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Skin Game

The Dresden Files
Narrated by: James Marsters
Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,220 ratings)
Regular price: £18.99
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Summary

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day. As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it's something awful.

This time, it's worse than that. Mab's involved Harry in a smash-and-grab heist run by one of his most despised enemies, to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure horde in the world - which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

Dresden's always been tricky, but he's going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess - assuming his own allies don't end up killing him before his enemies get the chance....

©2014 Jim Butcher (P)2014 Hachette Digital

Critic reviews

PRAISE FOR THE DRESDEN FILES

"Any new Butcher story is a joy" (Tor.com)
"Addictive page-turners" (SciFiNow)
"If there is an author that defines urban fantasy, it is Jim Butcher" (Fresh Fiction)
"Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe" (Entertainment Weekly)
"Butcher's storytelling is satisfying on a level that's bone deep" (Io9)
"Extremely well-written and addictive . . . the best urban fantasy series being published" (Walker of Worlds)
"An outstanding series" (Booklist)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Robyn
  • escaping to another world
  • 09-07-18

Still excellent

Slightly concerned that I may be coming to the end of this series?

I think there has only been one book (Ghost Story) which I felt a little neutral about - the rest have simply ticked all my required listening boxes. The magic stacks, the characters are unique and well developed - and after 15 books, I'm really quite fond of them. This is comfort listening for any fan of magic and the supernatural. James Marsters is excellent as narrator, and has made this series for me.

With Skin Game, there is yet another twist to the series (which is why I'm slightly concerned that there aren't a whole list of books to come in the audible library...). All sorts of new alliances, twists and turns. Nice to see Michael on an outing again - and the scenes with Mouse always make me smile too.

The humour is on form, as always. Definitely a favourite series of books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A Dresden file that delivers!

Would you consider the audio edition of Skin Game to be better than the print version?

Yes I would, James Marsters performance has never been better, especially with the production values on this book, he transition from steady narration to screams and shouts that are alternatively dramatic and intentional comedic gold.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Skin Game?

As with most Dresden stories, there's a hook, a reveal and several moments of true white knuckle peril for the characters, Marsters delivers on all of them. I'm not going into specifics because I feel fellow fans don't want spoilers

Which character – as performed by James Marsters – was your favourite?

Dresden and Goodman Gray are particular well played

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Devil you know can be just as bad...

Any additional comments?

A long running series like this runs a high high risk of becoming stale and repetitive and while there are without doubt formulaic frameworks to the stories, book 15 continues to entertain and impress, characters are not static or two dimensional and have developed over the entire series. Butcher is a master of torturing his characters and bringing them through the hardship stronger, better people in a solid believable fashion. He continues to go from strength to strength with the Dresden Files.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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thoroughly enjoyable

Would you listen to Skin Game again? Why?

I will I find I miss some bits and enjoy finding the nooks and crannies of a good story. I will also buy the hardback copy of this book too.

What other book might you compare Skin Game to, and why?

Faith Hunters, Jane Yellowrock series. Kim Harrison The Hollows series. The Iron Druid series but I prefer to read, rather than listen to that series.

What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He sounds right to my ears his voice is right I noticed that Bob for example now sounds mores like Butters than Dresden which seems appropriate.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What can I say?...............Awesome!!

If your listening to this book then you already know how fantastic (in more than one sense of the word) this series is.
Harry Dresden and James Marsters are a match made in Heaven!!
I can only thank Jim Butcher for filling my time with such consistently brilliant writing!
Long may Harry last and long may he continue getting himself in mountains of trouble!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Skin Game

I always love Jim Butcher's story and as usual James Marsters knocks it out of the park. I listen to this series over and over again and can't wait for the next instalment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Maybe there's hope for Harry Dresden yet

Harry Dresden died, way back in 2010, four books ago, in "Changes - The Dresden Files #12".

That was tough book. Probably the best book in the Dresden Files.

