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Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5) by…
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Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5) (edition 2013)

by Jim Butcher, Vincent Chong (Illustrator)

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5,123118871 (4.16)161
Member:donaldmcobb
Title:Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5)
Authors:Jim Butcher (Author)
Other authors:Vincent Chong (Illustrator)
Info:Subterranean Press (2013), Edition: Limited Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Urban Fantasy, Signed, Subterranean Press

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Death Masks by Jim Butcher

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*Spoilers*
Woot! Harry is ridiculously awesome! Can't help but love all his sarcastic quips! The Denarians are just brutal. I can't stand Nicodemus and quite frankly I look forward to Harry kicking his ass!! I was a bit sad that Bob wasn't in this one much but I got to read more about Thomas and I think he's a super fun character. I must say that I'm kinda glad that Susan is out of the picture for now. And how freaking weird is it that the Archive is a little girl who loves KITTIES!! lol Yes, I know she will be back. That seems to go without saying. Poor Shiro :( First time I've gotten teary eyed in this series. And I actually feel a bit bad for Marcone. I CAN'T believe Nicodemus got Harry to touch that freaking coin. On the plus side though it will make for some very interesting reading. Oh and I loved the last little part about the satellite!! Well it's on to the next one!! ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
it was the weakest of these I have read so far. Some of the imagery is getting a bit tired. I think I need to take a break from these (had the same issue with the discworld novels). ( )
  Felicity-Smith | May 29, 2016 |
Death Masks
4 Stars

One of the more entertaining installments in the series so far.

The plot is comprised of two separate threads. The first focuses on Harry being challenged to a duel in order to end the ongoing war between the Red Court of vampires and the wizard's White Council. The second involves the theft of the Shroud of Turin and the various factions interested in acquiring it. While both storylines have potential, Butcher never quite manages to merge them together cohesively and it is only the second that is truly engrossing.

The Red Court/White Council plot develops slowly in between episodes involving the shroud and the climax and resolution feel more like an afterthought than a crucial element in the novel. In contrast, the mythology surrounding the fallen angels and the Shroud of Turin is original and the development of this storyline is action packed and engrossing.

Harry is in over his head once again but as usual manages to pull it all off with the help of his friends and allies. There are also some compelling hints regarding Harry's family history and it will be interesting to see where this goes in future books.

In terms of the secondary characters, we are treated once again to Michael Carpenter and his vicious wife, Charity, but this time we also have their cute family (Harry's conversation with Molly Carpenter in the treehouse is THE highlight of the book), and a couple of other Knights with intriguing philosophies on life. Some of my favorite characters also make an appearance - Justin, Murphy and Marcone, all contribute to the drama that is Harry's life and we even learn something interesting about the latter. The villains are your typical baddies with megalomaniac tendencies and it is difficult to get worked up about their machinations. Finally, Harry gets some closure regarding his relationship with Susan for which I am personally grateful as she has never been a favorite of mine.

In sum, an enjoyable story and Harry is growing on me like a fungus. He's such a dweeb, you can't help but love him. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 8, 2016 |
Book #5 (of 15), Death Masks, has been read/heard; what a wild ride it was! The narrator/reader, James Marsters, has done (yet again!) a spectacular job of bringing the characters to life (we're talking demons, vampires, werewolves and all manner of icky characters!). I have a soft spot in my heart for Harry Dresden . . his fumbling, his foibles, his failures, his flaws AND, significantly featured in this book - his friendships keep me coming back for more. Harry is one of the good guys; he has grown on me - which leaves me feeling "never quite sure" about how my grandmotherly thought processes will handle his "less-than-well-thought-through" decisions! Regardless of the angst, pathos, stress and distress I experience - as I make my way through The Dresden Files series - Book #5 has been returned to my much-loved library (there is a loooong waiting list for this series); the audio-version of Book #6 (Blood Rites) is sitting on my desk and the Inter-Library Loan search for the audio version of Book #7 (Dead Beat) is underway! Book #6 (Blood Rites) has been borrowed! (on my behalf) from Fort Vancouver Regional Library System . . I'm grateful that Fort Vancouver had it on the shelf!
( )
  idajo | May 8, 2016 |
Note: This is the book where reading them out of order stars to do you an injustice. It does work as a stand alone to some extend, but you will get major spoilers for the previous books in the series and it also pulls in characters we have met before. So I recommend reading the first 4 books before you jump into this one.



