumped against my leg rhythmically." Blasting rod, eh? Someone's cocky (pun intended?). "I gathered in my will and settled my grip on my blasting rod." "I jerked the tip of the blasting rod up and away from the girl, releasing the gathered energy." Wow, Harry. First of all ew. Second, woman, not girl, that's demeaning- and to think you consider yourself chivalrous. Third, en 3ish stars. To anyone who still isn't convinced that Harry is a chauvinistic, narcissistic douchebag: "My blasting rod thumped against my leg rhythmically." Blasting rod, eh? Someone's cocky (pun intended?). "I gathered in my will and settled my grip on my blasting rod." "I jerked the tip of the blasting rod up and away from the girl, releasing the gathered energy." Wow, Harry. First of all ew. Second, woman, not girl, that's demeaning- and to think you consider yourself chivalrous. Third, enough with the" blasting rod" talk, a little humility would do you some good. "She frowned at me until I coaxed the blue beetle to life and pulled out." It's a start. Posted in Mr. Philip's Library

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    I really do love this series. This book was my least favorite but I did enjoy it a little. I loved the last four so I am excited to start the next one. Death Masks is the 5th in the series and I really have to say that I am so over with the war with the red court. In Death Masks, a vampire named Ortega challenges Harry to a duel that will end the war between the vampires and the wizards. Harry has no choice but to accept, and almost no hope of winning the duel. However he has another problem. A c I really do love this series. This book was my least favorite but I did enjoy it a little. I loved the last four so I am excited to start the next one. Death Masks is the 5th in the series and I really have to say that I am so over with the war with the red court. In Death Masks, a vampire named Ortega challenges Harry to a duel that will end the war between the vampires and the wizards. Harry has no choice but to accept, and almost no hope of winning the duel. However he has another problem. A catholic priest - who doesn't believe in magic - needs Harry's help in finding the Shroud of Turin, which stolen by a trio of thieves, on of which has turned up very dead. Harry traces the remaining two thieves to his hometown of Chicago. He also quickly finds out that he isn't the only one after them. A group of terrifying demons wants the shroud, and the demon leader wants Harry's soul too. Phew! Life is never easy for Harry, all he wants is to just do private investigations and earn a living. He realises that he must accept help from all of his friends, including three Holy knights, his police-officer friend, and even his half-vampire ex-girlfriend, Susan. The story is well-paced, the action well done, humour abounds in spite of grizzly events. Jim Butcher cleverly twists religious history and the occult, and builds on events from the previous books without you needing to have read them. Harry's world is increasingly complex, and he continues to grow as a character. However, I just couldn't say this is a 'wow' book for me - a few things irk me. Why is Harry the only Wizard doing anything - yes I know he is on the out as far as wizarding goes - but this is threatening the whole magical world, why let him do all the work? I hope there is less war and more investigations into creepy magical beings in the future books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Poor Harry Dresden. You sweet, oddly sexy, powerful wizard. You just CAN'T catch a break! I adore this series and I adore listening to it on audio. I think James Marsters just keeps getting better and better. I can hear a wider range of voices in this one than in the previous books, and he is so SO DAMN PERFECT as Harry Dresden. I could listen to these books all day, every day. Interestingly, a lot is left hanging at the end of this book. I can't wait to see where the next few books take me!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Hippie Reader

