5.0 out of 5 stars Harry versus numerous foes this round
Book five of the Dresden Files has got to be the best one so far. The series just gets better as you continue to read. This book saw the return of numerous characters and introduction of some new favourites and bad guys.
The Dresden file books generally start out slow and pick up as you go. Once the plot is set and things start in motion you're on a wild ride...
Published 19 months ago by Tom Turvey
3.0 out of 5 stars A duel, a battle and a holy relic...all in a day's work!
Harry Dresden's latest adventure builds upon the previous for books in Jim Butcher's series about Chicago's only practicing wizard.
In Death Masks, Harry must duel the vampire Ortega, find the missing Shroud of Turin, battle against foes both supernatural and mortal, and deal with the return of his girlfriend Susan. The fact that she's now a half-vampire and part of...
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Jack Fitzgerald
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4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch urban fantasy,
And with Death Masks, the author raises the bar even higher. Regardless of its immense popularity, a lot of speculative fiction fans look down on the urban fantasy subgenre. But Jim Butcher demonstrates that urban fantasy can be as good and multilayered as any other subgenre.
Here's the blurb:
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he’s getting more than he bargained for.
A duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards…
Professional hit men using Harry for target practice…
The missing Shroud of Turin…
A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified…
Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semivampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.
Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.
As always, and it's one of the highlights of the series, Death Masks features the first-person narrative of the endearing, if frequently inept, wizard Harry Dresden. More than ever in this book, Harry's heart heart is in the right place, and his flawed nature makes him one of the most likeable SFF characters out there. Doubtless, the novels wouldn't be as entertaining if we didn't witness events through Harry Dresden's eyes.
The supporting cast once again adds another dimension to this tale. The return of Susan Rodriguez was more than a little interesting. The three Knights of the Cross, Michael Carpenter, Shiro, and Sanya, played an important role throughout the book. Ortega, the Archive, Kincaid, Nicodemus, and Gentleman Marcone all bring something to this story.
In Summer Knight, the introduction of new concepts, he addition of new characters and developments hinted at the fact that this was a series that resounded with a lot more depth than met the eye. Well, Death Masks more than confirms it. Not only does the novel builds on aspects introduced in the first four volumes, but it also expends on several others. I was fascinated by everything that had to do with the Denarians and the Fellowship of St. Giles.
This fifth volume is another fast-paced urban fantasy offering. We see evidence of a bigger, more complex, and more ambitious overall story arc. Which bodes well for future installments!
Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is fast becoming one of my favorite series on the market today. Urban fantasy it may be, yet it is as good and convoluted as can be!
Check out Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry versus numerous foes this round,
The Dresden file books generally start out slow and pick up as you go. Once the plot is set and things start in motion you're on a wild ride with the supernatural and our hero, Wizard Harry Dresden.
Jim Butcher has a special way of captivating his audience and locking you into the book. I have loved this series so far. I also have noticed that the fourth and fifth book had no spelling errors or grammatical ones that I caught, unlike the previous three and their sloppy editing. So it's a welcome change as I hate correcting errors as I am trying to read a story. It's irritating and it's not very professional of the publishing company, in this case, Penguin Books.
This book is a definite 5/5 I can hardly wait to start book six today!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can hardly wait,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Death Masks (Audio CD)I haven't received this audiobook yet, so I can't really comment on how well it's done.
However, I own the other 8 audiobooks released so far in the series, and have listened to each of them at least twice. They are just fabulous. I totally loved them even though I'd already bought and read the paperbacks and seen the TV series.
James Marsters is very good when it comes to reading books. I listen to lots of audiobooks and there's almost always a problem - reader with a bad cold or a weird accent or an annoying voice or just plain boring, intrusive music, static, wrong volume, scratched disks, etc. None of those problems here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!,
4.0 out of 5 stars Devils, death and duels,
Harry is hired by a Vatican priest named Father Vincent, who wants him to recover a famous Catholic relic -- the Shroud of Turin -- which has been stolen and brought to Chicago by parties unknown. Unfortunately, a special group of Fallen angels called the Denarians are also pursuing the Shroud, because it can help them unleash a superplague that could kill the entire human race.
In the meantime, Harry has also been challenged to a death duel by Ortega, a vampire noble who wants to somehow stop the war. Also, his ex-girlfriend-turned-demi-vampire Susan has returned to Chicago, stirring up some old romantic feelings. As the forces of evil prepare to wipe out the human race, Harry may be the one person who can save us all... but not without some losses.
Jim Butcher has introduced three breeds of vampires, several kinds of werewolves, and two vast courts of faeries, and "Death Masks" adds Judeo-Christian angels and demons (or "The Fallen") to his world. This book introduces a lot of Roman Catholic beliefs and cosmology into the story... but don't worry, it's not preachy or anything of the sort.
No, the big draw here is HARRY DRESDEN FIGHTS DEVILS, which are truly grotesque and terrifying -- especially since they all take human form in a corrupted, malevolent human body. Butcher weaves together a bunch of strong subplots, all with a sharp dark edge as well as a touch of humor. "My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps," Michael explains in one scene, confirming why I like this particular saintly character.
The biggest problem is that the plot hinges on a really, REALLY contrived plot point. It only works because the Vatican JUST HAPPENED to send a priest who JUST HAPPENED to know another priest that Harry happens to be friends with. Um.
But Butcher doesn't fail us in the characterization. He introduces some fun new characters like the adorably buttkicking Shiro, Sanya (an atheist working for God) and the little-girly repository "Ivy," and fleshes out older ones like the cold mobster Marcone. Harry himself has become a stronger man who can now cope with his guilt over Susan, but he's also taken a darker turn (in one scene he beats a Denarian with a baseball bat).
