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Book Review: Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game by Jim ButcherHarry Dresden: “My imagination needs therapy.”* — Jim Butcher, your imagination needs therapy… In the meantime, I’ll be thrillingly frightened by the things your imagination puts into Harry’s skewed life.

For the past year Harry Dresden has lived on Demonreach, a dark island in Lake Michigan. He is the Warden of an island that reaches down into an evil that can barely be contemplated. He has been beating himself up for all the things that have happened the past couple of years. His brother Thomas and his good friend Karrin have visited him occasionally, but no one else. He has a parasite in his head that feels like it is bursting to get out.

But Mab, the Queen of the Winter Faerie, summons him. As her Winter Knight, he is obliged to do her bidding. Mab wants him to work with his nemesis Nicodemus Archleone, the Knight of the Blackened Denarius.  Nicodemus plans to break into Hades’ realm to steal a unique artifact. Astounded, Harry explodes. Mab wants him to work with Nicodemus – the near-immortal who has tried to kill him before? And they’re going to steal something from one of the BIG Greek gods? No. Absolutely not. But Mab is his queen. And she tells him he only has three days before the thing in his head bursts out. If he does this, she can help him get rid of it without it killing him.


Harry Is Narrating the Book So…


Everything is going to be all right – well, sort of. Right?????

(Reading Jim Butcher‘s newest Dresden File book, Skin Game.)

So Little Time…

One of my favorite sayings is “So many books, so little time”. Mt. Bookpile grows each year despite my reading list. I’ve taken 64 books off this year that I picked up in 2011 or earlier. (No, they’re not all listed on the left – only the ones I’ve reviewed at my web site are showing.) Plus there have been another 20 or so I’ve bought this year that I’ve read.

But I know I picked up at least as many as I’ve read. And now the world is supposed to end tomorrow. Since I’m in California, that actually means it should have already ended in Australia, Asia, and Europe. If the world is ending, how am I ever going to catch up? How will Jim Butcher finish the Dresden File series? How will Carole Nelson Douglas finish the Midnight Louis series?

OK, since the rest of the world is still here, I guess I can relax. I’ll go back to reading one of the books I recently bought, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

And yes, the cover really does glow in the dark…

Dresden Files Series Continues


Jim Butcher tweeted this morning that he has finished writing Ghost Story. Hopefully that means it will make its July publishing date. He already announced the name of book 14, Cold Days.

Butcher’s Twitter Log



Side Jobs by Jim ButcherThis one tickles me. It’s from Jim Butcher’s wise cracking Harry Dresden:

“To give Molly credit, she might have been nervous, but she had learned the job of wheelman – sorry, political correctioners, wheelperson – fairly well.”

Political correctioners – that’s good.

From “It’s My Birthday Too” in Side Jobs

Harry Dresden Earns Extra Income


Have you ever perused E-Bay’s Weird Stuff section? Today I found how Harry Dresden earns extra money:

20 Minutes With a Wizard

If you haven’t read any of my older blogs and don’t know who Harry Dresden is, check out Storm Front.

Dear Jim Butcher,


What? How could you let Harry Dresden sell his soul to (unnamed bad guy). So what if he has a bad physical problem? OK, his daughter (whoa! But this information isn’t a spoiler. It’s in the first line of the book) is kidnapped. I get that. But selling his soul? And letting (unnamed good guy) get shot down like that???

From reading your tweets, I’m also guessing that this novel, Changes, ends on a cliffhanger. This is absolutely terrible. I knew I shouldn’t have started it until early next year before the next one comes out. But I’m more than half way through Changes. I have to keep going now. The only reason I know Harry lives is that he is the first person narrator of the book. Then I’m going to mutter at you for the next 9 or 10 months for the next book in the Dresden Files.

This is book 12 in the series. At one book a year of a 20 book arc, with a trilogy after that to tie everything up, I just hope I live that long. But I’m telling you right now. If I find I’m on my death bed, I’m sending you an email. I want you to then send me the story arc for the rest of the books in the series so I know what happens to Harry before I die.

I’m just sayin’… (Yes, I’m probably too vested in this series.)

Turn Coat


Turn Coat by Jim ButcherDo you read the Dresden File novels by Jim Butcher? I blogged last year when he was here to sign Small Favor. I made sure I got up to Mysterious Galaxy again this year when he and his wife Shannon Butcher came for talking and signing.

I read Turn Coat over the weekend. You can tell Butcher is in the middle of the arc of his overall storyline. The action is non-stop in this book. Harry Dresden keeps biting off more than he can chew and still manages to swallow and digest it. This time he is protecting his enemy, Warden Morgan, from the White Council of Wizards. Harry is sure Morgan was framed. But proving that and unmasking a trator isn’t going to be easy.

Jim Butcher has excited me once again with this book. I started off slow, then couldn’t put it down (even though I had to so I could sleep and go to work). My biggest problem was it finished too soon (and not soon enough if you understand what I mean – I kept wanting to know what was next?) and the next book isn’t going to be out until next year. He gave us a teaser about the next Dresden book – “(—) was on my doorstep with a small girl. ‘This is our daughter.’ she said.”

Jim Butcher


All you Harry Dresden and/or Codex Alera fans, if you ever get a chance to see the author, Jim Butcher, in person, jump at it! Unfortunately, the only good picture I was able to get is this one where he almost looks menacing. Instead he’s impish, has a wicked sense of humor, personable, sardonic and often laughs at himself.

He was at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego today. He’s promoting his newest Harry Dresden novel, Small Favor. It’s no secret if you’ve visited my web site that I like this urban fantasy series a lot. So when I saw he was coming, I jumped at it.

He answered questions for an hour. The questions ranged from his Dresden Files and Codex Alera books to the upcoming graphic novels to the Dresden Files television show to his wife and son to his future ideas after the Alera and Dresden story arcs are done to how he got started in writing. He enjoys playing with his audience, more than once saying “You’ll have to wait and see…” or “I’m not telling.”

Then, of course, Jim Butcher signed our books. He signed every one of his books put in front of him. There were over 125 people in line for signatures. The first time each of us were allowed to have him sign 3 books. He was in a buoyant mood and not in a rush, so he agreed to sign any others after the line had finished the first time. The second time you could take as many books as you wanted. So I now have all 10 of my Dresden file books signed.

Actually, the hardest part was standing in line inside Mysterious Galaxy and not walking out a few hundred dollars broker. I was good – I only bought one book today (I had been in and bought the newest Dresden File book on Wednesday) and that one will be a gift.