    Harry Dresden can't catch a break... or a full night's sleep. He's up against the Red vampire court, he's being attacked by supernatural creatures with powers he's never seen before and his ex-girlfriend is back in town. But, you can't keep a good wizard down, right? Even when you introduce a holy relic into the tale: "Someone stole the freaking Shroud of Turn?' I demanded. 'Yes.' I settled back into the chair, looking down at the photos again. This changed things. This changed things a lot." pg 2 Harry Dresden can't catch a break... or a full night's sleep. He's up against the Red vampire court, he's being attacked by supernatural creatures with powers he's never seen before and his ex-girlfriend is back in town. But, you can't keep a good wizard down, right? Even when you introduce a holy relic into the tale: "Someone stole the freaking Shroud of Turn?' I demanded. 'Yes.' I settled back into the chair, looking down at the photos again. This changed things. This changed things a lot." pg 28 In case you haven't read the first four entries in this series: Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire. He solves supernatural crimes, he finds lost items and he never seems to make enough money to be comfortable. "I'd learned something in several years of professional wizarding. Never walk into a fight when the bad guys are the ones who set it up. Wizards can call down lightning from the heavens, rip apart the earth beneath their enemy's feet, blow them into a neighboring time zone with gale winds, and a million other things even less pleasant- but not if we don't plan things out in advance." pg 58 Some criticisms of this series are that the humor is juvenile and corny. I'll confess: it is. But I still love it. "I get more threats before nine a.m. than most people get all day," I responded, and shut the door on him. Purely for effect, I locked it too. Me, petty? Surely not." pg 110 If I was a male wizard, I think I'd be something like Harry. I'd go in with the best of intentions and end up with the most mediocre of results. Harry stands up for the little guy and has a soft spot for the ladies. He protects children and holds the door for women. He likes to drink, wears a leather duster and can't seem to sleep even when he's exhausted. Aren't we all, in some ways, Harry Dresden? Fighting the good fight, even though we know that death waits around the corner? "Apocalypse, as you refer to it, isn't an event. ... Apocalypse is a frame of mind," he said then. "A belief. A surrender to inevitability. It is despair for the future. It is the death of hope." pg 353 Recommended for fans of urban fantasy and especially the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I am a fan of The Dresden Files despite the fact that it can seem formulaic. I think Harry Dresden is worth the read. Thanks for reading!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    [4.5 Stars] The best one yet!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    The story continues here and stays true to form. The Dresden books are some of my favorite novels...bar none, hands down. These are great brain candy. They're pure escapism, total Urban Fantasy fun, comic drama that do several things very well. Each novel tells it's own story making them individually readable and enjoyable while in the back ground evidence and details mount to tell a larger more involved tale. Here we open up with Harry broke (not that unusual) and in a spot he isn't all that happ The story continues here and stays true to form. The Dresden books are some of my favorite novels...bar none, hands down. These are great brain candy. They're pure escapism, total Urban Fantasy fun, comic drama that do several things very well. Each novel tells it's own story making them individually readable and enjoyable while in the back ground evidence and details mount to tell a larger more involved tale. Here we open up with Harry broke (not that unusual) and in a spot he isn't all that happy about...a TV studio. He's on the Larry Fowler show (seems like it might be something like the old Jerry Springer show???)as Chicago's only consulting wizard . The producer offered double his usual fee. He's trying to control his emotions lest he accidentally destroy thousands of dollars worth of TV equipment. Things seem to be going pretty well...till a major Red Court vamp noble shows up as another guest (known to the world as a debunker of paranormal beliefs of course, not a vampire). We'll not go into the damage done when Harry loses a bit of emotional control. One of the other guests is a representative from the Vatican. "Father Vincent" also debunks the paranormal. The priest and the Vampire are not really in town to appear on Larry Fowler of course (big surprise, right?)..and the real reasons they are in town have to do with Harry (well, if they didn't we wouldn't have a book). You see the vampire war is dragging on a bit... and Harry has been recommended to the Priest Vincent as an investigator. What does the vampire (Duke Ortega) want? What does "Father Vincent" want Harry to find? That would be telling. My recommendation? Don't miss any of the Dresden books. I know some aren't as taken with them as I, fine. But try them yourself. I'm not here to run down objections and complaints about the novels. While there may be some flaws and they may not be to the taste of some I think most will find this book (these books) at least greatly enjoyable and some, like me fantastic. The series opens wonderfully and gets better as it goes with the books seeming to me to hit their stride around volume 3 or 4 and continuing to get better as they go. Highest brain candy recommendation.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Reasons to read this book. 1. Harry Dresden is a believable character. He learns, he grows, but he does not gain a new power every book. In fact, he doesn't seem to gain any power in any of the books. He gains awareness and knowledge. 2. Susan is cool, but flawed like Harry. Love her. 3. Godfather with a helicopter. 4. One of the best love/sex scenes I have ever read. Butcher could write a good romance novel. 5. Good female detective who has smarts. 6. Vampires with bite. 7. Butcher knows his myth, le Reasons to read this book. 1. Harry Dresden is a believable character. He learns, he grows, but he does not gain a new power every book. In fact, he doesn't seem to gain any power in any of the books. He gains awareness and knowledge. 2. Susan is cool, but flawed like Harry. Love her. 3. Godfather with a helicopter. 4. One of the best love/sex scenes I have ever read. Butcher could write a good romance novel. 5. Good female detective who has smarts. 6. Vampires with bite. 7. Butcher knows his myth, legends, and religion. 8. An agnostic black Russian knight. 9. A woman who knows how to make armor. 10. A good cat. 11. Most importantly, an ending that works in terms of the rules of the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Buddy at Buddies Books and Baubles with some Dresdanites 3.5 Who Else Could Want To Kill Harry Stars Five books in and the world and characters keep expanding a little at a time. I enjoy reading this series to a certain extent but the thing is Harry isn’t the reason. Mostly I like all of the side characters more than him. Each doesn’t get a lot of page time but the glimpses I see of them…well usually the side character steals the show from Harry, at least for me. It isn’t specifically Harry’s fault Buddy at Buddies Books and Baubles with some Dresdanites 3.5 Who Else Could Want To Kill Harry Stars Five books in and the world and characters keep expanding a little at a time. I enjoy reading this series to a certain extent but the thing is Harry isn’t the reason. Mostly I like all of the side characters more than him. Each doesn’t get a lot of page time but the glimpses I see of them…well usually the side character steals the show from Harry, at least for me. It isn’t specifically Harry’s fault I mean sure he is a wizard with a snappy wit, pop culture references and a keen sense of humor in the face of danger but here is a list of the side characters that make an appearance. BOB - Although he is a little out of it this time and didn’t get his normal page time for banter the spirit/lab assistant to Harry housed in a skull almost always steals the show when on page. Micheal - *Swoon* I totally crush on The Fist of God. Good men are hard to find and he is the best of them. Anyone with a holy sword and Crusader Armor is interesting in my book. Molly - The Fourteen year old daughter of the Fist of God. She was hilarious, a little bit of a romantic and full of enough teenage rebellion to be interesting but not annoying she was one of my favorite new additions. “Ohhhh,” Molly said wisely. “Those are fun-time handcuffs, not bad-time handcuffs. I gotcha.” “No!” I protested. “And how the hell would you know about fun-time handcuffs anyway? You’re like ten.” She snorted. “Fourteen.” “Whatever, too young.” “Internet,” she said sagely. “Expanding the frontiers of adolescent knowledge.” Shiro and Sanya - Holy Crusaders and Michael’s equals Shiro is like the Mr. Miyagi of the book much knowledge and a great sense of devotion to his cause while Sanya is very different from what you would expect of a holy crusader of God. IVY - Also known as the archive. Imagine all of the world’s knowledge in a 7 year old girl. I’m thinking of the daughter in Dune, slightly creepy but infinitely powerful. I hope she shows up in future books as she was really interesting. “You know how to use magic?” I asked. “I prefer calculus.” “But you can do it.” “Yes.” Yikes. If the reaction of my wards was any indication, it meant that she was at least as strong as any Wizard of the White Council. Probably stronger. But if that was true… “If you know that much,” I said, “if you are that powerful, why did you hire a bodyguard to bring you here?” “My feet don’t reach the pedals.” Waldo Butters - Medical examiner who has caught on to the supernaturalness of some of the some of the corpses coming in lately. A little on the unusual side, I can tell I’m