Review: Skin Game by Jim Butcher

July 9, 2014 4.5 stars, Book Review 25 ★★★★½

Review: Skin Game by Jim ButcherSkin Game by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #15
Published by Penguin Audio, Roc Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased
My Reviews in this series: Storm Front, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin, Ghost Story

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….


Harry Dresden is my paramoor, alright at least my fictional one. So when I tell you he comes back with the thunder in SKIN GAME believe me when I say he rocked my socks off. It isn’t only because the man quotes Jack Burton…because I love me some Jack Burton (1980’s movie comedy, Big Trouble in Little China) and it isn’t only because he’s one of the biggest geeks that I’ve read that makes it look cool, ok well it is cool, but he makes it cooler. It’s because he’s a character that I’ve seen grow for over ten years and heck I’m really damn attached to him.

Cops got better things to do then get themselves killed. (Harry Dresden quoting Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China)

Shit was getting big, so Harry had to get bigger, and dirtier, hehe Dirty Harry

Alright sorry I couldn’t resist. So if you’ve followed the entire series thus far you know the pattern was previously one big case or major ‘oh damn’ thing for Harry to conquer per book. There were plenty of little side plots in each book but really there was one goal and mission per book to accomplish. But later in the series, everything just gets big, all the problems, all the monsters, all the ties to gosh dang everything. So with the mini inner trilogy of Changes, Ghost Story and Cold Days – Jim Butcher in a way took care of some of that and brought the scope of the series back under control. So we see in Skin Game, Harry is getting back into the world again and back into the one big mission story arc. Is this where the future books are headed again? Are we going to be able to enjoy a single adventure for the forthcoming books? Admittedly this was one of the things I always loved about the books and why I never felt like I was missing things if too much time passed between reading them. You could pick up any one of the books and enjoy that adventure (of course I’m a completionist and read them all in order and the short stories). Suffice to say I hope we are going back to this style of storytelling in the series. I do think though before reading Skin Game might be an advantageous time to do a series reread because some things pop up here that I just couldn’t remember all the details about from previous books.

In a Heist, who in Hell wouldn’t you want at your back?

A freaking fallen angel is who. How could you trust someone like that? You can’t that’s how. So when Harry is stuck working with Nicodemus on a Heist job to steal something from the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades. He’s up to his eyeballs in paranoia and surrounded on almost all sides by people he can’t trust. There are some really interesting developments that come about in Skin Game that are not to be freaking missed. If you aren’t already caught up on the series you should do so now because seriously things are getting hot, maybe just as much complicated as they are uncomplicated and always, always damn entertaining.

A note on the audio version: A few books ago I switched over to listening as well as reading the Dresden Files on audio instead of reading them. I still totally plan to read this one should I happen to do a reread – but listening to James Marsters do the narration of Harry Dresden makes my news weak. He’s got such a great narrative voice, he DOES the voices – not just does them but does them well! Each characters sounds like that character to me not just like someone who’s putting on a voice to try to make them sound different from the other. When he shouts ‘Forzare’ I can see the fire raging forward. Not only that the man sounds just as good on normal speed as he does on 2x speed. I tell you if you want a really good time you’ll listen to these on audio.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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25 Responses to “Review: Skin Game by Jim Butcher”

  1. Sara B.

    I’ve heard so many good things about this series. When I used to work at a bookstore, one of my co-workers continually told me I needed to read The Dresden Files. For some reason, I never did. Maybe I should start rethinking this series.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      This series is excellent! I enjoy it read as well as listening to it on audio book. It’s such a great urban fantasy, heck I’d say it’s my favorite! You should totally give it a try. The first few I hear take awhile for some people to get into it – but me I was hooked immediately.
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  2. Lily

    I actually have a friend (who isn’t much of a reader) that read this series and has been pushing it onto me fear quite a while but I just haven’t given it a chance! To be honest I didn’t know much about the series till I read your review but now I’m reconsidering! Lovely review! 🙂
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Oh I hope you decide to give it a read. I hear from a few they had a hard time with the first few books but I definitely didn’t. They’ve been going for over ten years and I absolutely love it – one of my fav series!
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      • Eman S

        I definately thought it started out slowly. I was about to stop reading after halfway through book 3, I think. It very quickly picked up. Soooo glad I stuck with it. Maybe my favorite series.

          • Eman S

            I finished up ‘The Way of Kings’ and have started with Sanderson’s next book in the series, ‘Words of Radiance’ on Audiobook. So far so good!

  3. Melliane

    wow it’s already book 15? It’s so impressing, mainly to see that you had a good time again with it. I only read book 1 but I was a bit disappoited by it. I should try the second one.
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  4. Eman S

    The books are amazing but Marsters takes them to a whole new level. I can still hear him yelling “PARRRRKOURRRRR!!!!”.

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes!! I love his voice acting and how he really IS the character. Least to me. You can tell when a voice narrator is just narrating or reading the book and when they are ACTING and actually becoming the character. James Marsters is a audio genius!
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  5. Mary @ BookSwarm

    People keep trying to get me to pick up audio books and, well, Spike’s narration might be enough to push me over the edge! Either way, I love this series. It’s good to see Harry back to his almost-self (we just need to get rid of Mab).
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yeah I have no idea if when Mab will get out of the picture – I’m thinking never? LOL I mean how can you escape that – she’ll always have her hooks in him one way or another…ok I’m sure he can get out of anything so I guess we’ll see.

      “Spike’s narration?” I love these on audio at least the ones I’ve listened to recently done by James Marsters.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I agree definitely the best one that I’ve read in a long time. I was starting to get a bit disappointed since I didn’t absolutely love Changes, Ghost Story – though I enjoyed Cold Days more. But this one makes me feel like the groove is back.
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  6. Danya @ Fine Print

    I’ve never heard the term ‘completionist’ before, but it’s a great one! I think I may have to steal that, Tabitha. I also read all the novels and short stories for a series, which is probably why it’s taking me so long to move through the Dresden Files. I think I’m on book five right now…maybe it’s time to pick it back up!
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