Harry’s at it again: Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Posted 9 June, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 23 Comments

Harry’s at it again: Skin Game by Jim ButcherSkin Game by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #15
Published by Penguin, Roc on May 27, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 464

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day... Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. . He doesn’t know the half of it...

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever. It's a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character.

Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he's dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry. Dresden's always been tricky, but he's going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance...

I know what you’re thinking. She’s reading yet another one of those never-ending series. And reviewing, to boot! Yes. Yes, I am. Because I really like this series. Sure, there have been some ups and downs, some serious craziness but, in the end, it’s a fantastic series. And, yes, there will be spoilers for other books in here. I can’t help it — there are fourteen other books before this one. It’d be pretty impossible to avoid, unless I just said, “Hey, read this! It was a fun, ridiculous and crazy ride.” I mean, it was but how ’bout a little more than that? I’m game if you are.

So. Last we saw Harry, because of his (very stupid) deal with Mab, he was her new Winter Knight. He’s been hiding out on the creep-tastic island that houses both a very scary Spirit of the Island (who Harry’s become pretty good friends with) and a prison filled with the worst of the worst. He’s also got a splitting headache because of something growing in his noggin which will kill him when it finally hatches and the only one who can help him isn’t getting his messages. I’m still irritated with Harry for making that deal (though he did do it for very good reasons, as always. He’s just too noble for his own damn good.) and it irritates me even more to see him under Mab’s thumb. Because he’s Winter Knight, he has to hear and obey her orders. She’s very good at giving orders, with very little wiggle room. Her latest order involves Harry working for a Very Bad Dude to repay a debt.

Needless to say, Harry’s not happy. It’s always impressive how Harry grows in each story. While it’s not always for the better, Harry’s development as a person is one of the reasons I’ve stuck with this series for so long. He’s still coping with the mantle of Winter Knight and it doesn’t rest easily on his shoulders. The power behind the Knight aches for release, for violence and Harry’s doing everything he can to restrain both it and himself. But at his core, he’s still someone who puts others first and takes way too much of the blame when things go wrong (and they always go wrong).

Well, I’m certainly not stopping after this one. Write faster, Jim Butcher! I need to know how Harry gets out of his deal with Mab and shucks the mantle of the Winter Knight. Or does he ever? Mab’s not going to let him go easily. I’m also hoping for some novellas (or a spin-off?) with Molly, Harry’s ex-apprentice.

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23 Responses to “Harry’s at it again: Skin Game by Jim Butcher”

  1. Mary, any series that can continue to capture your attention and show growth in their characters at book 15 has got to have an amazing writer behind it. I would love to try Jim Butcher’s series one day. Poor Harry though, Mab sounds like a pain in his butt 🙂

  2. Hehe, we’re in the same boat today! I’m on book 13 of Psy-Changeling and I’m sure people are like STOP REVIEWING THESE BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ BOOK ONE! But I don’t care because I love that series like you love this one. It does get harder to write reviews for the same series 13 books in though doesn’t it? Glad Harry is still going strong for you, and I hope the series continues to impress for as many books as it ends up being!

    • Yep. Totally with you. Shield of Winter is ALSO on my seriously invested in this series reviews and, even though some might shake their heads, I can’t help but keep reading!

  3. That first sentence is one of the reason that I love you so much! Your dedication to these long running series astounds me. I’m glad that 15 books in you’re still having fun! I like the old school gunslinger vibe of the cover and the fact that he’s a wizard. That sounds like an intriguing combo.

  4. I’ve read a couple of his novellas and really enjoyed them. I also have the first book I still need to read. My non-novel reading dad (he loves to read other things) read and enjoyed the first one. I feel so behind. LOL Glad you are enjoying them and are still looking forward to the next.

  5. I just downloaded the audio yesterday I heard there was a pretty decent sexy time scene hhaha. He is such a freaking martyr but I LOVE him! So glad you enjoyed and yes he makes some stupid stupid decisions sometimes.

  6. Is it bad that I’ve never read anything by Jim Butcher? Your love for this book and this series makes me think that, perhaps, I should rectify this situation ASAP. Harry sounds like such an awesome character. Colour me sold. Lovely thoughts!

  7. I have a friend who absolutely loves this series. I think she started reading Skin Game the moment it landed on her e-reader. It says a lot that you continue to enjoy the series FIFTEEN books in!

  8. I like that you review these never ending series because then it motivates me to get off my butt and catch up! I have the first one on audio and I honestly have no excuse for not binge listening because Spike from Buffy is the narrator. Glad you’re still having fun with this and look forward to the next one (16?! deyamn). Awesome review!