Harry Dresden had no good choices left. He executed the woman he loved knowing that, through this act, he would destroy thousands of people (fairly nasty vampires for the most part) in an instant.

He had good reasons. He saved good people. But all actions have consequences. I assumed, at the end of "Changes" that one of the consequences was no more Harry Dresden.

I should have remembered, long-term Stephen King fan that I am, that sometimes they come back.

Dresden came back as a literal shadow of his former self in "Ghost Story" and then all the way back in "Cold Days" when he transformed fully into "The Winter Knight", a role that he'd previously protected people from.

I started to dislike Dresden in those two books. I admired Jim Butcher for following through on the storyline and the character progression, not just of Dresden but of his friends and his enemies. Dresden's actions in "Changes" had consequences for them all. That didn't prevent me from both disliking the broken Harry Dresden I was being presented with and from mourning the Harry we all used to have: the wizard for hire. the monster killer, the White Council rebel, the man who always tried to do the right thing - which somehow always meant blowing a LOT of stuff up.

Like many of the people around him, I almost walked away from Harry Dresden at the end of "Cold Days".

Then, eighteen months later, "Skin Game" came out and I decided to give it at try as an audiobook.

Good decision.

Dresden is back. Or at least, he's moving in the right direction.

In "Skin Game" Jim Butcher gives us the traditional heroic quest but with a twist: he turns the quest into a heist and heroes into villains, with Harry working with them.

The quest format gives Harry some wonderful set-piece duels against various configurations of bad guys, all described with a vim and gusto that made me smile.

The plotting is truly Byzantine with constantly shifting perspectives on who the good guys are and what the bad guys want and how any of it is going to work out.

Woven into this, sometimes a little heavy-handedly (seriously - let's have a discussion on whether Harry is a monster or not which he over-hears because no one notices that he's no longer unconscious?) are discussions about who Harry has become and what his options are. The usual themes on the possibility of redemption, the need for hope, the opportunity for corruption and the reality of loss are all there. They're also a little more grown-up and a lot darker than they used to be. At one point Dresden says something like: "I used to think I knew a lot about many things but then I got older and I realized that, most of the time, I haven't got a clue about what's going on." Dresden isn't a boy scout any more.

The pace is fairly rapid, accelerating nicely towards the end without becoming hurried. The characters continue to develop in believable ways. The good may win a round or two but the fight doesn't stop. And there are always those decisions to make. The ones with consequences attached.

This time, Harry makes some interesting ones: to start to forgive himself, to allow himself to spend time with his daughter, to let his next steps be guided by hope for the future rather than a need to survive the present.

He's still not the man he was, but I think there's hope for him yet. I've rejoined Team Dresden. I'll be there for The Dresden Files #16 whenever Jim Butcher feels ready to deliver it.

I'll probably also stick the audiobook format. James Marsters does a great job of the narration. He gets Dresden^s dry humour perfectly and provides credible voices for all the characters. And hey, I now know how to say: "Forzare" and "Parkour". True, it's not knowledge I'll ever get the chance to use in public but sometimes it's the knowing that counts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Jim Butcher does it again

Would you listen to Skin Game again? Why?

Yes I will listen to this book again and again. THe Harry Dresden series is fantastic and the choice of James Marsters as the narator was inspired.

What did you like best about this story?

I have been a fan of the Dresden books for years and this latest addition takes the story to the next level - the reationship between Dresden and Murphy, Dresdens two daughters, Butters coming into his own - a good read

Have you listened to any of James Marsters’s other performances? How does this one compare?

James Marsters performance is without flaw - he is a superb narator who brings the charactes to life.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Supernatural skullduggery in Hades

Any additional comments?

The combination of Jim Butchers story telling and James Marsters naration make this a highly enjoyable book - can't wait for the next one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lara
  • Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
  • 24-07-14

It never disapoints!

What made the experience of listening to Skin Game the most enjoyable?

The text. The story. James Marsters, he's Harry.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harry, as usual. The constant struggle within himself, that curiously never gets boring.

