Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
Author: Jim Butcher
Narrator: James Marsters
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Dresden Files #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery
Ortega, Duke of the Red Vampire Court, comes to town to kill Dresden and stop the war between the Red Court and the White Wizard Counsel. He vows that if Dresden accepts a fair duel (to the death), and Dresden wins, Chicago will become a neutral territory, with his friends off limits (as long as they are in Chicago). Suspicious of his true intentions, Harry feels him must accept the terms Ortega offers.
Meanwhile, the Vatican sent a priest to Chicago in hopes of retrieving a famous artifact that was stolen from Northern Italy and brought to Chicago. Against the direct recommendations of his friend Michael and fellow Knights of the Cross, Harry accepts the task of finding the missing shroud. Toss in the fact that Harry’s lover, Susan, has returned to town to say goodbye, and Harry finds himself in yet another crazy mess.
Not only are the two stories equally compelling, but the overall book is full of heart. Dresden has cleaned up his act, and learn from his last adventure that friends do matter. Harry hasn’t changed significantly, but he’s no longer isolating himself. He has wonderful dialogue and scenes with other characters that add tremendous value to the stories. Additionally, more emotion in Dresden translates into more emotion in me, causing me to care deeply about what happens to the various characters.
The other positive in Death Masks is that we see hidden sides and different aspects of several characters. The added depth makes me only want more and more. Plus, there were bits and pieces tossed out there, never really addressed, leaving openings for many potentially wondrous and horrible things to come.
Once again, the narration by James Marsters is amazing. His performance of Harry alone is sublime, but his range of voices and depth of expressions only seems to be expanding. Mr. Marsters really nailed young children and various accents in this one.
In the end I really, really enjoyed Death Masks! We got to see a more human and emotional Dresden. I was completely engaged both with both stories and Dresden’s relationships with his friends, enemies, and his lover returned. I found some scenes a bit confusing, but overall, the dueling plots allowed Dresden to showcase his magical and investigative sides. The ending left doors wide open, and I suspect that we will see many themes/plots and characters returning.