Experiment BL626's Reviews > Skin Game

Skin Game by Jim Butcher
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Jan 13, 2014

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bookshelves: paranormal-mystery, recently-reviewed, reviewed

Book 15 was enjoyable but it was not one of the best books of the series. I had several issues with the characters.

The Characters

+ Dresden

I'm sick of Dresden's self-reproach. I know it's a personality flaw and it's never leaving because it's book fucking 15 and still no sign of self-esteem growth but I really wish it would. I'm tired of Urban Fantasy protags hating themselves for simply existing.

Secondly, he spent a year in Demonreach and all he learned was parkour. Granted, he did display a few new spells throughout the book, but these ice spells were still the same blunt force type as his fire spells. He should have learned other types of spells, types that would allow him to detect enemies (e.g. heat-seeking sight), summon familiars (e.g. golems or shikigami), make obstacles (e.g. fog or stalagmites), etc. There's more to magic than calling up a buttload of fire and ice to blast at enemies. For fuck sake, learn a healing spell already!

I couldn't believe parkour was all that he learned. Dresden is a piss-poor wizard. I hate how Dresden uses the excuse that he might kill people if he goes all out because of his inner demon. Yeah, right. It's not as if burning enemies to cinders or icing them to shards aren't deadly, which Dresden does with no hesitation and does often.

Dresden had access to Demonreach, an ageless entity of immeasurable knowledge, and he did nothing with it. For someone who believed the Winter Knight job would make him dark and twisted, he didn't research a way out of it. For someone who regularly told the reader Mab is vindictive and merciless, he put more effort into antagonizing the queen faerie than following his common sense.

I still like Dresden but he disappointed me greatly. The only reason he did not anger me as much as he could have was because I was too busy being annoyed with Nicodemus and infuriated with Butters. Plus, there was mpreg, which was hilarious.

+ Nicodemus

I know a villain is a poor excuse for a villain when I could have done better in his place. There were several ways I thought Nicky could have screwed Dresden. For instance, he could have made Dresden, as his oath-bound accomplice, kill Butters under the idea that Dresden needed to put down anyone who threatened the heist. And not just Butters, Nicky could have twisted the oath in a way that would force Dresden to choose between his friends and obeying the oath where Dresden would obviously choose his friends but would then die for his choice.

Nicky regressed severely. Instead of delicious deception, most of his evil acts were all blunt force that is emblematic of a mortal muscle-head. What little deception he did was predictable which totally defeated the purpose of deception.

Finally, sacrificing that one person was the stupidest thing he could have done. He couldn't bring some of his fanatics along and sacrificed one of them? Trust was the only requirement, and the fanatics have immense trust in him. You gotta be if you're going to dedicate your life to a demonic cult and allow your tongue to be severed. It's not the first time his fanatics died for Nicky in a mission.

+ Butters

I can't believe he didn't — at the very least — receive a verbal lashing after that stunt he pulled in the middle of the book, risking everyone's lives. Then, at the end he got rewarded and Murphy is on the out? Noooooooo! WTF is the Christian God thinking? The dude will barely last a second. The only reason Butters got one over on the bad guy was because of divine intervention so unless the Christian God plans to intervene every time Butters is in a fight, a big fat NO. Worst idea ever.

It was bad enough I was already upset with Butters in the beginning of the book for thinking Dresden was his bitch. HEROES ARE NOT YOUR BITCHES, BUTTERS! They have a life of their own and crap to deal with, especially the perpetually unfortunate Dresden as you very well know. Every time you meet Dresden, you are sewing his insides back inside. And of course, the answer to your question about what he's doing now is paying a debt. DID YOU FUCKING THINK COMING BACK FROM DEATH WAS FREE? No, he doesn't have time to play superhero for the city again!

Good gracious, if Butters wasn't Dresden's go-to doctor, I would have told the dude to fuck off. I half wanted him to die during that stunt. Anyway, I hope poetic justice will be served in future books now that Butters, in his new role as a hero instead of just as a sidekick, will experience the shit Dresden and others go through. Be happy for now with your new metaphorical giant penis, Butters. It's all shitstorm from thereon out.

