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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.

More…

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

Quote

 

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

By the End of 2010 Challenge

 

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Waters Rising by Sherri Tepper
Black Out and All Clear by Connie Willis
Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
The X Factor by Andre Norton
Something from the Nightside by Simon Green
Blood Rites by Barry Nazarian
Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop by Otto Penzler

By the End of 2010 Challenge

 

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Waters Rising by Sherri Tepper
Black Out and All Clear by Connie Willis
Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
The X Factor by Andre Norton
Something from the Nightside by Simon Green
Blood Rites by Barry Nazarian
Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop by Otto Penzler

Hmmm, so far I’ve taken off three books – and added on three more. I mentioned Side Jobs already. It will be the last on my list to read. But I forgot about my book club book, so it has to be on this list. We’re reading Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. I know it should be quick. I also was sent Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop by Otto Penzler to review. I had agreed to take it a couple weeks ago. I try to read the ones I’ve agreed to take fairly quickly. Besides that, I’m looking forward to it. The short story authors look good. Sigh, I probably won’t make the challenge…

Addicted

 

My web site slogan is “So many books, So little time”. To that end, I really should quit talking about books to people, reading friend’s blogs, staying away from my online reading group at The Reader’s Place (since this post the site has closed down), avoiding my real life book club, and even my coworkers.

In my home Mt. Bookpile keeps growing. (I volunteer weekly at a used bookstore – one more place I should avoid.) I keep putting books on hold at the library. Favorite writers release another book (you Connie Willis, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Jim Butcher each have one coming out in the next few weeks and Sherri Tepper‘s came out a few weeks ago).

This morning I was talking with my fellow librarian about our fiction reading (never mind we’re medical librarians). I walked away from that conversation with more books to read. Recently at The Reader’s Place someone mentioned getting ready to read a book that sounded good so I put it on hold at the library. Then there was the review on NPR yesterday – another book put on hold. There were four more added to my mental list this morning (three are a trilogy). No question – I’m a bookaholic.

No wonder Mt. Bookpile doesn’t shrink.

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.)

999 Challenge

 

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottThis month’s books were once again across the spectrum of genres and writing styles. I read 10 books this month for the challenge, putting me nicely past the half way mark. That’s a good place to be at the end of June. I have caught up from my vacation in April.

For years I’ve been meaning to read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. But now I can’t tell you what I did expect beforehand. As a kid I remember the comic strip Prince Valiant in our paper, and I think I had Ivanhoe mixed up with that. I wasn’t expecting Robin Hood, Prince John, or Richard the Lion Hearted. The language, too, threw me. Scott made his characters sound like Shakespeare. It’s a book of daring do, heraldry, good versus evil, and the white hats always win. While the future isn’t all rosy, it is for the main characters in the book, as expected. I’m glad I finally got to it.

The newest Dresden book was also finished this month – Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. I’ve already written about it this month. Now, sigh, I have to wait another year for the next installment (I hope I live as long as Butcher does so I can read all of these…)

I probably had the most fun with The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block. The one I liked the least overall was A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz. The one that bothered me the most was Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I was glad to add to my series mysteries with Voices by Arnaldur Indridason, When in Rome by Ngaio Marsh, and Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich. The schmaltz award for the month goes to Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (no surprise). To round out the month, I picked up Edgar Allen Poe and lived in his macabre world for a while – which reminded me why I don’t read him very often.

Reading wise it was a good month. We’ll see how July goes…

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.”