going to love him in this series. There are so many more including staples such as Murphy, Charity, Marcone, Thomas and Susan. There are some and new additions including the Oracle, Ortega, the Fallen and Nicodemus. So many people for Harry to interact with it gets staggering at times. While I really like most of the characters of this series I sometimes find the plotting kind of thrown together. It sometimes feels jumbled crashing together until we get to the end. Don’t get me wrong I’m entertained the entire time but I feel like I have a difficult time following parts of the plot occasionally. That said though Harry is an easy guy to root for even if the entire world seems out to get him and really it seems like the ENTIRE world IS out to get him. In this corner, one missing Shroud, one impossibly and thoroughly dead corpse, one dedicated and deadly vampire warlord, three holy knights, twenty-nine fallen angels, and a partridge in a pear tree. And in the opposite corner, one tired, bruised, underpaid professional wizard, threatened by his allies and about to get dumped by his would-be girlfriend for John Q. Humdrum Seriously, tell me that isn’t a lot to deal with. I will give it up to J.B. for the way he pushes the expectations of people’s roles in the story. Sanya in particular is a Warrior for God but…..he isn’t quite what you would expect at all. I loved the twist to his character. The inclusion of the 30 pieces of silver that were paid to Judas as well was a fantastic re-imagining of how to incorporate Christian lore into story. I also very much liked the addition of a duel between Harry and a Duke of the Red Court and how the rules for that were incorporated. There are a ton of great ideas in the story. Possible even too many which is why at times it felt slightly jumbled to me at times. Still right now this is a series I could read a few and walk away for a few months then read a few more. I haven’t fallen in love with Harry’s character enough yet to want to plow through 15 books before I move onto something else like has happened to me with a few of the other series I really love. Still Harry is a good dude to hang out with and go on a ride into crazytown. Also you can feel better about your life because I guarantee he has way more problems with romance, people trying to kill him and just paying the rent than you do.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    My sister and I listened to this on Audiobook in the car. I had to return the CDs to the library, but fortunately, they had the Playaway, so we were able to finish this. I loved James Marsters' narration. He doesn't sound a thing like Spike and I'm glad. He showed a wonderful vocal range, and he really gave life to Harry Dresden for me. He's really fantastic at accents and different inflections. He does women voices without them sounding cheesy or falsetto (which is a huge thing for me). I think My sister and I listened to this on Audiobook in the car. I had to return the CDs to the library, but fortunately, they had the Playaway, so we were able to finish this. I loved James Marsters' narration. He doesn't sound a thing like Spike and I'm glad. He showed a wonderful vocal range, and he really gave life to Harry Dresden for me. He's really fantastic at accents and different inflections. He does women voices without them sounding cheesy or falsetto (which is a huge thing for me). I think I will definitely have to listen to more of these on audiobooks. My sister had never read any of this series, and she really liked this. Of course, she loves James Marsters (and Spike), so that was a good way to suck her in. As far as the book, I really liked it. I think it could probably give this five stars if I wanted to be generous. I think the reason I didn't is because the story doesn't really wrap up to my satisfaction. I would have liked a lot more closure than I got. But it was a good follow-up to Summer Knight. Harry is a hero, but he doesn't ever seem to get that day in the sun or the resolution of his personal and private issues that you would hope for. Susan is back, and that was very cool. I think that her return was pivotal to the storyline, and the storyline in itself has a nice complexity to it in which various elements tie together very well. I can't say I was a huge fan of the Susan relationship, but it's treated well in this book, and there was a surprisingly steamy love scene that I wasn't expecting. I wonder if the author's wife is rubbing off on him (Shannon K. Butcher). I can see that there was genuine love between them, and I can't help hoping that works out in the future. I think that Harry gains a lot of personal growth in this book, acquiring new allies along the way, and realizing that there are people who really do believe the best of him and trust him to do the right thing. I know I am seriously behind in this series, because I tend to get behind in my reading of series. I actually wasn't lost, even though it had been years since I read Summer Knight, so that was nice. He also develops more nemeses, not like he needs them. Harry really does have a kiss my butt attitude that makes people hate his guts. But those people are usually jerks, so that's okay with me. I have heard things about Dresden being a sexist. I think listening to this on audio does reveal this flaw in his character. While I am not for sexism, I still like him a lot. I think that his sexism backfires on him because he allows his preconceived notions about women get him in trouble again and again. My hope is he will learn from his mistakes. Here's hoping. But despite this shortcoming and others, I count Harry as one of my favorite characters for many reasons. I think that even though Harry has some really obvious flaws, he's a good guy that I'm very fond of and I always look forward to spending time with him. Like most of the books in this series, the secondary characters are great. They add so much to the read. The Knights of the Cross (including Michael), Murphy, Susan, Martin, Susan's work companion who is on the surface very mild-mannered but is really kind of like Jack Reacher, Molly (Michael's daughter), his wife who hates Harry, and not to mention some truly despicable bad guys. I loved the Archive and her bodyguard Kincaid. I am ever a fan of authors with rich imaginations who can put that on the page in a readable fashion, and Jim Butcher has that in spades. The humor is great, and parts of these stories are genuinely scary and thrilling. And the action is top notch. I'm such a geek for urban fantasy and magic noir, this is very up my alley for that type of story. I have most of these in paperback, but I'm thinking about going back and listening to the first books on audiobook, just for fun. Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! This was a re-read for me and I liked it just as much the second time around. I did remember some parts of the book from the first time I read the story but I had forgotten most of the details. It has been about a year and half since I listened to the last book in this series and I really enjoyed spending a little bit of time with Harry Dresden once again. This is the fifth book in the series and I do reco This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! This was a re-read for me and I liked it just as much the second time around. I did remember some parts of the book from the first time I read the story but I had forgotten most of the details. It has been about a year and half since I listened to the last book in this series and I really enjoyed spending a little bit of time with Harry Dresden once again. This is the fifth book in the series and I do recommend that this series be read in order. This was a book that entertained me from beginning to end. Harry has a lot going on in this book. I don't even know how he is able to keep everything straight. He has a vampire from the Red Court that wants to duel him. A priest wants his help in finding the Shroud and a few other people would like to get their hands on it as well. An old girlfriend is in town to keep things interesting. Plus there are all the other situations that Harry seems to regularly find himself in. If you are looking for a book with a lot of action, look no further because this book really never slows down. The characters in this book almost feel real to me. One thing that I love about reading a series like this is how well you get to know each of the characters. It is almost like they are old friends and you can somewhat anticipate how they might react in certain situations. I do think it is also a lot of fun to re-read a longer series like this because the groundwork for future events is being laid. Having already read the later books, I know that some scenes will become more important later on. There are a lot of characters featured in this story that have been very important to the series. I liked seeing Michael and his family as well as the other Knights of the Cross. Thomas, John Marconi, Susan, and Karin also play important roles. James Marsters takes this book to a whole new level. I originally read this book on my kindle but if I had known how good the audiobook was, I might have went that route the first time around. I think he does a fantastic job in bringing Harry to life. I know what Harry is feeling at times because I can hear it in his voice. I think that he does a great job with all of the characters and the dialogue in the story flows very nicely. He has a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time. I do recommend this series to others. I like that it is a fairly complex story with some humor worked in at just the right moments. Harry is a character that is easy to cheer for because in the end he really is a good guy. I am looking forward to continuing with my re-read of the series very soon. Initial Thoughts This was a re-read for me. I remembered parts of the book but no details. I think that Jim Marsters narration brings Harry to a whole new level. Lots of excitement in the one with appearances by most of the key characters in the series. Book source: Audible purchase