+ everyone else

Damsels in distress ahoy. It's like no matter how strong the woman is, she still needs Dresden to rescue her. Can the damsels rescue themselves for once? At least Valmont was not as bad as what's-her-name in the last book who was so annoyingly helpless and gloomy to the point where I just wanted her to die as soon as she was introduced.

Ascher wasn't a damsel but I hated how at the end she was treated as one by Dresden. Woman made her life choices just like her partner, Binder, made his choices. I hate how Dresden is pissy towards Binder but not towards Ascher as if both were not similar in many ways. I wish Dresden's bleeding heart quit its sexist tendencies.

Poor Murphy. I love the idea that vanilla humans can be on the same playing field with the mighty supernatural. Damn Butters for taking that idea away from me. Anyway, I hope Murphy goes back to being a cop. I hate how she is unemployed and lacking a future other than being a sidekick for Dresden when he needs her. Yeah, that's a pathetic future. I also don't care for the potential romance between them for all the reasons a character listed in the middle of the book.

It was good to see Michael temporarily in action again. I always thought it was silly how he retired because of his injuries in a world where magic exists and it's possible to come back from death. Seriously, why are healing spells non-existent?

The Worldbuilding

The series wandered in Greek mythology, Hades and his underworld to be specific. It was odd that the reader got to meet Hades, another deity, but still not the Christian God. Instead we meet again one of his lackeys, Archangel Uriel, who made a less than impressive impression. So much for the idea that the enigmatic character knew what was he was doing. Anyway, I wish the series dial down the Christian elements or dial up the other supernatural elements.

Conclusion

I rate Skin Game 3-stars for I like it. I might rate it up a star for re-readability; we'll see. I was disappointed we didn't learn more about the Outsiders and the Black Council. It made only an inch of progress in the story arc. How long is this reckoning going to be delayed? Anyway, the book was enjoyable but it could have easily been better.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 13, 2014 – Shelved as: awaiting-release
January 13, 2014 – Shelved
January 13, 2014 – Shelved as: paranormal-mystery
June 3, 2014 – Shelved as: recently-reviewed
June 3, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed

Comments (showing 1-50 of 51) (51 new)


message 1: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami Okay, I am finished. No review from me yet though. What do you want to bitch about? :)


message 2: by Experiment BL626 (last edited May 29, 2014 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Experiment BL626 Butters! I can't believe he didn't, at the very least, get a verbal lashing after that stunt he pulled in the middle of the book, risking everyone's lives. And at the end, he got rewarded and Murphy is on the out? Noooooooo! WTF is the Christian God is thinking? That dude will barely last a second. The only reason he got one over the bad guy was because of divine intervention so unless the Christian God plans to intervene every time Butter is in a fight, a big fat NO. Worst idea ever.

It was bad enough I was already upset with Butters in the beginning for thinking Dresden was his bitch. HEROES ARE NOT YOUR BITCHES, BUTTERS! They have a life of their own and crap to deal with, especially the perpetually unfortunate Dresden as you very well know. Every time you meet Dresden, you are sewing his inside back inside. Plus, as a doctor, someone who deals with life and death, you should know better. And of course, the answer to your question about what he's doing now is paying a debt. DID YOU FUCKING THINK COMING BACK FROM DEATH WAS FREE? No, he doesn't have time to play superhero for the city again!

Good gracious, if Butters wasn't Dresden's go-to doctor, I would have told the dude to fuck off. I half wanted him to die during that stunt. Anyway, I hope poetic justice will be served in future books now that Butters in his new role as a hero will experience the shit Dresden and others go through. Be happy for now with your lightsaber-y giant penis, Butters. It's all shitstorm from thereon out.

Also, more damsels in distress. Oy. It's like no matter how strong the woman is, she still needs Dresden to show her light. Can the damsels rescue themselves for once? At least Valmont was not as bad as what's-her-name in the last book who was so annoyingly helpless to the point where I just wanted her to die as soon as she was introduced to the reader.

