Thursday, May 24, 2012
Death Masks (way to be dramatic)
Of the books I've read in the Dresden Files series, Death Masks has been the best of the lot. That's not a tremendous accomplishment, as Jim Butcher's skill at creating an interesting plot and world has been consistently overshadowed by his inability to portray dialogue or women in a realistic manner.
This book managed to almost overcome those issues. We see the reemergence of Susan, and she's been completely transformed. She's actually not a helpless shell! She has powers, she had backstory, she has her own humorous lines! She also has a horribly awkward romantic scene that made me gag, but that's beside the point.
Butcher managed to introduce two incredibly interesting concepts in this book- the Denarians and the Fellowship of St. Giles. Butcher also managed to avoid the pitfall I find most serial writers devolve to- he's actually incorporating the magical being and groups into his subsequent novels. I loved the small glimses you got into the Knights of the Cross. Even though I'm not huge on my Christian relics, and I generally dislike stories that follow such things (Angels & Demons and Indiana Jones, I'm looking at you), the magical aspect of the Denarians kept me hooked.
This wasn't a perfect book by any shot. I'm getting awfully tired of Dresden's stupid remarks. While I know his "sarcasm" is supposed to be a funny quirk, it's overused and annoying at this point. It would be nice if every line wasn't said with insincerity. It would also be nice if Butcher didn't describe the breast of every single female he mentions, but apparently, that's asking for too much.
However, apart from those (usual) quibbles, I really enjoyed this book. I checked it out of the library and absolutely sped through it over the next day and a half. Yes, read. As much as I enjoy listening to James Marsters, my library is missing a few of the audiobooks in the series, but luckily, I'll be home long enough to check out and return a couple of the missing books.