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mikos

    Best one yet, what a great ride! :D

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reading in Saucy Wenches Book Club in October. I'm only two months behind on the series read. Another great outing from Harry Dresden. Susan was fantastic in this one and I really enjoyed seeing her again. Even if she is very changed from who she use to be. I think her development makes sense and I do hope she appears again in later novels. One of the delights of this series is that Dresden really can count on his friends and that his friends are there for him. Even if this sometimes leads to sadn Reading in Saucy Wenches Book Club in October. I'm only two months behind on the series read. Another great outing from Harry Dresden. Susan was fantastic in this one and I really enjoyed seeing her again. Even if she is very changed from who she use to be. I think her development makes sense and I do hope she appears again in later novels. One of the delights of this series is that Dresden really can count on his friends and that his friends are there for him. Even if this sometimes leads to sadness and heartbreak. Harry survived for another adventure. Marcone,why is he now a grey character? I'm not meant to like him and yet now a teeny bit of me does. Dresden can be pretty sneaky when he needs to be to find things out and the reveal about Marcone definitely put him in a new light. I'll definitely be continuing with this series. Recommended for lovers of urban fantasy and a good adventure.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Faye, la Patata

    Pretty good stuff right here, but damn it, I wish Harry would stop being so helpless and foolish 80% of the time ;__; He's been "weak" in comparison to the challenges he has faced (at least he outsmarts them in other areas, and he has friends and connections to help him), so I've been hoping he could finally have a bloody level-up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    4.5 stars I read the first few chapters then switched to audio. James Marsters' narration is perfect and definitely kicked the story up a notch for me. Knocked off 1/2 a star because I really can't stand the sexual tension between Harry and Susan. Is it truly love, or just lust? Had we had more relationship development between the two in earlier books maybe I wouldn't question it. Otherwise, never a dull moment and some interesting new characters on the scene.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gergana