Thirdly, I'm disappointed in Nicky. You know a villain is a poor excuse for a villain when a reader like me think he can do better. I know I could have done better. There were several ways I thought Nicky could have screwed Dresden. He could have made Dresden as his oath-bound assistance kill Butters under the idea that Dresden needs to put down anyone who threatens the heist. I think Nicky regressed. Instead of delicious deception, most of his evil acts are all blunt force that is emblematic of a mortal muscle-head thug. What little deception he did were predictable which totally defeats the purpose of deception.

Why did that one person have to be sacrificed? He couldn't bring some of his goons along and sacrificed one of them? I don't recall reading the sacrifice had to be a loved one... Do you recall?

Finally, Dresden's self-reproach. I know it's a personality flaw, and it's never leaving because it's book fucking fifteen and still no sign of such character growth but I really wish it would. I'm so tired of Urban Fantasy heroes hating themselves for simply existing. Which reminds me, if you're in the mood for another UF series, try the Blood Singer series by Cat Adams. Same shitstorm but it's a little less depressing than Dresden.

Bitching over. For now anyway.

Did like the mpreg thing. That was fucking hilarious.


message 3: by Ami (last edited May 29, 2014 01:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami LOL, you tell him, Expy!!

(view spoiler)


message 4: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami I have heard that UF series by Cat Adams. Maybe I'll take a look. But somehow, the self-guilt tripping is less annoying in heroes rather than heroines. LOL. Or maybe because I'm a woman and I don't like my heroines do the self-guilt journey.

I don't like heroes doing the martyr path, though.


message 5: by Experiment BL626 (last edited Jun 02, 2014 01:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Experiment BL626 I wish Molly came in sooner into the story rather at the very end. And dangggggg girl, you better confess to your parents about your new career.

Murphy. OMG. Poor Murphy. Damn Butters for benching her from the action. I love the idea that vanilla human can be on the same playing field with the mighty supernatural. Damn Butters for taking that idea away from me. Anyway, I hope Murphy goes back to being a cop... Hate the idea that she's unemployed and lacking a future other than being a sidekick for Dresden when he needs her. Yeah, that's not much of a future. Just pathetic.

One of things I love about head Lash was the instant access to bitch-slapping every time Dresden is down on himself. "You better do instead of moan or I'm fucking taking over your body." LOL. I miss it.

Oh yeah, Ascher. She could have been it too. Seriously, what a stupid move on Nicky's part.

Yeah, the Mab thing is getting tiresome too. I don't know why Dresden bothers to antagonize her. Such useless energy when he's going to do as she demand anyway. How about you put your effort into researching a way to get off the Winter Knight gig? Hello, common sense.

Another thing that disappoints me is the Greek underworld. Talk about bland. Would have been interesting if the underworld they went to was the Chinese Diyu. It would have made for a more diverse world building.

The mpreg was probably inspired by the Athena myth considering the Greek influence in this book. Hehehe. There should be more mpreg in UF, just saying.


message 6: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami (view spoiler)


Experiment BL626 OOoo. Double standard, you. The protag of that series does get a bit better towards the latest book. Three steps forward, two steps backward.

Yeah, I keep forgetting she's grown up and around my age now. I think her parents will accept it. IMO, it's not that worse than finding out she had a hard on for Dresden back when she was a teen. Heh.

I'm still feeling mixed about Murphy and Dresden as a potential couple. I want Dresden to get a stable girlfriend but I'm not sure if Murphy should be it. They make better friends than lovers.

Well, he did learn a few new spells, ice-based, obviously as the new Winter Knight, but ugh. His bag of tricks is still limited to blunt force. How about spells that allow one to detect enemies (e.g. heat-seeking sight), summon familiars to tank (e.g. golems or shikigami), craft obstacles (fog or stalagmite), etc? Hello, there's more to magic than calling up a buttload of fire and ice to throw at enemy. For fuck sake, learn a healing spell already!

I can't believe parkour was all that he learn. Could have learned krav maga while he was at it. Gawd, Dresden is a piss-poor wizard. Harry Potter could whup Dresden's ass.