Iif you can overlook that one huge contrivance, "Death Masks" a powerful and complex urban fantasy, with plenty of grotesque demons, vampires, and the occasional floating blob of instant doom.
5.0 out of 5 stars Shroud Thinking,
I only recently noticed that I had missed the release of the latest in Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, and quickly moved to correct my error. Dresden is a wizard after my own heart - trying to make a living in modern Chicago, and a bit too honest to do anything but scrape by. Armed with a wand, a few special charms, and a flower covered ancient Volkswagen Beetle, Harry is always ready to take on a task completely beyond his capabilities.
This time he has his choice of menaces. Having triggered a war between the Wizard's Council and the vampire's Red Court in the last volume, Harry continues to be in desperate straights. Duke Ortega of the Red Court has proposed a way to end the war - a duel between him and Harry. Needless to say, Ortega has no intention of losing, and Harry will need more that a few incantations to survive.
More of a surprise, though, is the appearance of Father Vincent, a papal agent with an assignment for Harry. The Shroud of Turin has vanished - stolen and brought to the USA and, while they have more than an inkling of who the thief was, it will take Harry to track it down. The bad news is that the Shroud attracts all kind of attention, from everyone from mafia bosses to fallen angels. And they all want Harry's skin. The good news is that Harry will get paid for the work, and the rent is due. Or he will die in the attempt and won't need to pay rent ever again.
There is more. Harry's ex-girlfriend and recovering vampire snack Susan is back in town, the police are looking for a murderer who collects parts, and the Knights of the Cross are there to lend a hand. Total madness wherever you look, and Harry is in the middle of it, bad attitude and all.
Butcher has created a series that is a refreshing change from the usual pseudo-medieval magick tale. Harry is up to date, listens to good music, and, when he can afford it, even dresses fairly well. Or he would if people would stop stealing his clothes. He alternates between wisecracks, a love for money, and a set of ethics that keep getting in his way. And you can't help but like a guy whose closest friend lives in a skull.
Even though there is continuity between the five books in the series, each still can stand on its own. It you like fantasy but are tired of the usual enchanted princess genre try a dip in the Dresden files. You won't be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars What do you mean I have to wait for the next one?,
One reader commented that this installment left many things unresolved, and this is true to a point. Actually, the majority of the major plot points were dealt with quite nicely (far more neatly, in fact, than any writer so new to the craft has any right being able to accomplish). There were a number of threads left dangling, but only insomuch as was necessary in order to bring these elements into play in later episodes. Also, the reviewer who noted that there was a statement about the Jews being responsible for Jesus' death was not entirely accurate. There is a referrence to Barrabus who was freed by the Jews despite the fact that Pilate had wanted them to free Jesus. If Butcher deserves to have all but one star stripped from a rating for accurately reporting an event that was already written of in a much more widely published book (I don't have to explain that one, do I?), then we have a problem here. This was in no way intended as anti-semitic, and I thought it was actually rather neatly in keeping with the rest of the storyline. By the way, just for the record I am not Jewish but I am not Christian either. Frankly I think both sides of this particular debate ("The Jews killed Jesus!", "No they didn't!") are rather silly. But that's just me...
Anyway, as for this book I was more than pleased. Somehow Butcher keeps making each one better than the last, and I'm keen to see if he can keep up the trend. Only problem is that I've run out of books and now have to wait for him to publish the next one. Either I'll have to slow down my reading speed, or else Jim has to start typing a hell of a lot faster. In the meanwhile, get Peter Jackson on the phone. I've got an idea for his next big movie series... :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Next book please...,
By A Customer
And I need to point out...only one 1-star review...a person who enjoyed the book and the series except for one comment at the end of this book...do not let that stop you from reading them all!
Anyone who picks this series up and starts reading, with an open mind and an active imagination, is going to be hooked. The details are wonderful, and the book(s) are full of humor, romance, drama, fantasy, and action. What more can you ask for?
3.0 out of 5 stars A duel, a battle and a holy relic...all in a day's work!,
In Death Masks, Harry must duel the vampire Ortega, find the missing Shroud of Turin, battle against foes both supernatural and mortal, and deal with the return of his girlfriend Susan. The fact that she's now a half-vampire and part of a secret Brotherhood makes things complicated. Butcher introduces some new nasties in the Denarians, associates of the Fallen, who gain power and corruption by possessing the thirty coins of Judas. The main thrust of the story is the search for the stolen Shroud of Turin, and trying to figure out the purpose of its theft. Butcher also throws in Gentleman John Marcone, Chicago's crime boss for good measure. Luckily Harry has help from the Holy Knights and his friend, Michael Carpenter, plus Susan with her newly suped up powers.
The story is well-paced, the action well-orchestrated, and the threads of the plot are laced together deftly. Butcher obviously takes time to piece together his stories, drawing on twists of religious history and the occult, and building on events from the previous books. Harry's world is increasingly complex, and he continues to grow as a character. I like the storyline remains interesting, and the author is having fun creating this universe.
I still find it tough to swallow when Harry always seems to be at the center of all things, as if the entire supernatural world revolves around him. Why do all of these creatures seek him out? Where the heck are all of the other wizards all of the time? There was an interesting moment toward the end with Marcone as less than adversary, but Harry seems to try to irritate people.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great series,
Harry has to fight his way through a world filled with magic wonder and dark, dark demons. His power is in his magic, but also in his heart.
Great mix of fun, excitement, danger, lots of narrow escapes, a little romance, plot twists, and FUEGO shooting out of Harry's blasting rod.
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Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Audio CD - Nov. 3 2009)
Used & New from: CDN$ 578.08