    It's ok. I like Harry enough now to continue reading. Book 4 was definitely better.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I never actually wrote a review of this book the first time around, just a few quick sentences. I don't remember why. I was probably just being lazy. This is what I wrote back in December 2010: "I'm still waiting to be knocked off my feet by this series, but this book was still pretty fun. Also, Susan was way less annoying, ditto for Gentleman Johnny Marcone. The best part was when Thomas offered to high-five Ortega right before the duel. There needs to be more Thomas." I still hold to what I said I never actually wrote a review of this book the first time around, just a few quick sentences. I don't remember why. I was probably just being lazy. This is what I wrote back in December 2010: "I'm still waiting to be knocked off my feet by this series, but this book was still pretty fun. Also, Susan was way less annoying, ditto for Gentleman Johnny Marcone. The best part was when Thomas offered to high-five Ortega right before the duel. There needs to be more Thomas." I still hold to what I said about Thomas, but oh man, re-reading this was unexpectedly pleasurable. I knew going into this re-read of the whole series that I would most likely enjoy the first three books more (which did happen), but I didn't really think about how I would feel about the ones after that. I guess I just assumed I would feel the same about them, maybe catch a few pieces of foreshadowing, that sort of thing. But there was just so much stuff in here that has later relevance, and I didn't care about ANY OF IT the first time through. Stuff that happens in this book: •A priest hires Harry to find the Shroud of Turin, yes THE Shroud of Turin, after it was stolen by a group of thieves. •A man is found dead with evidence showing he was killed by multiple fast-acting diseases at the same time, many of them (like the Black Death) long gone from the world. •Susan shows back up to collect her things and quit her job, and to say goodbye to Harry in a more permanent fashion. •One of Johnny Marcone's thugs tries to kill Harry outside of a television studio. •Harry is challenged to a duel by a Red Court vampire. Said vampire, Count Paolo Ortega, wishes to stop the war with the White Council (most likely to start it up again in the future when they have more resources), and killing Harry is the only way to do it. •Demonic beings called the Denarians start showing up all over the place. They used to be human, but have been possessed by fallen angels (The Fallen, as the characters call them) through coin talismans. There are thirty silver coins, each a piece of the thirty silvers Judas received as payment for betraying Jesus. And they are after Harry. Not to kill him, but to turn him. •Michael and his two fellow Knights of the Cross (Shiro and Sanya) are also faffing around, since killing Denarians (or, prefereably, saving the humans enslaved by the Denarians, is like, their main bag). •Probably some other stuff, too. It's a lot. Spoilers for this book and for the rest of the series below, so proceed with caution. (view spoiler)[First, let's talk about Susan. What I was responding to in regards to Susan in that original review was that she takes a more active role here, and her character does something beyond being something Harry is obsessed with. Granted, she still largely fulfills that function, but she's also marginally more interesting due to her constant battle against becoming a full Red Court vampire, and in her association with the newly introduced Fellowship of St. Giles, a society whose members are all humans fighting against becoming vampires, who have dedicated their lives to taking down the Red Court. She is instrumental in helping Harry with both of his "cases" this book, saving him from himself and from others. What's still frustrating about her is that all of this is seen through Harry's POV, and he's more interested in being sexually attracted to her, and being sad they can't be together, which results in her still being a flat character I know almost nothing about. Thankfully, we won't hear from her again until Changes, and at that point, I'm much more favorably inclined towards her because of what's going on. Which reminds me, the first time through this, I was really put off by the sex scene. It seemed random and weird, and because I didn't care about Susan at all, seemed like Butcher just wanted Harry to get laid. Which, fine. But now knowing that their little tryst resulted in the birth of Maggie, I am more than fine with it. Harry's daughter entering his life is one of my favorite plot points of this series. Oh my God, that scene in Skin Game. URGGG TEARS. Here is a list of stuff that takes on way more significance now that I've read the whole series: •I really didn't like the Denarians the first time through. No idea why. Perhaps they've grown on me now that they show up every five books. Also, their existence (and that of Lasciel) begets another favorite plot point, namely Harry's brain being pregnant with a spirit of intellect. •I also wasn't a huge fan of anything to do with the Red Court/White Council war, also no idea why. Maybe I only like it now because I know how it ends (and oh, does it end). •Thomas. Initially he was just a spot of humor and brightness, supposedly offered as a second by the White Court as some sort of insult to the Red. But it's clear, now that I know Thomas is Harry's half-brother, that Thomas was there very much of his own free will, with an eye to protecting Harry. He was probably pretending to be drunk. Thomas is way smarter than he acts. •Hints about Harry's mother (and other family, not Thomas) that totally flew over my head the first time. •All the stuff with Harry and the Denarian coin, and Harry questioning who he is and why he does what he does. Why DOES he allow himself to live in near poverty, shunned by his peers and the public alike? Will he ever come to terms with those darker urges? (Answer still forthcoming.) •We meet Mortimer Lindquist the medium, a throwaway character who turns out to play a large role in Ghost Story. •Harry's relationship with the Carpenters. He and Charity very much do not get along at the moment, but the seeds are planted for his future master/apprentice relationship with Molly. •Harry and the Knights of the Cross. Though he isn't worthy to wield a sword himself, Harry will be tied to the Knights (and their swords) for the remainder of the series. •Butters. (I mean, WHO KNEW WHERE THAT WOULD GO?) (hide spoiler)] I mentioned in my review of Summer Knight that a lot of the series mythology really go going there, but really it was only the faerie half. The other stuff comes in Death Masks. You just don't know any of this will be important as you're reading it. Butcher certainly has issues as a writer*, but worldbuilding and knowing how to effectively use continuity is not one of them. *WHY CAN'T HARRY JUST HAVE A "SAVING PEOPLE" THING INSTEAD OF A GROSS "SAVING WOMEN" THING. WHY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO EASY) In summation, this is one of those series that's not only better as it goes along, but that's better on re-read. I understand there are people who don't want to waste time giving a series more than a couple (or one, or not even one) chances, or who don't re-read (I don't understand that one at all). But if I would have thought like that, I would have missed out so hard on a series that, for the most part, gives back way more than the effort I put in. Sometimes it's worth it to be patient.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    That Nicodemius is one tricksy Demon! Good to see the three Knights working together in the story. We meet Butters,a significant addition in books to come. Harry and Susan manage to hang out for a while. A duel is fought. Marcone’s secret is out. Harry wins to fight another day. Another book down in my reread campaign, killing time until the next book is published. Soon I hope!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arnis