Which reminds me, I hate how he uses the excuse that he might kill people if he goes all out. Violence doesn't have to start with death. He can just knock them out, stun them, or maim them. Because burning his enemies to cinders or icing them to oblivion are not violent at all and won't kill them. Oh wait.

Probably to balance out the big Christian influence. Though it doesn't balance out well anyway since he always put the Christian entities higher on the pedestal than the other supernatural entities. We get to meet Hades and Odin, the gods themselves, but we only get to see Uriel, the Christian God's lackey? Not to say Uriel isn't dangerous, but I'm presuming Hades and Odin can whup Uriel's ass with two hands tied behind their back and blindfolded.

The second reason might be because vampires, werewolves, and fairies are too generic and the author wanted to add some diversity. Though you can argue that adding in over-used European mythologies isn't diversity.

What I'm finding weird is that the author doesn't move back to werewolves and the other courts of vampire. I was really hoping for some Jade Court vampires.

Alfred is too on the nose.


Elspeth Expy, (view spoiler)


Experiment BL626 He could have one of his goons do it. They are called fanatics for a reason, and they do know one of their purposes is to be cannon fodder.

That would make sense, though it's not that funny. Maybe in an earlier book of the series it would have been, but it's very late at this point of the game to be so.


Elspeth That was the reason that the book gave...lol...I never said it made sense!
I had a lot of issues with this installment, it wasn't my favorite by far.


Experiment BL626 The book's reasons are very flimsy. Kinda feel like... I'm being bullshitted? I think the author is running of creative juice. I'm disappointed that we didn't get to learn more about the outsiders or the black wizard court.


message 12: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami While this is not my favorite book but I still think it's better than my 3-3.5 stars category, har-de-har


Elspeth I almost felt like he wrote himself into a corner and the last few books have been a bunch of bullshit to get him out of it!


Experiment BL626 Thank you Ami and Elspeth for lending your ear to rant. It helps to write my review, copy and paste.

At least this book was better than book 13 when Dresden was a ghost. Man, was that full of angst. Blech! I wonder how many books the author has contracted. It seems like he's waiting for the last book to deliver everything because he can't think of a new story arc proceeding the war.


Sagajo I feel the same Elspeth.


message 16: by Elspeth (last edited Jun 03, 2014 09:48AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elspeth Great Review!


Experiment BL626 Thank you and thank you for the boo boo alert!


Elspeth You are welcome!
See I deleted that comment, it's like it never happened!
:p


Elspeth Sagajo wrote: "I feel the same Elspeth."

Heh, I just hope this was a bridge book, and he writes himself out of it in book sixteen!


Experiment BL626 I hope but I'm not going to expect it. The author isn't a very good writer of series. JK Rowling; now there's an author who write series well.


Elspeth True that!

I think it also has to do with how far they have planned out in the series. I think Butcher ran out of planned books a long ass time ago.


message 22: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami But J.K. Rowling writes only 7 books -- do you think she will keep writing well for more than 10 books? But of course, unlike the three of you, I still love this series despite its flaws. I stand to my opinion *grin*

I haven't read any of the Butcher's other series though.


Liz Great review. I think Butcher is planning for this to be a twenty three book series (according to his website). So, the "Black Council" might be a little while longer. I kind of forgot about them, to be honest. I don't re-read the entire series when a new book comes out.


message 24: by Experiment BL626 (last edited Jun 04, 2014 04:30PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Experiment BL626 Thank you. 23 books... So maybe we'll get the reckoning in the 23th book. Ay, that's a long wait. I almost forgot about the Black Council too; had to wiki some things: http://dresdenfiles.wikia.com/wiki/Dr...

Ami, I still love the series. I just wish the author has a plan with the series. I'm thankful the Kate Daniels series isn't like that; we know Roland is going to be in the next book. I have a hunch that the anti-magic machine is going to be revived considering they'll be going up against the most powerful magic badass.


