Skin Game-Jim Butcher

Skin Game

Skin Game cover courtesy of Jim Butcher’s own website: Visit it!

Oh Jim. Jimmy Jim, Jimmy Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim!* You have done it again. Absolute brilliance. Parkour! In case you needed to be told specifically, there be SPOILERS here.

Lucky old me got to meet Mr. Butcher (ish) at a signing just days after Skin Game came out and I got my copy signed! *fangirlsquee!* I hadn’t quite finished it by the time that I got to the signing but I did shortly thereafter and I have to say, I was not disappointed. Holy cow what a great book.

So we start out with Harry on his island/prison working out to keep in shape. He’s doing his own version of parkour among the creatures that are locked away in there. While shouting PARKOUR at the top of his lungs. Like ya do. His workout is cut short by the appearance of Queen Mab.

She has an assignment for Harry as the Winter Knight. She owes someone a favor. A very large favor. And that person has called in his chit because he has a very tricky assignment to be done and he needs Harry for part of it. Harry is suspicious and he’s right to be. The person Mab wants him to work for: Nicodemus  of the Knights of the Blackened Denarius.

At first, Harry refuses but Mab tells him that dire consequences would be fall him and the whole of the mortal world. Convinced but not happy, Harry and Mab meet with Nicodemus. After the meeting, Harry realizes that Mab wants Harry to be, well, Harry. Harry, who is known for fighting to thwart Nicodemus (among others) and just generally thumbing his nose at those who should make him cower.

Harry agrees to this whole scheme so long as he can bring in one person that he trusts to watch his back. Nicodemus is desperate enough to agree and Harry pulls in Karin Murphy to help. They aren’t the only players and soon enough they’re meeting with a number others who all have special, magical sneak thief talents. We get reintroduced to Binder from Turn Coat, along with several new people including a warlock that the White Council had been after for years.

We also get to see Michael and Maggie and Mouse. Special appearance by Hades himself and Butters. Oh magnificent Butters. I’ve always loved him but he was magnificent in this book. I do hope we get to see Thomas in the next book. Miss him.

I won’t go into too much detail since this book is in print but it is a brilliant, brilliant book. One of my all time favorite Dresden Files. I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. And, well, all the Dresden Files books really. Rating: A++

Cold Days, Review

Where can I start? How about with a HOLY SHIT! Or a {(#{U%{#JR!! This is an awesome book. Awesome doesn’t even cover its awesomeness. Transcendent maybe? Argh. I wish I’d been an English major!

So I won’t get too into details because this came out Tuesday (yes, I am Speedy Gonzales when it comes to reading). Harry comes back from the dead (so to speak) and Mab “nurses” him back to health. That is, she tries to kill him every day until he gets better. He gets presented to the Winter Court as their new Knight and then gets his first ever official assignment (as a Knight that is).  I won’t say what because SPOILERS.

So Harry troops off to Chicago to try and fulfill his knightly duty. He runs almost immediately into one of my favorite Dresden characters, Toot-Toot. Or more properly, Major General Toot-Toot. 🙂 He meets up with apprentice, Molly Carpenter, who helps him convince his brother Thomas that he (Harry) isn’t dead. He gets Mouse back (for a bit) and Bob (for a bit).

He discovers what Demonreach really is and discovers that someone (or something, more accurately) is out to get it. Unfortunately, if Demonreach is destroyed, most of the mid-west goes Bolshevik Muppet. 😉 So on top of his knightly duty, he has to protect his friends, family and innocents from going kaboomsky.

This book is freaking amazing. Have you gotten that yet? 🙂 So go out and buy it. Right now. Rating A++

Cold Days, Harry Dresden

I love, love, love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books. I have all the novels and all the novellas. I even have a “Polka will never die” tee shirt. Yes, I am a geek. At any rate, if you are anything like me and you just can’t WAIT for the latest book Cold Days to come out, check out Jim’s website. He has decided to pre-release the first few chapters. Come on Thanksgiving (for us U.S. folks at least) because it comes out a few days after! 😀

Latest Dresden

Oh holy crap! I just finished the latest Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, last night. After a few extra months waiting, it was well worth it! This book was great.  While I had pretty much figured out who had shot him at the end of Changes, I didn’t know the why until the end of this book. And I was pleasantly surprised to not see it coming!

