Death Masks (The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher: Book Review

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Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he’s getting more than he bargained for:

A duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards…

Professional hit men using Harry for target practice…

The missing Shroud of Turin…

A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified…

Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging. -Goodreads

My Review

My Rating: 5/5


I am so glad that this series continues to be brilliant! Summer Knight shocked me with how good it was, but Death Masks shocked me by being both brilliant and different to the other entries.

I won’t get into specifics because of spoilers, but I will say that Butcher’s character work in this entry to The Dresden Files is beautiful! Harry Dresden has been growing slowly over the past couple of books, and now I am beginning to see him become more nuanced than ever. He loves deeply, isn’t having as many sexist thoughts, and continues to put his life on the line for what he believes is right – no matter the cost to himself. He’s a fantastic character and I’m looking forward to watching him continue to grow in the next few books.

As with the other Dresden books, there are several plot elements that all link together quite well. In this book, however, there is one plotline that sticks to itself for the most part and it ends quite unsatisfactory. I can see how this book is possibly bridging several books together, however that made the plots of this book just feel like introductions to something more. I say “just”, but they were still fast-paced, exciting, and fun to follow!

We are getting so many hints to the future books, which is something Butcher has not done much of in the previous books. I am guessing that this book and the next one or two will be similar in that kind of style before all these threads come nicely together and explode in Harry Dresden’s life! If that’s true, I’m all in, because there is nothing better than a series becoming that epic.

Overall, I am so glad that this book was more of an introduction to a bigger plot, as we got to see so much more of the characters interacting. Harry, Murphy, Michael, Susan, and even Marcone (and Molly who it seems Butcher wanted us to notice? Possible future main character? I hope that theory is right because she’s funny!) have their time in the spotlight and we get to see them for who they really are – I love these characters and I’m glad I got to spend more time with them just being themselves, rather than constantly fighting off werewolves and the like!

Read more of my reviews for The Dresden Files HERE

Storm Front (#1)

Fool Moon (#2)

Grave Peril (#3)

Summer Knight (#4)

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