Wdmoor I enjoyed your comments. After 15 books I would love to see Dresden stop being such a juvenile ass and grow a little as a man...though Butcher would probably have readers complaining non-stop for the old Harry.


message 26: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony Expy. I would first like to commend you for the way you expressed yourself in you review/ comment. I personally have read each book twice and listened to each book either once or twice. I also did not like Ghost story very much the first time I read it. However, after I listened to it once then twice my opinion changed. I am not sure why. Maybe it simply made more sense later. (I never have been a big fan of ghost stories). Now back to this book. I have not gotten truly aggravated with Dresdens character until this book. He used the "kill innocent bystanders" for what I hope is the last time. For God's sake Ascher killed the baddy pretty easily at the party and she supposedly strong but not nearly as well trained. It just seems that other wizards that aren't as powerfully seem to be more effective in many cases than Dresden. This started things out on the wrong foot for me. Butters pissed me off. The ungrateful little piss ant. If it wasn't for Dresden he never would have been educated about the paranormal to begin with. I understand how he got the sword. It was a good way to 1. Give the sword to someone we did not expect. And 2. Leave Murphy more available to do what Butcher has planned for her. Since it is not the sword it must be something big. Michael has got his work cut out for him if he is going to train the little pip squeak. He did show the heart for it when he hit Tessa like a linebacker(maybe a little baby one) Nicky didn't seem as tho he was 10 steps ahead of everyone once he got to Hades. Killing his daughter seemed strange at the time. After I finished reading the book it almost seemed as tho it was just a way for Butcher to find a way for Nicky to go after Maggie. Before that tho Nicky seemed to be his normal all knowing and seeing self. Oh, one more thing about Butters. Dresden should have bitch slapped his ass for essentially being the reason that Murphy was hurt so badly No Thomas? Sad. The Uriel situation seemed awkward. Now the good. I loved the first real Maggie-Dresden moment. I liked that Grey was good nagloshi (sp). I liked both Aschers character as well Lashiel making an appearance with her. I liked how Butcher kind of went against the type with Hades. Hades being all chill but obviously dangerous as hell was kind of refreshing. Molly not being introduced in till late was a little disappointing but we did learn a little bit more about her situation. It fit. I can't wait to see where Butcher goes with Dresdens newest child:) The only thing that I disagreed with you about (or just did not understand your reasoning) was your comment about the Christian God. First let me set your mind at ease. I am not a bible thumper. I have not been to a church other than a wedding in close to 10 years. I believe in The Dresden Files universe that the God you call the Christian God Butcher calls God(capital G) I believe that in Dresdens world God is above all the others. When you say you wish he would dial down the Christian elements I don't really understand what you mean. Until this book there has hardly been any mention of a Christian God or his minions other than maybe in Changes with Murphy and the sword. Even Sonya does not really mGnostics(too funny)


message 27: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony Hit the wrong button:) Almost done. Sonya is agnostic. He does not mention God unless Dresden brings it up. GOD has hardly been a very minor part of this series since Michael was shot over Demonreach many books ago. I just hope that you are not trying to shape The Dresden Files universe because of how you personally feel about whether there is a higher being or not. I don't believe in fae but I don't think he should tone down the fae element. And before you say well the face are obviously an integral part of the world and God is not, you never know where Dresden is going to go. I do feel as tho those swords are going to be big before the series is finished.


Experiment BL626 @Wdmoor
Well, the author can't please all fans. Do wish he pleased my side.

@Tony
Nah, Nicky already have plenty of reasons to go after Dresden and his loved ones. It didn't require that person's death to make him more hellbent on it.

Uriel, God, the three Swords, the Church, and the Denarians constitute Christianity to me and other readers here. We don't know what religion and mythology they can be inspired from other than Christianity.

This statement worries me the most: "God(capital G) I believe that in Dresdens world God is above all the others." This send the message of Christian supremacy, saying "oh there are deities like Hades and Odin, but there is only 'One True God' *cough*the Christian God*cough*." Perhaps the reason you don't see it as an issue because, while you declared you are not a bible thumper, you are still a Christian/theist, and it's religious validation for you. No skin off your teeth. To those of us readers who are not Christians or do not care for preachy religious elements, the book reads differently. It's uncomfortable. Sonya being agnostic is a red herring.

