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Skin Game: Dresden Files


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  • 1 month later...

Last two have been so-so in my opinion, with "Ghost story" being as close to bad as any Harry book has been since the first two or three. Basically nothing happened. But "Changes" has probably the best book in the series, so I still have my hopes up. More Evil Bob and bring back Mister!

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  • 4 months later...

I'm only a couple chapters in but I agree. What's missing is its not the story we first started reading. That was Harry in his cool apartment with his stupid broken down car and his talking skull and his banter with Karrin and his tomcat and later his magical dog. He worked cases. It was supernatural detective stories ... Which is really cool.

 

None of that is going on anymore. What we really have now is a spinoff. Its not the same story anymore. Its something different now. I like what we have now but I do miss what we used to have.

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That's a good point. The initial series really did, in a way, end with Harry's death. Anything after is something new, with a different Harry.

 

Can't wait until you make it further, because I'm curious if we will have similar thoughts after reading the whole thing.

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I finished it. I liked it, a lot. I'd still rather see Harry end up with Molly than Karrin but whatev, that's clearly not the writer's plan.

 

I loved how Nic got punked. I especially loved Butters taking up a Sword. The whole thing about Karrin's stupidity causing it to get smashed and then Butters redeeming that damage was awesome because I was actually pissed off about what happened to it.

 

Only really weak spot, and this is a minor thing, was as soon as his "spirit baby" was mentioned I realized she would end up in the wooden skull. That was pretty weak. Harry's going to all of the sudden make an unneeded wooden skull for Bob? Um, okay? So that wasn't exactly a shocking twist. Not a big deal but pretty clumsily done.

 

Didn't really seem like a book that should have taken twice as long for Jim Butcher to write, did it? He's slowing down, and from what I know about the publishing industry (who wants it once a year, on the year, no more no less for this kind of genre writing) he's catching hell for it internally. Maybe he's a little burned out.

 

Oh, and one more thing. The whole Grey reveal was a cheat of course. We're with Harry, we're in his head, so withholding that big of a thing from us was cheating. And not necessary. We could have known that all along and the tension would be whether or not Harry believed he'd keep his word when the going got tough. The odds were still long, letting us in on that from the beginning wouldn't have killed all the tension in the story.

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Grey and the skull both show the same weaknesses - lack of adequate planning for a real reveal. The surprise reveals with Dresden have always been story based, and I'm willing to accept the reveal about his death, because it was adequately explained in the story why he didn't know about it. It was removed from his memory.

 

But in general, I feel like Butcher is starting to go a little bit in the M. Night Shyamalan direction where he thinks there needs to be a twist at the end, and that's really not as important as building a story. There's still tension without the twist.

 

I am very happy that Michael was in the story, as he's more than just the moral center of the Dresden universe - he's the only person who's not afraid of Harry in some way, and never has been. Some people fear his strength, some people fear his emotions, but Michael is completely fearless and therefore the only person willing to tell Harry how it is. And Harry needs that.

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I agree 100% about Michael. Awesome he was in the story, even more awesome he was kicking ASS again. Totally wasn't expecting that but thrilled to have it.

 

Completely agree on your other point too. I think in general Jim is tired of the series. He needs to just go ahead and take a couple years off. The publishers will be pissed, which is why he hasn't done it, but its clearly what needs to happen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished this last night! I thought this one was fun, but my expectations were severely lowered by Ghhost Story. I lost trust in Butcher that he still hasn't earned back.

 

My favorite part was the Butters lightsaber business. My least favorite part was the secretiveness on Harry's part. I'm excited to learn what Molly's been up to in future installments, but not all that intrigued by the psychic baby.

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I think it also returns the dynamic of him having a sarcastic magical sidekick. He no longer has Bob so this gives him New Bob.

 

I've missed the Bob dynamic so this should be interesting moving forward.

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Haha, Bobette. I like it!

 

I think I am going to listen to this again during my flights. I'm glad I read the paper version for the first run, but I'd like to go back through it, and I'm much rather listen to a book than read it on a flight.

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