Death from The Book Thief and Hades here would get along.

Skin Game, A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher; 2014; $27.95; 454 pages; A Roc book, New York, NY; SF; 978-0-451-46439-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 6/22/14-6/24/14

Harry is busy training for Parkour and being Warden of his own private demon island prison, when Mab, Queen of Winter has a job for him that he can’t refuse because he is the Winter Night.  He is tasked to help Nicodemus break into a secure vault in the underworld.  He is aligned with several people and supernatural beings with whom he has done battle with before. He has his usual cast of supporting characters backing him up although his brother Thomas is only mentioned.  He finally figures out that Nic is trying to steal the Holy Grail and it’s not being guarded by a Templar Knight in Jordan, but is in an extremely secure vault in Hades’ Kingdom.  Harry keeps Nic from getting 4 other artifacts that are as powerful as the Grail and has a very interesting conversation with Hades.

Grade-A

Did I like it?  Yes, it is packed with action, humor and all kinds of double crosses and shades of grey and all kinds of supernatural creatures.  The only problem with this book is that it ended and now I have to wait at least a year for another one.

What is with the title?  Death in The Book Thief is one of the most compassionate characters ever written and Hades is a very compassionate character also.

 

Akin to Harry Dresden

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey; 2009; $22.99; 388 pages; eos, New York, NY; 978-0-06-171430-6; fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 12/23-12/25

Why did I pick this up?  Someone had told me if liked the Harry Dresden books that I should try this series.

What is the story?  Stark got sent to Hell 11 years ago without dying and managed to survive.  While there he was like the gladiator that would not die facing all kinds of enemies.  When he comes back to Earth he is looking for those who sent him to hell and wants revenge on them.  While doing that he helps save the world, make some friends and learn a lot about himself.

Did I like it?  Yes, Stark is Harry Dresden without the humor and without so many friends.  He is a one man wrecking crew.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Stark is a magical being like Dresden and battles supernatural enemies here on the earthly plain.

Wow another life change

Cold Days by Jim Butcher; 2012; $27.95; 515 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46440-8; Science Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 7/6-7/10

Why did I pick this up?  Because I really like this series and this book gets me current on the series.

What is the story?  Harry is now the Winter Knight and is given an assignment by his Queen to kill an immortal.  However, of course, that is just one of the things he has to contend with in addition to an island jail, a battle that makes the ones from Lord of the Rings look boring, a parasite in his brain and trust issues.  All of Harry’s friends and supporting cast are here although some new characteristics come out in some of them.  More than one immortal dies and Harry and his friends are changed forever.

Did I like it?  Yes, it is good to see the gang again and see how they have all changed through the events of the last couple of books.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  In addition to Harry’s life changing several of the main characters lives change, but one very close to Harry undergoes a major life change.

The X-Men and Show Tunes

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher; 2011; $27.95; 477 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46379-1; Fiction, Police, Supernatural; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 5/13-5/14

Why did I pick this up?  Because of the way the previous book, Changes, ended, I wanted to read this right away.

What is the story?  Harry mysteriously died at the end of the last book and spends this entire book doing two things.  One  is evaluating his life so far and beginning to understand the ramifications of his actions in his previous adventures. Two is helping his family and friends battle an evil that is trying to take over Chicago.  What happens in this story will have long range ramifications for Harry, Murphy, Molly and a few others.

Did I like it?  Yes, it was a interesting adventure with the usual amounts of humor and horror among other things.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  During the course of the story Harry likens his ghost like abilities to various X-Mens’ abilities and at one point uses a song from West Side Story to calm himself down.

Never ever saw that coming

Changes by Jim Butcher; 2010; $25.95; 441 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46317; Fiction; Checked out from the Multnomah County Library, Northwest; 5/8-5/10

Why did I pick this up?  Because I enjoy the adventures of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden and trying to get current in the series.

What is the story?  Harry learns that he and Susan Rodriguez are the proud parents of a little girl, Maggie.  He learns because Susan comes to him for help when the Vampire Red Court kidnaps Maggie to use in a ritual to remove Harry and his family from being a thorn in their side.  Harry enlists Murphy, Thomas, Molly and others to help him battle the vampires.  In trying to get other wizards to help him he makes an exciting discovery about his mentor Ebenezar McCoy.  He also has to make a difficult decision at the conclusion of the book which involves someone very close to him.  There is a fake climax and then the actual climax leaves you with your fingernails hanging on the edge of a  cliff.

Did I like it?  These books combine humor, adventure, the supernatural, police work and even a little romance into a entertaining time spent with the characters. Oh and another thing I really like is that things change, the status quo is never the same from book to book.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  A couple of things happen in the book that I never imagined, which is just like life.