Review – Skin Game (The Dresden Files #15) by Jim Butcher

19486421I’ve decided that I was Ms. Grumpy Pants when I reviewed Cold Days not too long ago.  Was it a 2-star read?  Maybe not.  But what I do know is that Skin Game is fantastic and 5-stars all the way.

Dresden is given another seemingly impossible assignment by Mab.  He has to work with one of the Fallen and there are schemes going on all around him.  The parasite is still in his head, Molly isn’t returning his calls for help, some of his friends are doubting his intentions and the Winter Mantle continues to worry him.  And, those are just today’s problems for Harry.  We don’t even touch on the fact that the White Council has been noticeably absent and that can’t be good news.

Butcher has told some great stories throughout the series.  We can argue about the power that Harry has gained and how it has changed the dynamics.  At the end of the day, I still want to know more about Harry and his friends.  What made this installment work is that some of the elephants in the room were addressed.  Harry goes to see Michael finally.  (I could write pages about the fact that Michael has become my favorite character and how much I would kill to have a friend like him.  But, that’s not what I’m here for.)  I feel like his discussion with Michael kind of ironed out a lot of Harry’s issues that were annoying me.  Michael has a way of getting him to open his eyes to what is real and what is important.

Harry and Karrin have some grown up conversations that actually make sense for this point in their relationship.  Their friendship and chemistry make for a great team.  I want them to be more and they seem to be headed in that direction.  But, if they don’t end up there for real reasons, I can live with it.  Skin Game took us a long way down that path.

One of his friends also brought up the fact that they should be looking for a way out of Harry’s deal with Mab.  FINALLY!  Of course they need to find a way out.  Harry will never be the Winter Knight she wants and it cannot end well unless he find a loophole.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t read it so all I will say about Molly is that I still don’t trust her and believe she is dangerous.  (Ok, so if you read the rest of this paragraph there will be some minor spoilers that aren’t super important to the main story.)  She hasn’t even told her parents that she is now the Winter Lady?  It’s been a YEAR!  Charity and Michael deserve better than that.  By lying, she’s putting Harry in an impossible situation where he has to lie to keep her secret (this leads Michael to believe something might be going on with Molly and Harry but he reacted better to that than I expected.)  She is selfish and has been from day one.  Selfish witch = dangerous witch.  She thinks she knows everything and I worry this will be her downfall which will cause Harry to blame himself, of course.

Ok…off that soapbox.  Even though the Molly storyline is stress-inducing, it is necessary.  I do think Butcher is leading us somewhere and not necessarily where I was expecting at the end of Cold Days.  A great author can use a character that readers don’t trust to their best advantage.  I think he’s doing that here.

Skin Game is fun, fast paced, sexy and full of urban fantasy goodness.  I loved it.

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