All my favorite characters make an appearance except Toot Toot. Hopefully the leader of the Za Lord’s Army will return in the next book. And considering the way the book ended, there will be more of Harry Dresden. Yay!! This post will be a little short. Because the book is so new and so awesome, I don’t want to give out spoilers.  But you must read it. Now. I’ll wait. 🙂 Rated: A++

The Dresden Files

Since reviews of the books I’ve read will take a while, I decided to get the ball rolling with some recommendation blog posts.

First up is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series.  I LOVE this series!  I used to hate books that were written in first person, but I’ve come to enjoy them thanks to this awesome series.  Butcher starts out with book one, Storm Front and just gets better from there.  I highly, highly recommend this series.  Harry Dresden is talented, irreverent and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Chicago.  On the whole I give the series an A+. It hooks you and reels you in so that you just can’t wait for the next book (trust me, right now I am lamenting the fact that the next Dresden novel doesn’t come out until March 2011).

The nice thing about the series is, you don’t necessarily to have to read the books in order to understand what happens in them.  It’s easier if you do, true, but Butcher does a good job of briefly recapping the previous bits of story line in each successive novel.

  • Storm Front: This is the first novel of the series and it’s pretty solid, even with introducing the main characters.  It isn’t quite as excellent as the later books, but I think that’s to be expected for a first novel. Magic, fairies and warlocks oh my! Overall, it’s a solid B novel.
  • Fool Moon: This novel focuses on werewolves and the many varieties thereof.  The series is stretching it’s wings, so to speak, and is introducing more recurring characters.  B/B+
  • Grave Peril: Introductions to Butcher’s view of vampires. Being a vampire story enthusiast, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by Butcher’s ideas of vampires.  Also introduces recurring character Michael Carpenter. The series really starts getting better from here. B+
  • Summer Knight: Good fairies, evil fairies and possibly evil exes (aren’t they all). A-
  • Death Masks: The Red Court returns just at the worst possible time, as the Blackened Denarians are in town.  A-
  • Blood Rites: This is one of my personal favorites in the series.  I love, love, love the character of Thomas the incubus half-brother of Harry Dresden.  A+
  • Dead Beat: Necromancy! Yay! But seriously, who doesn’t think that riding a resurrected T-Rex through Chicago is awesome? Polka will never die! A+
  • Proven Guilty: Introduction of Molly Carpenter as Harry’s plucky side kick.  Very good story, a little darker than the previous Dresden books maybe. A
  • White Night: Who’s killing off Chicago’s minor magic users? That’s what Harry wants to know! But no one wants to talk with him.  What else is new?  A-
  • Small Favor: Return of Ivy the Archive and one of my favorite characters, Kincaid. A
  • Turn Coat: Ah! A little bit of “I told you so” for Donald Morgan! Very good story. A+
  • Changes: Oh. My. God. Amazing, amazing book. But SOOOOOOOO frustrated with the end! A little spoiler: It is definitely going to leave you hanging…and not on a good note! I cannot wait for the next novel. A++
  • Short stories: Jim Butcher has an anthology of his Dresden short stories due out around October 2010. I’m definitely going to get it, but I have read some of them already from other anthologies.  As I am waiting, patiently, for this book Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files.

I recently recommended Storm Front to my father-in-law and he has gotten just as hooked as I have.  Butcher is a good, witty writer who can do a comedic scene just as well as an angsty scene or an action scene.  If anyone out there has read and enjoyed this series, I would love to hear from you on any authors/series that you would recommend along the lines of the Dresden Files.