I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Butcher for The Speculative Craft last week, and he was kind enough to share a pre-press copy of Skin Game with me to read before the launch date today. Which means that now I can tell you what I think, before most of you probably even pick it up.
For all the rabid fans out there, like me, I can assure you, Skin Game does not disappoint. I don’t want to let any spoilers slip, cause I’m just not that kind of girl, but there are a good handful of twists that you don’t see coming, some for the book plot, some for the arc plot, and I really can’t wait until the next book, since Butcher has set up some phenomenally fun plot points to play with down the line. But the writing is solid as ever and the story keeps you turning the page.
I hadn’t realized until I started doing my pre-interview research that Butcher had actually planned out the full character arc for each character for the full 20-odd book series before he sat down to write the first one, which makes me even more excited to see where these characters are going. They’ve already changed so much and we’re already on book fifteen. I find myself day dreaming about where they might end up. I mean, by this time, Dresden has already played with Hellfire, Soulfire, and is now the Winter Knight, how much more powerful can he get? Will he end up running the council? Cause that would be hilarious. Who knows? And now I have a year to wait until I can read the next book. But to help with the withdrawal pains, look for the interview with Butcher next week on The Speculative Craft!
So I thought I was being all clever before the break in setting up my posts to auto-update. Then I come back to find this had failed to load. And then in the process of trying to get it to post, it got lost, then got posted somehow, but lost all of its content. Don’t ask me how, I have no idea. Needless to say, I’ve been trying to fix things, then there were bike accidents and a nasty knock-you-down cold, but I’m back now, promise! And here’s what this review SHOULD have looked like a month ago:
First I found the TV show, then I was introduced to the LARPs, and finally, I found the novels. Totally the bass-ackwards way to go about discovering the Dresden Files, but I am finally all caught up! I have read the entirety of the published works related to Harry Dresden and I am very happy to recommend them to anybody who has a hankering for some decent Urban Fantasy. Jim Butcher has created a phenomenal world and excellent characters.
The basics: our world has a hidden sublayer of magic users, with only one official Wizard listed in the yellow pages. Harry Dresden. No love potions, serious inquiries only, please. He deals with monsters and demons and vampires and werewolves, and, more than anything else, idiot, evil humans. Oh, and don’t forget the Fae, they’re a doozy and a half.
The best thing about this series is it isn’t stagnant. Some series, like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, you know exactly what you’re going to get when you go in and the characters don’t really develop much over the entire series. Its still fun, and quirky, but there isn’t a whole lot of human growth happening. But Butcher is a master at making sure all of his characters are constantly challenged and growing, in very realistic fashions. They’re very much like Kim Harrison’s novels in that respect.
So, if you’re looking for a new urban fantasy, give Dresden a shot.