    https://poseidons99.wordpress.com/201...

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Sven

    Good pace, interesting plot elements, new nasties along with some old ones, and great audio narration by James Masters. I particularly enjoyed Marsters' Russian accent for Sanya. He has really expanded his repertoire of voices since book one and I’m digging it. I do appreciate how Butcher keeps building on the existing lore of the series. We learn a bit more about Harry (view spoiler)[ Harry’s not a mortal!? And he has siblings somewhere! (hide spoiler)] We get some new secret organisations, The Good pace, interesting plot elements, new nasties along with some old ones, and great audio narration by James Masters. I particularly enjoyed Marsters' Russian accent for Sanya. He has really expanded his repertoire of voices since book one and I’m digging it. I do appreciate how Butcher keeps building on the existing lore of the series. We learn a bit more about Harry (view spoiler)[ Harry’s not a mortal!? And he has siblings somewhere! (hide spoiler)] We get some new secret organisations, The Order of the Blackened Denarius, with its accompanying monsters, The Denarians. There’s also The Fellowship of St Giles (the patron saint of lepers). We are also introduced to a couple of other members of the Knights of the Cross – Yes Michael Carpenter is back with his trusty sword Ammoracchius. Also back is Susan, saucy as ever and good enough to eat...you. Yes, she’s still partway to becoming vampire. In this book the war between the Red Court and the White Council is still raging, and Harry is still at the top of the Vampires’ hit list. When the Red Court sends in its heaviest hitter, Harry is forced meet his enemies head on or risk losing everyone he cares about. But at the same time, a wizard still has to eat and pay bills, so when the Vatican shows up with a job for Harry offering real money (rather than the customary burning at the stake) our wizard for hire finds himself on the hunt for an artifact that will see him cross paths with things a whole lot worse than vampires. So why is this 3 stars instead of the customary 4? I had to have a bit of a think myself. All the plot elements are there and they’re great. The characters are interesting. All the ingredients for a great recipe are there, so why did I come away feeling that things didn’t quite gel together. After scratching my head for a bit it came to me; the two major arcs of the story never actually converge or service each other. There’s the vampire story with Ortega and the duel, but that story had nothing to do with the main story with Nicodemus and the Denarians. Now I’m going to call the Vampire story the side story, and I’ll call the Denarian story the main story because that was where most the substance was. But the side story takes up a lot of the book, and it involves some interesting new characters like Kincaid and the Archive, but it just never services the main story! Which leaves the main story feeling a little lite. It’s like I got two short stories pretending to be one. Anyway, I still enjoyed it. The new characters and villains were still very cool and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of them as I continue in the series. I’m also intrigued by the tidbit of extra lore we get about Harry himself. I can’t stop now. 3 Stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    I love Harry Dresden. He cracks me up! This guy is definitely a lovable loser. Everybody wants to kill him, and he's pretty much accepted that as his definition of normal. "I get more threats before nine a.m. than most people get all day." ...the risk of imminent death just didn't hit me the same way it used to... Susan asked, "Do you really think you can win?" "Yeah. Hell, Ortega is only the third or fourth most disturbing thing I've tangled with today." "But even if you do win, what does it change I love Harry Dresden. He cracks me up! This guy is definitely a lovable loser. Everybody wants to kill him, and he's pretty much accepted that as his definition of normal. "I get more threats before nine a.m. than most people get all day." ...the risk of imminent death just didn't hit me the same way it used to... Susan asked, "Do you really think you can win?" "Yeah. Hell, Ortega is only the third or fourth most disturbing thing I've tangled with today." "But even if you do win, what does it change?" "Me getting killed now. That way, I get to be killed later tonight instead." He's an optimist! Harry also has his own unique brand of style. "I am the foremost collector of velvet Elvii in the city of Chicago," I said. "Elvii?" Marcone inquired. "The plural could be Elvises, I guess...I usually go with the Latin plural." "You've really got class, Dresden," Susan said. "Class oozes out my every orifice," I agreed. So, in this book Harry is trying to find the stolen Shroud of Turin. Yes, that Shroud of Turin. Although, I guess there is only one, so maybe you weren't wondering which Shroud of Turin I meant. Anyway, it's been stolen. And, there are a LOT of people who want to get their hands on it, including the church, a mobster, and a bunch of demons. So, it's not going to be an easy job. Plus, there is the small matter of a prophecy of Harry's death if he goes after the Shroud. But, get in line, Death-Prophecy, there are a bunch of vampires who wanted to kill Harry first! And they have sent one of their war lords to offer Harry a deal: have a duel to the death with him and the matter is settled. If Harry doesn't agree, they will continue trying to kill him anyway, warring with the White Council, and kill all of his friends. So, Harry has to duel. A blood-thirsty vampire war-lord. That's not going to go well. The good news is that he will probably die way before duel day because of all of the demons who are trying to kill him. As for Harry's (non-existent) love-life, we get Susan showing back up to give him the "it's not you, it's me" speech. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're infected with the vampire virus and find his blood too enticing to be with him. We get it, Edward! So, Harry is single and ready to mingle now. I am hoping there is a future for him and Murphy - who is the best female character in this series. We'll see what happens there.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ☕ Kimberly

