Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thoughts on "Skin Game"

I got the latest Dresden Files book by Jim Butcher the other day.

Entitled "Skin Game", it's the latest chapter in the life of Harry Dresden, Chicago's private investigator/wizard.

Harry's been through some shit the last few books. Vampires. Evil wizards. Necromancers. Ghouls. Faeries. Ghosts. He's fought pretty much everything. He's obliterated an entire type of vampire. He's killed people closest to him. And he's been killed at least once.

Now he's working for an unpleasant Faerie queen.

For all that, the last few Dresden Files books have fallen into a kind of routine. We (the readers) get to hang out in Harry's head as he psychoanalyzes his various sexual hang-ups while facing down bad guys of various stripes.

It was cool for a few books, but I have to say I'm starting to get a little tired of it. One of the great things about the Dresden Files series was the slow but steady progression and growth of Harry throughout the series. It kind of feels like that's stalled in the last few books.

That or the character progression isn't doing much for me.

I guess he started losing me in "Ghost Story", but it's really come home in "Skin Game".

The plot is sort of an "Ocean's 11" heist story with no real surprises. Lots of Murphy and Harry doing the sexual-frustration dance. Lots of Harry ogling chicks. Lots of bad guys being bad. Lots of Mab the Queen of Winter being a badass. Lots of Harry mouthing off too much. Lots of Harry getting googly-eyed over his daughter.


I dunno. I guess I'm just expecting more after so many books echoing this theme. There was a neat part when we got a new Knight of the Swords (read the series if you don't know to what I refer) but even that was kind of... I dunno. Tepid. Just lacked punch.

I am given to understand Butcher plans on about 20 Dresden books. I still plan to read them all. Butcher's prose is fun and easy to follow. I do enjoy his books, but I have to say they're falling into kind of a dull pattern now. I'm a tiny bit disappointed.

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