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Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game

by Jim Butcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dresden Files (15)

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Dresden has been exiled on Demonreach while awaiting the removal of the brain parasite which may kill him, when Queen Mab shows up with a mission. Mab owes the Denarian Nicodemus the use of an underling. Nicodemus intents to collection by using Dresden in a scheme to rob Hade's vault. Dresden, with Murphy for back up, must work with Nicodemus' team to pull of the heist in three days, or Mab will let the parasite kill him. Dresden must scrupulously repay her debt by keeping the exact words of Mab's agreement to pay her dead, but she also expects "superior, more creative treachery on your part" to insure Nicodemus fails. She expects him "to be yourself" and "skin them alive".

Nicodemus, Dierdre, Binder, Hanna Ascher, Anna Valmont, Genoskwa, and Goodman Grey work with Dresden and Murphy (later Michael) to pull off an Ocean's Eleven type heist -- but with teammates who are entirely untrustworthy, and friends who don't trust you. Caper crime meets Machiavelli under demonic and Sihde rules. ( )
  ktoonen | Dec 5, 2017 |
Harry starts to remind me of Star Trek Voyager. You know, the star ship that got shot to pieces in just about every episode and then magically repaired for the next episode. Quite frankly I am getting a bit tired of this. In this instalment he keeps coming, whacking bad guys left right and center, getting whacked himself…again and, of course, in the end he prevails. He is wounded in ways which would put any other man down for the foreseeable future, yet he keeps going. I know that he is a wizard and that this winter mantle stuff is supposed to let him ignore his wounds but come on. It is getting a bit over the top now. At least for this reader.

With that out of the way I also have to say that it is indeed a good book. Harry is set up by Mab in more ways than one. The entirety of the plot is of course not revealed until the very end of the book but the start is bad enough, for Harry at least. He is forced to help one of his worst enemies steal from, not only the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world but, the most secure “vault” in the underworld. To get there he first has to help said nefarious scumbag to break into one of the most secure vaults in the human world. The phrase “a really bad day” just got redefined…for the worse.

To help him he has a merry band of supernatural villains, not all of them being what they seem, and a few friends. The story is a roller coaster ride of adventure, action, treachery, deceit and revelations. I would say that there are more reversals, things not being what they look like and come backs of both characters and magical items in this book than in any of the other ones in the series (not that I have counted them though).

The characters are as likable, or dislikeable in case of the villains, as we have become accustomed to in The Dresden Files series and Harry himself, well Harry is his usual sharp tongued, cynical himself. As the book blurb states, we are introduced to Hades himself. I really do not want to spoil the plot but I actually liked this guy. Jim Butcher has a way of weaving in mythological characters from various religions into his stories that is quite enjoyable, at least as far as I am concerned.

Apart from my gripes about Harry being whacked over and over again I quite liked this book. It could have been a 10 out of 10 if it was not for the “Harry whacking” part but now it has to contend itself with an 9 out of 10 rating.
( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
Torn between 4 or 5 stars. Definitely worth a read, though I thought the first third was a bit slow. ( )
  Lindoula | Sep 25, 2017 |
This is great story in the Harry Dresden Universe, after the last few novels being mediocre.

In this one, Harry, as the Winter Knight for Queen Mab is forced to be part of a heist to steal the Holy Grail from Hades, ruler of Hell. He has to work with people from the magical criminal element, most of them cruel and psychopathic. This includes his arch nemesis, Nicodemus, a very old Denarian (read fallen angel). As usual, hijinks galore, and Harry gets beat up. His allies get beat up and put in unusual and possible moral quandaries. Of course, Harry survives, barely, and the world is saved for another day.

This is the first novel in a long time where I felt Harry expanded as a person. As usual, his allies power up (Butters as a Knight of the Cross) and Harry makes a new friend, who may, or may not be good. Most of the book is set up for the actual heist, but the end is fun. Highly enjoyable if you like Harry Dresden. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 20, 2017 |
It's been over a year now since I read this and just realize I forgot to update things here at GoodReads.com. I am a serious Dresden Files fan/junky. My only complaint about this book is that it only took me a weekend to read! I wanted it to last so much longer! It is a "slam!" "Bang!" action filled caper of Olympic proportions and I loved it! I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment Harry's continuing adventures. ( )
  Rowcar | Jun 16, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Butcher, JimAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheckels, JenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shutterstock.comCover imagessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lori, Julie, and Mom. You guys really came through for me. Thank you.
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There was a ticking time bomb inside my head and the one person I trusted to go in and get it out hadn't shown up or spoken to me for more than a year.
But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil, damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness . . . . . . which could obviously be redeemed only by passing through the fiery, cleansing inferno of a wizardly digestive tract.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Chicago wizard Harry Dresden must help a hated enemy, Nicodemus Archleone, break into a high security vault to steal something belonging to the Lord of the Underworld.

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