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Skin Game (Dresden Files) Hardcover – May 27, 2014

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Skin Game (Dresden Files) + Cold Days (Dresden Files) + Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Harry Dresden, having finally succumbed to Mab and become the Winter Knight, is hiding out. The spirit of the island can help keep his debilitating headaches at bay, and keep Mab off his back. She shows up with a job for him—help Nicodemus Archleone steal the Holy Grail from Hades. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s Mab, so nothing is straightforward. Harry, having a good sense for survival, is quite sure Nicodemus is going to do his best to prevent anyone from surviving the experience and that Mab has motives she’s not mentioning. Harry brings in Murphy as backup, Michael Carpenter plays his usual stabilizing role, and the rest of Nicodemus’ team is, though reprehensible, quite an entertaining bunch of supernatural criminals. Harry is incredibly well suited to the heist, especially the back-stabbing, convoluted, conspiratorial heist that Skin Game turns into—and it’s clear that all of this plotting is leading to another, even more epic confrontation. To top it off, a few loose ends—including a surprising solution to Harry’s headaches—get tied back into the story. This should be just what fans of the Dresden Files series would hope for. HIgh Demand Backstory: Butcher is generally regarded as the reigning king of urban fantasy, so librarians will find it impossible to keep fans away from his latest novel. --Regina Schroeder


Praise for Jim Butcher and the #1 New York Times Bestselling DRESDEN FILES

“What would you get if you crossed Spenser with Merlin? Probably you would come up with someone very like Harry Dresden.”—The Washington Times

“Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Harry Dresden is perhaps the best-written supernatural detective working today.”—SFRevu

“Superlative.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“The Dresden Files is still one of the most consistently well-written urban fantasy series in existence.”—LoveVampires

“An edge-of-your-seat thriller.”—Locus

“Butcher…spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally charged setting.”—Booklist (Starred Review)

“A great series…one of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves.”—Cinescape

“This stunning, exciting series entry with its heart-stopping action will shock and thrill Butcher fans.”—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Series: Dresden Files (Book 15)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451464397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

295 of 307 people found the following review helpful By Tom Shutt on May 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An ex-cop, a Denarian, a mercenary sorcerer, a wanted warlock, a shapeshifter, and a Warden of the White Council all walk into a slaughterhouse...

Alright, that joke isn’t really set up to elicit a lot of laughs, but this book does have plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Skin Game is the fifteenth book in Jim Butcher’s fantastic Dresden Files series, and this review is going to assume that you have already read the first fourteen books. If not, you should get on that.

Since this novel is the 15th out of a proposed series of about 20 books, you can expect this number to hold a certain degree of significance in the life of Harry Dresden. Much like in the 10th book, Small Favor, Queen Mab wants Harry to do something despicable for her, and he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. In this case, he's robbing the Lord of the Underworld for some of the Church's most powerful artifacts--and he is allied with Nicodemus Archleone, the baddest of the Denarians and Harry's greatest archenemy.

Harry Dresden has had a rough time of it so far, and the books thus far have had their ups and downs; lots of fist-in-the-air moments juxtaposed with some cringe-worthy scenes of forced, awkward dialogue. Skin Game is a return to some of Butcher’s best characters, and it is easily one of the better books in the series.

I loved this book for many reasons, but the greatest one is this: Harry is back.

While the last few books have been weighed down pretty heavily by the established lore of Dresden’s world, Skin Game introduces some fresh faces to bring back Harry’s dry wit and light-heartedness that have been so notably absent.
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142 of 158 people found the following review helpful By VampireNovelFan on May 26, 2014
Format: Audible Audio Edition
I'll kick this off with my favorite quotes:

"I can't tell you how many jobs I've done without a hitch since the last time I saw you, Dresden. You walk through the door and everything goes to hell."
"That's embroidered on my towels, actually," I said.

"What you are telling me," she said, "is that you have never shared your life with another over the long term. The closest you have come to it is providing a home and affection for a being which is entirely your subject and in your control."
"Well, not at bath time..."

"I know you've been aching to have your hands on my staff," I said to Ascher, as Nicodemus examined the altar for himself. I held out my hand. "But I'd rather be the one fondling my tool. Wizards are weird like that."

PARKOUR! Because Harry Dresden says so.

Cold Days was easily one of the best entries of the Dresden series. It's probably my favorite. And it definitely left big shoes to fill for any book that would follow it. Well, Skin Game does it wonderfully. I was hanging on to every word. The tension between Harry and Nicodemus was beyond palpable and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop! And boy does it drop.

This book was really exciting, gripping, and a true nail biter. I wasn't sure where Butcher planned to go with this one putting Nicodemus front and center. Either we'd finish the book with a better understanding of the character (potentially liking him more) or we'd see Harry do away with him once and for all. He is definitely a character you love to hate.

The heist plot was great and we got to see more focus on potential future players in the series. I liked that everyone was out for themselves. It kept things unpredictable.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Stolk on May 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Skin Game,” the fifteenth book in the Dresden Files-series, has all the ingredients a Dresden-junkie needs: larger-than-life battles, crafty plot twists, Harry perpetually being outmatched and outgunned, and everything spiced up by his trade-marked sardonic humor and the snappy one-liners we’ve all come to love from the only professional wizard who’s in the Chicago phone book. I’ll give the bare bones of the story, and try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible.

So here’s Harry, having another bad day… He’s stranded as warden on the island penal colony of Demonreach and oh yeah, Harry has this parasite in his head that is giving him migraines of the killing kind. But no worries. As he’s Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, his boss Mab is willing to help him get rid of it. Is there a catch to this offer? Of course. Before you know it, Mab has him up ‘fecal matter’ creek without a paddle because to pay off an old debt, she loans out his services to Nicodemus and his Denarian followers.

You remember Nicodemus Archelone, last seen in “Small Favor”? Well, this time he’s out to break into one of Hades’s vaults in the Underworld and grab the most famous chalice in recorded history. And Nicodemus, one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, has assembled an Ocean’s Eleven-type group of supernatural villains to bring off this caper. A group that consists of Deirdre, his psychotic daughter; Binder the Summoner, last seen in “Turn Coat;” a warlock named Hannah Ascher; a shape-shifter named Goodman Grey… and of course, our reluctant Harry.

As usual with anything that Harry’s involved with, the job is anything but straightforward. But Dresden does a great job trying to stay one step ahead of Nicodemus.
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