    Due to characters growth and alliances I recommend that this series be read in order. We spend time with Michael, his family and other Knights of the Cross as Harry finds himself dealing with a vampire of the Red Court who wants a duel and a priest who wants Harry to find a lost object for him. Easy right? Wrong. It seems others want it as well and are even willing to kill for it. In the meantime, Harry's old girlfriend Susan shows up and things get mighty interesting. Her return allows Harry to m Due to characters growth and alliances I recommend that this series be read in order. We spend time with Michael, his family and other Knights of the Cross as Harry finds himself dealing with a vampire of the Red Court who wants a duel and a priest who wants Harry to find a lost object for him. Easy right? Wrong. It seems others want it as well and are even willing to kill for it. In the meantime, Harry's old girlfriend Susan shows up and things get mighty interesting. Her return allows Harry to move forward so to speak. We get a little romance and even some heated scenes as these two make peace.   I love the secondary characters like Thomas, John Marconi, and Karin. Even Susan grew on me a little. With each book we see Harry go through growth and this remains true in Death Masks. While Harry may come off as sexist and often pessimistic, I cannot help but love him. He feels real, heck all of the characters feel real; ugly flaws and all. At his core he is a really good guy trying to protect the innocent. As I've stated previously I've bought all of the audios. James Marsters has become the voice for these characters and I can't fathom not listening. This almost gained a five cup rating, but I wanted more from the ending. I will let you decide. Fans of snark, the supernatural world and private eyes who carry a staff will want to check out this urban fantasy series. Each book is stronger than its predecessor and I cannot wait to being the next audio. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    In my opinion, the best book so far in the Harry Dresden series. It feels to me like Butcher has found his stride and as a result that Harry has found his centre. He’s thinking about the Whys of what he does, not just about what to do next. Although the vampires get things rolling in this book, the Harry-Red Court conflict gets pushed to the side as he deals with bigger issues. This is what I was wanting when I read The Last Coin. Awesome use of Judas’ thirty pieces of silver! One of the things I In my opinion, the best book so far in the Harry Dresden series. It feels to me like Butcher has found his stride and as a result that Harry has found his centre. He’s thinking about the Whys of what he does, not just about what to do next. Although the vampires get things rolling in this book, the Harry-Red Court conflict gets pushed to the side as he deals with bigger issues. This is what I was wanting when I read The Last Coin. Awesome use of Judas’ thirty pieces of silver! One of the things I appreciate most about this series? There are fabulous women characters. I mean, Susan started out strong, went limp for a while, but returns in this book with power. Too bad that she can’t stay—she would provide a good balance to Harry. Then there’s Michael Carpenter’s wife, Charity, who runs an enormous household, rides herd on a passel of children, and still manages to make armour! Not to mention Karrin Murphy, Harry’s police department contact. She doesn’t get much screen time in this volume, but she’s still effective when called upon. I also enjoyed getting some back story on John Marcone, the godfather of Chicago. Okay, I think I am ready to board the Dresden bandwagon. Make room!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rizwan

    WHOA. Was this book awesome or what?! Previously I was just a casual Dresden Files-fan, I really liked the earlier books (Summer Knight, Grave Peril, Fool Moon, Storm Front), but I didn't outright loved them... Well, all that has changed now! From the very first page to the last one, this one got my attention hook-line-sinker. The book was action-packed, hair-raising thrilling, nailbitingly suspenseful, wildly humorous with mindblowing twists-turns and a GREAT villain. But above all, it had a br WHOA. Was this book awesome or what?! Previously I was just a casual Dresden Files-fan, I really liked the earlier books (Summer Knight, Grave Peril, Fool Moon, Storm Front), but I didn't outright loved them... Well, all that has changed now! From the very first page to the last one, this one got my attention hook-line-sinker. The book was action-packed, hair-raising thrilling, nailbitingly suspenseful, wildly humorous with mindblowing twists-turns and a GREAT villain. But above all, it had a brilliant engrossing story. And what can I say about Harry Dresden, the ultimate wisecrackin' Badass that hadn't been said already? He's the perfect tragic hero that the readers can relate and empathized with, but who also has such a large mouth and an acid-tongue that he just can't help himself! He's that classic underdog character who found himself at the short end of stick every single time, and every thing that can possibly (and impossibly) go wrong, does go wrong against him (its almost like fate always consciously trying to make poor Harry suffer :'( ) But each & every time somehow, someway Harry pushes himself up and comes out on top only with his sheer stubbornness and irresistible wit intact (oh, and also his leather duster!). Yeah, you just can't help but love the guy. Anyway, all in all, this was a fantastic thrillride through the magical, deadly, beautiful, funny and LOVABLE universe of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I can't wait to start the next book Blood Rites, and I'm so frekkin' glad that I still have ten more books to read of this mindblowing series!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Manju

