The last thing wizard Harry Dresden wants to do is work for an evil supernatural psychopath. Unfortunately, he’s been conscripted to find something quite valuable, and there’s little he can do about it.

“Imagine Smaug’s treasure hoard. Now imagine Smaug with crippling levels of obsessive-compulsive disorder and fanatic good taste.”

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Now he’s got to figure out how to stay alive under a boss who wants to dispose of him, while breaking into a secure vault… which happens to be located in the underworld.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

The Dresden Files are quintessential urban fantasy books, filled with humor and geeky references. This particular one was nominated by it’s fans for the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Rating (4 stars)

Some books change your life, others amuse and entertain you. I couldn’t live without either. Skin Game falls into the latter category and was a perfect book for reading in a hammock on a hot summer’s day.

This is the first Dresden Files book I’ve read (read as part of my 2015 Hugo Awards analysis), and although I could tell there were some references to past adventures snuck in, it was a wholly self-contained story that worked well even for a newbie like me (but I am curious about that Volkswagon Beatle referenced…). The next time I need a fun and fast read, I’ll be sure to check out others in the series.

To me, Harry Dresden feels a bit like a modern urban Indiana Jones, if Jones was a professional wizard, rather than archeologist. His manly bravado is a little exaggerated as is his competence. If I may be forgiven for comparing outside of genre fiction, he reminds me a bit of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt; he may get beat up a lot, but you never feel he is in any actual danger.

Even in the midst of the spell-slinging, supernatural action, the book is peppered with humor and pop culture references that will make many a geek smile. If you’re looking for a straightforward urban fantasy adventure with plenty of lighthearted moments, this is the one. It may not be deep, but it is well-written entertainment.