What does James Marsters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

As said before he's Harry. He knows how to pull a joke or a punch line. And his voice is perfect for the character. For the people who were used to hear him as Spike it comes as a big surprise, a good one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Without giving much away, the scene with Maggie is particularly special

Any additional comments?

Read the complete series. If you like the genre, it's the most amazing that was written so far. Can't wait for the next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Parkour!

A fantastic read, it grips you the whole way through and doesn't let go till the tide is over.

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Marsters is masterful

Jim writes great stories and this is as good as any of the Dresden files. James’ narration takes them to another level. The two together make some of the best audio books I have...
Look for Jim but check for James!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-19

Great heist story

This is the final book in the Dresden Files (so far) and is a reread, hoping that rumours of the next book coming this year are true.
Harry faces overwhelming odds as he is loaned out by Mab to one of his arch enemies to assist in the heist of a valuable artifact.
Good story telling. James Marsters does a super job narrating, as usual.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-01-19

Awesome

amazing, best book in the series. Jim butcher has done it again. l love Harry.

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  • daryl
  • 16-11-15

Another solid addition to the Dresden Files.

An excellent reading by the voice of Harry Dresden (I've decided that is now James Marsters persona). I've blitzed through 7gh all 15 audio books in the main series this past month and love them all.

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  • misstrishhhh
  • 29-06-15

Fantastic!

James Marsters gives a brilliant performance of a beautifully written story. Everyone should experience this!

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  • david
  • 27-04-15

Another fantastic read

This was as expected awesome. As always Jim Butcher is a genius and brings the reader to a remarkable world and story. James Master does a great performance as usual and is well suited to the story. A must listen book :)

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  • Glenecollins
  • 04-03-15

Exalent story told brilliantly

I love the Dresden files and the narration is as excellent as always. X x x x x x x

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  • Andy
  • 19-06-14

Best Dresden book yet!

If you could sum up Skin Game in three words, what would they be?

Non stop action!

What did you like best about this story?

One of the best Dresden Files books in the series. Liked how it brings back so many characters from previous books and intertwines them in ways I didn't see coming.

What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

He nailed Dresden again!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Hell's Bells man!

Any additional comments?

Keep them coming!

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  • Denis
  • 14-06-14

Jim Butcher scores again

Where does Skin Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the highest.

Who was your favorite character and why?

At this point? All of them really.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

That's pretty much what I did.

Any additional comments?

Jim Butcher and James Marsters created something wonderful, again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 10-06-14

Will not disappoint

Jim Butcher delivers another fantastic Dresden file. This book completes brings a couple of long story arcs to a satisfying and in some cases surprising close, only to throw a few more spanners in the works and leave us eagerly anticipating the next chapter.

There is some excellent character development with moments to both cringe and cheer for our favourite good guys. Plus plenty of Dresden wit and very up to date pop culture references to keep us amused, one in particular almost groan worthy but both hilarious and uplifting at the same time.

As always five stars for James Masters narration. Flawless character definition, comedic timing and every emotion where it should be.

The only flaw is the time we will now have to wait for the story to continue.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Todd
  • 05-06-14

The Denarians return

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only wizard-for-hire and Knight of the Winter Court is back for more supernatural action. This time he is called upon by Queen Mab to assist in breaking into the most heavily fortified vault in existence: the personal vault of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Harry must ally himself with Nicodemus and the Denarians in the heist, courtesy of a debt required to be repayed by Mab to the fallen angel.

The story starts slower than is usual for the series, with a lot of character introductions and planning of the heist. It isn’t until the last third of the book that the mayhem the series is known for breaks out, and once we get there it is worth the ride. Harry is as wise-cracking in his smartassery as always and we even see the return of an old friend to watch his back.

Marsters is back to narrate again and does a steller job as always. He is hands down one of the best in the business and his personality lends every character a lot of weight. But he really shines when voicing Dresden. His voice has just the right tone to convey every nuance of the character. Now the arduous wait for the next novel begins…

0 of 1 people found this review helpful