    EDIT: Enjoyed it way more this time as I knew how subtly Butcher dropped clues about Harry's past and future here and there. 3.5 Fifth book of the series. A new case and problems from the previous books to solve. So Harry’s journey covers a dual challenge from vampire Ortega (red court battle), finding the stolen shroud (case), return of his half-vampire girlfriend Susan (surprise) and his fight with supernatural creatures (his usual stuff). Michael made his came back in the book with other two kni EDIT: Enjoyed it way more this time as I knew how subtly Butcher dropped clues about Harry's past and future here and there. 3.5 Fifth book of the series. A new case and problems from the previous books to solve. So Harry’s journey covers a dual challenge from vampire Ortega (red court battle), finding the stolen shroud (case), return of his half-vampire girlfriend Susan (surprise) and his fight with supernatural creatures (his usual stuff). Michael made his came back in the book with other two knights. Denarians i.e. the supernatural creatures were absolute cruel and evil. The base of the story was finding the stolen shroud. Gentleman John Marcone’s appearance in the book was the other surprise and him helping Harry in retrieving the Shroud was even more fascinating. Characters other than Harry were also pretty good though I missed Murphy in this edition. Story was good and fast paced. Full of action and surprises. Hats off to Mr Butcher for creating such a complex yet beautiful supernatural world.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's practicing wizard and private detective has finally scraped up another case. Leave it to Harry to make it a doozy though. Some one has stolen the Shroud of Turin and everyone wants it. Also on the scene is the love of Harry's life, ex-girlfriend and partial vampire, Susan. Oh yes, there is also a headless armless corpse that Officer Murphy needs help with, the ongoing war between the wizards and the red vampires, 3 Knights of God (one of whoms wife still dislikes Harry a Harry Dresden, Chicago's practicing wizard and private detective has finally scraped up another case. Leave it to Harry to make it a doozy though. Some one has stolen the Shroud of Turin and everyone wants it. Also on the scene is the love of Harry's life, ex-girlfriend and partial vampire, Susan. Oh yes, there is also a headless armless corpse that Officer Murphy needs help with, the ongoing war between the wizards and the red vampires, 3 Knights of God (one of whoms wife still dislikes Harry a great deal), and Marcone, the local mob boss , gunning for him. Did I mention the duel to the death with a vampire mediated by a little girl? When does this man sleep? I love this series. It is just action packed and full of wit. I will definitely be reading the next book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pranta Ghosh Dastider

    "It isn't good to hold on too hard to the past. You can't spend your whole life looking back. Not even when you can't see what lies ahead. All you can do is keep on keeping on, and try to believe that tomorrow will be what it should be- even if it isn't what you expected." - Jim Butcher, Death Masks. That mostly sums up the story. In this turn of Dresden saga many things actually didn't get solved. But there was a hint of things to come, which for the time being keeping me intrigued. I hope good t "It isn't good to hold on too hard to the past. You can't spend your whole life looking back. Not even when you can't see what lies ahead. All you can do is keep on keeping on, and try to believe that tomorrow will be what it should be- even if it isn't what you expected." - Jim Butcher, Death Masks. That mostly sums up the story. In this turn of Dresden saga many things actually didn't get solved. But there was a hint of things to come, which for the time being keeping me intrigued. I hope good things are yet to come, and when they come, they will be like a continuous wave of excitement. One can only hope! Right? I liked the actions on Death Masks. There were a few face to face combats, sword slashing, blasting, jumping around. There was romance, suspense and misfortune. The book wasn't rewarding and safe for all the characters by the end. And all things worked out pretty well to sum up a nice blend of storytelling. I liked it. And if you are a fan of Dresden universe, you would like it too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    7/10 This was a reread of sorts for me, the little lady was at this point in the series is doing them on audiobook and we had a journey up to Edinburgh so decided to do it together. I was keen to hear James Marsters narrate and when I originally read this book I was on holiday in New England and my reading concentration was way down. The story is interesting enough but it's not up in the top reaches of the series, in fact due to the stellar stories in this series this could be seen as one of the w 7/10 This was a reread of sorts for me, the little lady was at this point in the series is doing them on audiobook and we had a journey up to Edinburgh so decided to do it together. I was keen to hear James Marsters narrate and when I originally read this book I was on holiday in New England and my reading concentration was way down. The story is interesting enough but it's not up in the top reaches of the series, in fact due to the stellar stories in this series this could be seen as one of the weakest. Rereading this though there are a few key things that happen which do take shape and have repercussions down the line, also the introduction to polka listening Butters. However, the dual storyline just seemed quite jumbled at times and could have been more streamlined. I've not found this an issue before so it could be that I just didn't find the storylines as interesting. Now for the audiobook. What the frick?! This is by far the best audiobook I've listened to. Marsters is outstanding in the role of narrator and storyteller. His tone and style fit this story perfectly. I loved the way he would shout out the spells and the way he inflicted the right amount of sarcasm when required. I would highly recommend the audiobooks to anyone, it definitely enhanced the story. The only thing I would mention is it took me a little while to get used to him not sounding like Spike from Buffy. All told, it's a good story but not the best in the series. I look forward to picking the series back up in a couple of weeks but it'll be in kindle format. Will I pine for James Marsters? Time will tell.

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