Reviews: Death Masks

Falters a Little, But Still Very Good

In case you didn't read my review of the last book, let me start by saying that Summer Knight was awesome. Everything in it worked. Sadly, Death Masks isn't quite as good, but for the most part it still works. Susan's return helps resolve Harry's issues, and it's nice to see her wanting to do something about her condition, and save others from the same fate. Duke Ortega is an interesting character, as it's a long while before we realize he's actually Faux Affably Evil. Plus, we get the first reappearance of Thomas Raith, and a great reminder of how fun he is. Ivy and Kincaid prove to be very intriguing, and I hope they appear more often. The other two Knights of the Cross finally make them selves known, and both are great. Sanya is particularly hilarious, a Fist of God who's skeptical of his existence is just the kind of absurd humor The Dresden Files is best at. However, the Denarians are not particularly interesting, and neither was their plot. By the time I had gotten to the end of the book, I had stopped caring about their plan, and wished the main plot had been the duel with Ortega. Nicodemus may be smart, but he's ultimately just an evil villain who happens to have read the Evil Overlord List. He's just not very interesting. The others barely do anything, though Cassius is appropriately snake-like. The final battle was a major step back from the last book, and honestly felt very small compared to a lot of the other things Harry has had to do so far. But my biggest criticism is a really simple one: why is this book called Death Masks? There aren't any masks at all in this! What's being masked? The villains plan? Ortega's true nature? Susan's feelings for Harry? Death has nothing to do with any of those! So why call it this? Okay, that's admittedly a nitpick, but it still bugged me, and even several weeks later, I still can't figure it out. Still, this book was pretty good, and at the very least is better than Grave Peril. Thankfully, the missteps made here are rectified ast the series goes on.