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review 2017-06-14 04:54
Not Butcher's best, but Marsters is still rockin'
Jim Butcher - Dresden Files: Books 1-4: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight (The Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher,James Marsters

Let's keep this short:


I didn't love this one as much as <b>Storm Front</b>, and I remember things as a whole being better. Still, we get the introduction of the Alphas, we get to see a little bit of every type of Werewolf in this world (I'd forgotten 1 of them), Dresden makes some smart choices re: Karrin Murphy (but man, most of what happened between the two of them in this book was annoying to a fan, and poorly constructed I think), and a (in retrospect) dumb one about Susan.


The main story was pretty good -- I'd have liked to see Harry be a little quicker to figure things out, but he's not perfect. Nor is he the investigator he'll become eventually. I need to remind myself these are early days. As I recall, book 3 is a little less-good than this, which doesn't make me look forward to it. But I know I like where things go pretty quickly, so I'll keep going.


Marsters was fantastic -- this would've been a 3 in just about any other narrator's hands, er, vocal cords. I can't say enough good things about him.

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url 2017-06-13 02:48
Audiobooks perfect for long car rides
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts - Paul Boehmer,Joshua Hammer
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
The Aeronaut's Windlass - Euan Morton,Jim Butcher

A reading list from of free audiobooks to borrow if your library uses overdrive.

"Whether you're getting set for a road trip for spring break or you just have a long commute, these audiobooks will make the time in the car fly by."

See http://www.overdrive.com/collections/21495/audiobooks-perfect-for-long-car-rides for complete list; I only linked a few above.

Source: www.overdrive.com/collections/21495/audiobooks-perfect-for-long-car-rides
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review 2017-05-30 14:16
#Audiobook Review: Skin Game by Jim Butcher
Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15 - James Marsters,Jim Butcher

Skin Game opens with Harry on Demonreach, a place he’s been living alone for the past year. He can’t leave until he removes the parasite from his head, and it’s clear that Mab has been running interference when he tried to reach out to his friends. Harry spent the time learning more about his new job as the prison warden and perfecting his parkour moves. When Mab finally shows up, she tells Harry his next task is to work as her emissary helping Nicodemus. 


I have always been a bit fearful of the stories revolving around Nicodemus and the Blacken Denarius. The stories tend to be a bit darker, and Skin Game is no exception. However, I have to say that even with my initial apprehension and the terrible violence of the book, I think this was my favorite Blacken Denarius story. The book is filled with plot twists and gritty action, but also tender moments (Harry and Maggie finally connect!!) and Harry’s trademark humor. 


Overall, I enjoyed Skin Game. There were great highs, but some very dark lows. The darkness of the mood and malice found in several scenes was a bit much for me at times. I loved several of the changes; most notably what happens with Butters, the changes between Karen and Dresden, and Harry uniting with Maggie. I also loved the addition of Goodwin Gray and Hades, and would love to see them again in future titles. Harry is finding his way again, learning to trust both himself and his friends. There was a lot of positive emotions in the underlying storyline message. But the gruesome scenes were hard to handle at times. 


James Marsters turns in another amazing performance. Expanding his cast of voices with the addition of several new characters. The voice for the evil forest creature was ominous and dark, the voice for mercenary Gray was laid back and charming. Perfect. 


Now that I’ve finished Skin Games, I’m 100% caught up and have nothing new. With the delayed and unknown release date for the next title, I’m a bit sad.


My Rating: B+

Narration: A

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review 2017-05-28 15:59
Storm Front, Jim Butcher
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Philip Marlowe pastiche mixed with what the author himself says is a hodge-podge of genuine magical practices mixed together. This is unfortunate because hard-boiled detectives are not terribly interesting these days unless they bring something new to the game. It was obvious that the new thing was meant to be the magic, but in turn that brings nothing interesting either through neither being an original take on how it could work, nor a detailed exploration of what if some genuine belief system really worked. The mystery also had predictable elements. The saving grace was the protracted denouement that dispensed with the wise-cracks and got on with an exciting show-down.


This is a debut novel and I've been told Butcher improves (variously between books 4 and 7 of this series) which is projected to last for 20 volumes. I think it's more than 3/4 of the way there already. My feeling is that the climax of this book made up for a lot of the previous sins and I would definitely read more, though I'm inclined to try one of his other series to see if he really has got better with practice. On this showing, Malcolm Pryce's Louis Knight series is a better modern pastiche (or send-up) of the hard-boiled detective genre and Stross's Laundry Files or Lukyanenko's Watch series are both hugely more original urban fantasies.

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text 2017-05-27 03:20
Reading progress update: I've read 239 out of 307 pages.
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Talking of Storm Fronts, I have one approaching from the south west - how soon 'til I start hearing thunder?

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