Review of audiobook
Reading Level: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Pages: 372 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
This is the sixth book in the Dresden Files series of urban fantasies about Harry Dresden, a private investigator in Chicago who is also a powerful wizard. This time around, the start of all Harry’s troubles happens when a friend of his, Thomas Raith, a White Court Vampire (there are three kinds, White, Red and Black Court), asks him to investigate deaths on a movie set of a close friend of Thomas. They seem to be accidents, but they are so bizarre that Thomas thinks are caused by black magic.
This book strongly advances the relationship between Thomas and Harry in a fascinating way. As always, the action is continuous, with the thrills continually escalating.
The sound quality of this audio recording is excellent and it is an unabridged version of the book. It is narrated by actor James Marsters, best known for playing the character Spike, a platinum-blond, British vampire in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series Angel, between 1997 and 2004. Marsters does an outstanding job on every part of the reading, making listening in that regard a real pleasure. If he had not been a good reader, it would have been hard for me to sit through the full book–bad readers can destroy one’s pleasure in even the most wonderful novel. I am extremely grateful for Mr. Marsters’s reading talents not just for their own sake, but because experiencing this novel as an audiobook gave me the opportunity to admire Jim Butcher’s writing even more than I did before–which I did not think was possible. In my experience of listening to audio versions of books, very few of them can stand up to the intense focus of being read aloud, which is much slower than reading silently to oneself. This relative snail’s pace acts to draw attention to every problem of dialogue, pacing and plot.
I am happy to report that under that intense spotlight, I experienced not a single flaw in this book.
I am not a person who often reads a book more than once–too much to read and far too little time. But this book was definitely worth experiencing twice. And owning this recording means I may listen to it far more times than that in the future.
I rate this book as follows:
Action-Adventure Plot: 5
Audiobook Narration: 5