Chicago’s only professional wizard is about to have a very bad day in the latest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files…
As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry Dresden never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
Mab has traded Harry’s skills to pay off a debt. And now he must help a group of villains led by Harry’s most despised enemy, Nicodemus Archleone, to break into a high-security vault so that they can then access a vault in the Nevernever.
Problem is, the vault belongs to Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld. And Dresden is dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess…
“You’re going to have to trust me on this one,” I replied. “There’s always something. It doesn’t matter how smooth you are, or how smart the plan is, or how plain the mission–something goes wrong. Nothing’s ever simple. That’s how it works.”
Oof, I don’t remember this book being such a gutpunch.
Skin Game takes The Dresden Files back to its original form, prior to what it was like before Ghost Story. The past two books just have not been quite there, though the last one came close. Skin Game just has everything you expect out of a Dresden Files novel again. It was so much fun. And emotionally perilous.
Dresden has a lot of problems. He is slowly being killed by a parasite in his brain, and he only trusts Molly to take care of it for him. Only, Mab has been blocking Molly’s help, until now. She has a job for him, and if he does it he’ll let his messages get to Molly again.
Dresden has to work with Nicodemus Archleone, a foe from the past. Nicodemus wants to acquire something from Hades’ treasure vaults. That’ll end well. Dresden knows Nicodemus is going to betray him, and Nicodemus knows Dresden is going to betray him. It is a game of who can out think the other..and sadly Dresden has come up short on this skill on many previous occasions.
Skin Game was also really, really cool. There are moments of downtime, where Dresden is sleeping or preparing for what is to come next. But that downtime is punctuated by amazing encounters, awesome revelations, and fascinating twists. And lots and lots of snark.
There was so much more to Skin Game than even this. Harry’s loyalties and motivations are questioned. Especially while working with someone evil. Things don’t go according to plan. People get hurt. Factions realign or get reaffirmed. It’s a really BIG book.
But all that pales to the emotional toll this takes. On Harry. On his friends. On his enemies. On me. I don’t remember sobbing while reading this book the first time I read it, but I did this time.