Harry is about to have yet another tough weekend. It’s not going to be just one thing coming down hard on him. Nope. He’s going to have to deal with John Marcone (Chicago’s crime lord), hunting for the Shroud of Turin, Michael Carpenter’s fiery wife Charity, his old girlfriend Susan Rodriguez (who’s dealing with her semi-vampiric state), a scheduled duel with a Red Court vampire, and a new breed of bad guy – the Denarians. It’s amazing Harry gets to be as old as he does.

I’ve been so-so about the character Susan for the series so far. This is the book that changes my opinion of her. She took a very hard hit back in Book 3 (Grave Peril) and I can see that it sobered her. Harry had been telling her again and again that the supernatural beasties she so wanted to catch on camera and write about were very dangerous. She really didn’t take those multiple warnings to heart and it cost her dearly. So here she returns to the series with this new and weighty knowledge. She’s also learned the advantages of body armor, weapons, hand-to-hand combat training, and following Harry’s orders in the midst of a fight. She’s not a total bad ass, but she has learned a bit and she does have some vampiric strength too.

Wow! The Denarians! Let me say that these are some of the most dangerous foes yet for the series. The Denarians, lead by Nicodemus, are a collection of fallen angels/demons. Each one resides within a coin and the owner of that coin can communicate with the specific demon, gaining knowledge and power. Of course each demon does their best to insinuate themselves into their master’s life and eventually take it over. Couple that with the supposed powers of the Shroud of Turin and you have a formula for disaster for Chicago. Which means that Michael Carpenter, knight templar extraordinaire, is returned to the story. And he brought friends (Shiro from Japan and Sanya from Russia).

As always, the plot is fast-paced and with the several threads weaving in and out of each other, I was never bored. Butcher does a great job of packing character development into the little downtimes (such as driving from point A to point B) the plot permits. For instance, Charity and Harry get to have chat while making dinner together. Charity is not a fan of Harry and they get to clear the air a little.

The duel with the Red Court vampire War Lord Ortega comes up early but doesn’t happen until later in the book. This particular plot thread brings into play two very interesting side characters – the Archive (who presides over the duel to ensure fairness and record the outcome) and her bodyguard Kincaide. Also, Thomas (the white court vampire we met in Book 3) makes a reappearance. The White Council (ruling body of good wizards) are quite willing to sacrifice Harry if it means an end to the war with the Red Court vampires. Argh! Makes me want to strangle them!

Butcher ups the ante with this book, sacrificing some characters and forcing others to make tough choices. I really like how the seriousness continues to ratchet up for each series installment so far. The Denarians play rough and Harry and his friends will not get out unscathed. We also learn a very interesting thing about John Marcone that makes him a little more human. There’s very little Murphy in this book and I missed her. However, we get to meet Wizard Ebeneezer McCoy, who fostered Harry in his late teens.

So far, Harry has ended up in cuffs in each book for one reason or another. That happens again here. I find that amusing. Harry continues to grow as a character. We know he isn’t invincible and he knows it too. Yet he can’t stop helping his friends, protecting Chicago, and standing up to the bullies. The ending had a little unexpected twist for me that I expect will have major repercussions for Harry later on.

The Narration: James Marsters continues on as Harry Dresden and he does a fine job of it. In this book, his performance includes believable Spanish, Japanese, and Russian accents. I especially liked his kid’s voice for the Archive. He also does a great job with Wizard McCoy who comes from Arkansas and has that noticeable regional accent. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Apr 24, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of
Plumicon and Ersha,
fallen heroes.
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Some things just aren't meant to go together.
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Book description
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 semivampiric nature. And who seems ot ahve 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 wizard, is hired by a mysterious priest to find the stolen Shroud of Turin. But first, Harry must deal with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, professional hit men, and the return of his semi-vampire former girlfriend.… (more)

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