The Dresden Files #7
by Jim Butcher
narrated by James Marsters
15 hours, 8 minutes
Book published by Roc in 2006
Audiobook published by Penguin Audio, 2010
WHO: Harry Dresden, wizard and licensed detective…
WHAT: deals with the threat of necromancers…
WHERE: who have come into Chicago…
WHEN: on Halloween (when the threshold between the mortal and preternatural world is low) – and incidentally also Harry’s birthday…
WHY: to cast a mega-spell that will create a demi-god of one of the necromancers…
HOW: by harnessing the power of dead spirits and following the Word of Kemmlar, a book of a very powerful past necromancer.
+ The Dresden Files is a terribly uneven series, but this is one of the better ones. Butcher has pared down the cast of characters to a manageable size and, nicely balanced the action and comedy.
+ The plot lines are always interesting in that they are creative, original and clever. C’mon! Zombies! Necromancers! A Fallen Angel! A dinosaur named Sue and… Mouse!
+ There were no obvious continuity errors, as past novels in the series tend to be fraught with.
– But it must be said that Butcher also tends to dwell overmuch on the pathos of Harry and, the action scenes always require a bit of forgiveness on the part of the reader or listener in terms of choreography.
+ James Marsters has a wonderfully rich voice that lends itself directly to the character of Harry, meaning that the listener detects no delineation between the narrator and the character.
– Over time, the distinctiveness of each in the cast of characters has leveled off (e.g. Bob seems to sound less British as the series continues.)
– There is a neat plot twist involving one of the characters but the revelation falls a little flat. Because the scenes which would have teased the listener weren’t shaped to cue the listener with a little tell, or were underplayed, the twist is anti-climatic.
I purchased and dnloaded a digital copy of Dead Beat (by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters) from the now defunct audiobook dnload web-site, weread4you.com on 11/23/2011. I loved their discounted prices and expanding selections, but always had a problem playing the files: At any given point during the listening experience, the audio would jump back to the beginning of the file playing or, ahead to the next file. I never did find a fix for this issue and had to deal with it several times during this listening experience. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
I have challenged myself to read forty books this summer. Many books will be backlist titles as I’m trying to clear the stacks; but I have no doubt that new releases will make their way in too! 😉