I don't understand what you mean by shaping the Dresden universe; I'm not the author's friend or publishing associate. I'm also not saying the author cannot write religious fictions, but I didn't go into an urban fantasy series just to see it slowly turn into Christian fiction. If the author wants to write Christian fiction, he should do it openly and proudly in the first book.

Christian fiction doesn't need characters throwing out "praise the lord" and whatnot to make it Christian. The world building, regardless of the fact that it include other supernatural elements, is enough when Christian elements are put on the highest pedestal and Christian-shaped/influenced characters (they don't have to be outright Christian like Michael is) save the day.

I'm not hostile to Christian elements in urban fantasy; I'm hostile to urban fantasy series turning into Christian fictions. Urban fantasy that include Christian elements that does it well are The Iron Druid Chronicles and the Kate Daniels.

As for Maggie, I gotta admit, I do not care the character. When the series introduced her, my thought was "oh vey, not another potential hostage/target for Dresden." And look what happened in this book. Which me lead to think that Dresden will always be the Winter Knight, because no way will he let Mab force his brother or his daughter to be his replacement. He could kill Mab but then of course, he'll be killing one of the important people who are keeping the boundaries between Earth and the Outsiders and staving off the apocalypse.


Elspeth I agree with you Expy. It bothers me that all of a sudden I feel like I am being preached too in this series.
I hope it's not the new trend.


Wdmoor I'm not sure what all the excitement or concern is about.

Jim Butcher incorporates Greek gods, Norse gods, Mayan gods, Roman gods, and all manner of minor beings worshiped over the years by humankind into the Dresden Files...he even has Santa Claus in there and people are worried he might actually mention the Christian God?


Elspeth No, it's the fact that he has made the Christian God the most supreme. In the start of this series Dresden's faith was magic, and that seems to have been pushed to the sidelines now.


message 32: by Wdmoor (last edited Jun 10, 2014 03:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wdmoor I've read the entire series twice and never once had the sense Jim Butcher was pushing the biblical Christian God. A supreme being or higher power, sure...many deeply irreligious people have no problem with a higher power, just go to an AA or NA meeting. If Dresden's faith is in magic then it's also rooted in nature...and I suspect Butcher has more than a passing interest in Spinoza who viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality.


Experiment BL626 I read the entire series multiple times, and it is towards the latest books that I began to sense of Christian supremacy. You don't sense it is because, as I said, you are a Christian/theist and hold a Christian/theist viewpoint, however far removed from religious practice. Why notice and analyze something familiar, comfortable, and ubiquitous in your walk of life? Imagine if the message was Muslim or Jewish or some other religious supremacy.

The concern is about taste. We do not like to read religious/spiritual fiction, and we do not like one of our favorite series to become one.

Have you read the Anita Blake series? It is similar to this situation. Started out as an urban fantasy, now is a polyamorous erotica. I loathe it when series evolve into another genre.


Elspeth LMAO, yeah I gave up on the Anita Blake series a long ass time ago. I didn't like a few of the men she was with.
I am still not sure I want to go back to the Merry Gentry series. It was getting pretty silly there with her preggers with six different men.


Wdmoor Experiment BL626 wrote: you are a Christian/theist"

Lol, and we haven't even been introduced. Theism also includes Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.


Experiment BL626 I know. I include theist to make my description broad in case Christian wasn't right on target.

@Elspeth
I like the Merry series. I knew where I stand with the series from the get-go, a protagonist trying to get knocked up by her harem. I read the latest one, and she finally gave birth.


Elspeth If you liked it then maybe I will give it another shot. I did like the characters in the Gentry series a lot more than Blake!


Experiment BL626 Just keep your expectations low and shut off your brain. LKH's stuff are like one of those candy bars where you don't care to eat but when you're feeling kinda hungry and a sweet craving, it will do the job.


