I finally read the latest installment in the Harry Dresden Files, called Death Masks, by Jim Butcher.
My initial assessment is that it is not quite as good as previous books, although it still ranks among some of my favorite fantasy books.
In this book, Harry has to face several opponents, which, at times, I must admit, got confusing. There would be a sort of ending to a particular story line, and then, you're, like, "Oh, yeah...he still has to deal with this other thing."
His "almost-vampire" girlfriend Susan makes a reappearance and things get extremely warm. Ok, hot. Scorching.
"Gentleman" Johnny Marcone is back as a bad guy. No, wait, a good guy. No, wait, aw forget it. He's there, anyway.
We meet three more Knights of the Cross and just as we're getting to know them, oops. Can't tell you that. Wouldn't want to give anything away.
The major plot of this book is "Somebody stole the frickin' Shroud of Turin??" Yes, the very one. Oddly enough, when you find out why, it's a rather tear-jerking experience. In fact, there were several spots in this book that I was moved to tears. That's unusual for Mr. Butcher.
One disappointing aspect. Bob makes only ONE appearance in this book. BOO!! BOO!! Bad Jim Butcher.
And Toot?? Nowhere to be found! Phooey! Perhaps they will be back in the next one.
Something tells me that we haven't seen the last of Nicodemus. He was quite the formidable foe, pretty much indestructable. Harry doesn't really beat him so much as get away from him with his life. And Nicky's daughter Dedre? (I know, I spelled it wrong...I'm too lazy to get up and get the book.) Let's just say you wouldn't want to be bringing HER home to mother...
Overall, I would give this book a strong four out of five stars. Maybe even four-and-a-half. Just not quite five. Sorry Jim. I did love it, though.
Very sleepy, now. Must go get some sleep.
Currently, I am reading two books. One is What Matters Most Is How You Walk Through the Fire, by Charles Bukowski. It's poetry.
Yes, I said poetry, and shut up.
Don't make me come over there.
The other book is called Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge. So far I'm liking it a good bit. Lindsey gave it to me. For my birthday, I think. Or maybe Christmas. Yeah, I think it was Christmas. Can't remember. Sorry Linz...don't take it personally. But we were in California on my birthday, so I don't think it was then.
One more thing before I doze off. We are more serious than ever, I think, about going to Hawaii next March. One of the places were are considering is HERE.
Aloha, boys and girls.
And the band played on...