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Death Masks

by Jim Butcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dresden Files (5)

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6,4791561,124 (4.14)204
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.

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» See also 204 mentions

English (154)  German (2)  All languages (156)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Dang. New favorite Dresden File. More of Michael and the introduction of my favorite baddies in the Dresdenverse.

What really makes Death Masks shine is the the characters:

First: The Archive. That's just a very cool (yet sad) idea all at the same time. The idea that there could be a being with the sum total of all human knowledge ... and that it's a little girl? Dang. I want to know more. How did the first Archive come to be? What exactly capabilities does she have?

Next, two more Knights: an atheist and an accidental Baptist. Both are interesting characters, especially in contrast to the much more stereotypical Knight of God Michael. I like both how Butcher gave them different voices and how Marsters (in the audiobooks) brought those voices to life. There's also an interesting contrast near the end of the book between Dresden and the Knights. It turns out that Dresden is not a 'good' person, at least not in terms of how the Knights see good. After all, payphones cost more than a quarter now. ..

Then there's the Denarians. Fallen angels bound to the thirty silver given to Judas Iscariot? Dang. They have literal millennia of experience to bring to bear along with a human host, making them yet another upping on the danger scale. We only really get personality from their leader Nicodemus, but man is he an excellent villain. I do wonder if he's supposed to be the same member of the Jewish ruling council mentioned in the Gospel of John. I don't think that's been confirmed either way...

Finally we learn a fair bit more about Marcone. He remains the epitome of Lawful Evil: He has a strong code of ethics for what he will and will not do, but at the same time that code doesn't always (often?) align with what is legally or generally considered moral. He's a fascinating individual that way and honestly a lot more similar to Dresden than I think either of them would care to admit.

One thing that we haven't seen before in this book is a relatively explicit sex scene between Dresden and Susan. It's a definite step away from the fade to black and hints of the previous books, but I don't think it was over done. The most amusing part about it: the original idea for how to do it safely came from Michael's 14 year old daughter. I'd missed that the first few times reading this book.

My favorite scene in the books though? Dresden creates a tracking spell using a plastic duck that walks towards whatever it is tracking. He then later uses said duck as a fake gun to threaten someone. I love it.

Finally: random quotes of awesomeness:

"Better safe than exsanguinated"

"Sod works in mysterious ways."

"My faith protects me. Kevlar helps."

:) ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
I liked this story best of the first five. Cash-strapped Harry goes on a national talk show to get a fee and to speak to another guest about Susan's location. While on the set, he is challenged to a death duel with a powerful vampire from the Red Court; Harry accepts when he learns that his friends and perhaps all of Chicago will die, if he refuses. As he leaves, a number of hitmen try to kill him to thwart him from helping a priest locate a missing religious relic on some renown. Susan shows up to help, and Harry asks his good friend, Michael, to act as his second. Michael and his two fellow Knights of the Cross play a prominent role in keeping Harry safe from harm. It is unclear for much of the book whether gangster Johnny Marcone is a friend or foe, heightening tension. Finally, we meet an excellent new character, a little girl known as the Archive, who is young in appearance, but possesses 600 years of knowledge, and her mercenary bodyguard, Kincaid, a merciless killer. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Death Masks is book five in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

I’ve been enjoy The Dresden Files. This time instead of reading I decide to give the audiobook a try. I have to say Narrator James Marsters was outstanding. He brought all the characters to life. Harry’s voice was just what I expected it to sound like. It was perfection. I plan to try out more in The Dresden Files series in audiobook formate. It was a superb listen.

As for the plot well several things are happening in this installment and not all of it was good. We have some grey areas, some bad, and some good. Harry’s got a lot to deal with.

Susan comes back to say good bye for good and to warn him. She’s been gone a year with no contact and just shows up out of the blue. She could have called Harry, but nope she’s back and finds herself involved in Harry’s investigation. Having her back is painful for him. I’m ready for her to go and not return. Close that door, please…

Besides Susan returning, he’s been sent out on another case to find a missing artifact and their’s a prophecy that involves him and this artifact. Oh Boy!! He’s got choices to make, but their are things that you just can’t walk away from.

And, last the Red Court still wants Harry dead and the war is going strong between Vampires and Wizards. As you can see so much to deal with. What could go wrong?

Death Masks brings us Demons, Vampires, a possible Apocalypse and so much more. I had a fabulous time listening to this story. The audio was well worth listing too. Can’t wait to see what happens next to Harry.

Rated: 4 Stars
( )
  angelsgp | May 14, 2021 |
Still fun fluff. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
First re-read since my first read about 13 years ago.

Lots going on in this one. Totally on board till the end, but then, I felt like Harry did a VERY stupid thing. Like horror movie girl in the woods, running from attacker, keeps falling every two steps kind of stupid. Sigh.
  flying_monkeys | Dec 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Some things just aren't meant to go together.
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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.

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