Elspeth LMAO!
Sounds about right!
:)


message 40: by V (new) - rated it 2 stars

V Completely agree with your review and especially about the heavy handed Christian element. Dresden always claimed to be 'Switzerland' when it came to religion - you are right, this seems to be a departure.


message 41: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony This is kind of crazy. If Michael makes an appearance in a book the book tends to have more of a Christian tilt. If he is not, it's not. If the swords are mentioned, or the Denarians or the church, in passing does this make it too Christian? Even if Uriel makes an appearance it is generally infrequent and brief. The fact is that these characters have been reoccurring throughout the series. Not all the books but probably most of them. It seems strange that everybody has read this series so many times that they NOW have a problem with the Christian element. BOOK FIFTEEN!!! :) Father Forthill was early in the books. Michael was introduced early with the other Knights. The shroud was along time ago. If it was not too heavily Christian back then why is it now suddenly turning into Christian fiction. I don't have an issue with people saying this about the series. Everybody has a right to their opinion obviously. I am willing to bet that there are many people out there who were really bothered by the Christian Elements from the beginning. They more than like didn't get past book five? Saying it now is extremely late. And, if you were saying it 10 or 12 books ago why are you still reading the series.


message 42: by V (new) - rated it 2 stars

V That is true that when Michael is part of the book, obviously there's more of a Christian tilt, but it's usually isn't so heavy handed as it was in this book and "Ghost Story". Like I mentioned before Harry always said he was "Switzerland" and how he knows about things. But now he has 'faith' when things are tough? That seems like a departure. Even 'Small Favors' where Michael was in it, seemed less so. (I loved 'Small Favor' too) I still enjoy the series, most of the 'Christian' element in this book is not what I really have the most trouble with - Harry really needs to grow-up; this self-pity is getting old.


Experiment BL626 Thanks, Vanessa. It's good to hear another reader with the same opinion.

Tony, it wasn't until now that the Christian elements started to annoy me. So for me, it's exactly the right time to complain. Moreover, I find it interesting that you would think the Christian elements are the things that would make me quit the series. I complained about Dresden four more paragraphs and more fervidly than I complained about the Christian elements. This lead me to think you want a religious debate of some sort. Yeah, I'm not that stranger on the Internet for it; try reddit.

Finally, I rated the book 3-stars. I even say it directly in my review: "I rate Skin Game 3-stars for I like it." I like the book. I like the series; it's one of my favorite. Favorite doesn't mean perfect. It's entirely possible to like something as a whole and still not like parts of it. People do it all the time.


Wdmoor A lot of you folks want Harry to change or "grow up". The thing is, as people change and grow, many find a belief in a higher power makes life happier and more satisfying and gives them an increased purpose of life. Jim Butcher is getting older and IMO his writing reflects his growth as a person. That doesn't make him a religious person, that makes him a spiritual person.


Experiment BL626 It's possible to grow up and be all that and not become religious too. Honestly, y'all need to chill with my criticism of the Christian elements. Y'all like it; I and other readers don't. It's fine. Different strokes for different folks. Move on.


Elspeth I think my biggest problem with the Christian elements in the latest books is the fact that Harry's faith seems to be wavering. He talks less about his faith in magic, I think he only mentioned his mothers necklace once in this book, and this bothers me. I don't want to read a book where the really cool super powerful magician gets converted to Christianity. If that is what this series was going to be, it should have been acknowledged at the beginning of the series. Now I am going to get off this soap box, Expy is right go to reddit if you want to argue about religion.

I also agree with you Expy, I liked the book though it is not my favorite of the series by far Summer Knight still holds that title. My biggest issue with this one was the really slow start, and the HUGE pity party Harry was throwing himself!


message 47: by Dima (new) - added it

Dima Melamud Dresden has already demonstrated the ability to create fog in book #2 (Fool Moon)


Experiment BL626 Thank you for the reminder. I wonder why he doesn't use it often...


message 49: by Page (new) - rated it 4 stars

Page I agree with everything regarding Butters. I wanted to strangle him for all the horrible things he said to Harry. And to see him working hand in hand wit Bob?!?!! Ugh, hate him. I did not like that he came to the rescue in the end.

I had the highest of hopes for this book, but it was still good.


message 50: by K (new)

K Self-loathing is a difficult habit to kick. The idea that the protagonist MUST overcome all character flaws to be interesting is, itself, flawed. Especially if it must happen in some crowd-pleasing, narratively expedient manner.


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