Review: Skin Game

Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15)Skin Game by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Dresden Files series, by and large, is fun, but lately the books had gotten a little…heavy. (There was brooding…a lot of brooding.) I had started to feel like maybe Butcher was struggling to find realistically scary foes for his super-charged wizard to deal with, and all the gloom and doom was feeling oppressive.

But not Skin Game. For this book, our friendly-ish neighborhood Chicago wizard gets back to some good old-fashioned problem solving, and it’s a joy and a relief.

(Spoilers below!)
After months of isolation on the jailhouse island, Dresden is antsy for action…and he’s learned a few new skills (Parkour!). But the ability to leap tall objects in a single bound isn’t really enough when it comes to stealing from Hades himself while trying to avoid being killed by an arch-nemesis-turned-temporary-coworker. With the help of old friends and a bit of divine intervention, Harry is up to the challenge.

(ok, clear from spoilers here on out)

This book was a nice change of pace because several characters who had been on the bench for awhile finally got to come out and stretch. I still miss some of the original old gang, but for the most part, we got to revisit a lot of characters who had been unavailable or at least busy elsewhere. Butcher clearly put a lot of thought into the effects some of Harry’s actions would have on even his closest friends, and it’s good to see folks with their own distinctive character arcs. (It would have been all too easy to have everyone else stay the same–is is the (Harry) Dresden Files, after all.)

This book reminded me what I liked about the Dresden Files, and I’m happy to be back on the bandwagon.

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