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Friday, 26 August 2016

SKIN GAME


Skin Game by Jim Butcher
Book 15 of the Dresden Files series
Read by James Marsters
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback, ebook & audiobook


About Skin Game:
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day….

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it….

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains — led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone — to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world — which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess — assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance….
Source: Info in the About Skin Game was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486421-skin-game on 05/07/2014.

My Thoughts:
This is the only book in this series that took me this long to read. It actually didn't get interesting until Butters glided into the scene with his skateboard glowing orange. I bought this book on pre-order and I just finished it now. That's how long it took me to read this book. Not a usual pace for a Harry Dresden book at all! Hopefully Peace Talks wouldn't be as dragging... **fingers crossed**

When it was first announced that Harry Dresden 15 will be Skin Game, I was wondering why the book is titled as such. I presumed that there will be skin walkers or some such. And there are some such, but getting to it is the real journey. And that is the beauty of the plot. Dragging though it may be, but the plot is still substantial and unpredictable.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 3
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 1.5
Plot = 4
Narration = 4

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries


Dresden Files Books:

Thursday, 18 August 2016

MAGIC BINDS


Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Book 9 of the Kate Daniels series
Genre: urban fantasy


About Magic Binds:
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…
Source: Info in the About Magic Binds was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333174-magic-binds on 27/06/2016.

My Thoughts:
I like it when things nicely fall in together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal the picture. I was wondering what happened to Ana, Greg Feldman's ex-wife, who was first mentioned in Magic Bites. Then Kate mentioned in their dinner convention with Roland at Applebee's [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 290] that Ana, the clairvoyant ex-wife of Kate's dead guardian, no longer return her calls. Telling me that Ana is still there but just not in the picture anymore and explains why she wasn't mentioned in so many books since Magic Bites.

However, I do not like it when the story lines contradict each other! In Magic Slays, Evdokia of the Witch Oracle told Kate that her mother, Kalina, came to attend Kalina's mother's funeral. [I. Andrews, Magic Slays, (The Berkley Publishing Group, 2011), p. 120]. Then all of a sudden, Kalina's mother was alive again and living in Seattle in Magic Shifts. Roland tried to lure Kate out of Atlanta with the idea of visiting her grandmother (Kalina's mother) who was supposedly old and not long to live anymore in Seattle [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 285]. Kate's other grandmother, Semiramis, is in Mishmar trapped between life and death limbo. So Kate has three grandmothers?!... *Sigh*

Speaking of unsolved issues, I am still wondering if Gene Monroe (wolf alpha who owned a silver-producing land in North Carolina) was really Roland's lackey or not. Or was there some other explanation? It was not very clear in Magic Breaks and I was hoping that we'd get a little clarification in this book... but no such luck...

This book... beautifully continued the complicated relationship between Kate and her father, Roland. Told in this authors' trademark compelling story telling quality with a solid plot. What can I say? I am an old die hard fan... Can't wait for the next book and read more about Kate and Roland's saga! Would the author end it with a bang??? What kind of HEA (happily ever after) would they get? Or is it an HEA?... Love, love, love, this series!!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Kate Daniels Series:
                                     

Thank you!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy received.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from the publisher.
No money received for this review.

 
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