Death Masks (Dresden Files 5)
“It isn’t good to hold on too hard to the past. You can’t spend your whole life looking back. Not even when you can’t see what lies ahead. All you can do is keep on keeping on, and try to believe that tomorrow will be what it should be—even if it isn’t what you expected.”
Still in the midst of war between the vampires, Harry is now being invited into a duel to the death with Ortega of the Red Court. Add to that, he is commissioned by Father Vincent to look for the Shroud of Turin and return it to the church. The Knights of the Cross on the other hand asks Harry to back off from finding the Shroud – as if Harry would ever listen to them, right? There is something darker than just mere artifact trade and Harry is in no way backing off from finding out the truth. Hell’s bells, it’s just another day for the local wizard.
I think the series is getting better and interesting with each book. Although some elements/plot twists are derived from its predecessors, I still think it deserves the right to be read and enjoyed.
- The Knights of the Cross – in the earlier books, Michael is introduced as one of the three knights and here the remaining two knights are revealed – Sanya, a young Russian, and Shiro, a Japanese knight and mentor of the two.
- The Archive is also a new character that I am looking forward to seeing in the next books. The Archive is a sole being who withholds all information and record of all events that has happened in the world. She acts as a neutral character who oversees the negotiations on the duel.
- The Denarians are a new group Harry has fought against. Their group here is described as more evil than the vampires and since their leader, Nicodemus, was not killed, I think their quest for having Harry’s head off in the succeeding books will be something to look forward to.
- Susan has finally shown herself to Harry. This comes as a surprise since I was beginning to think that Susan’s character will just eventually die out in the succeeding books (more like forgotten as the time comes) but I guess I was wrong. Her return actually didn’t give Harry the closure he needs to overcome his depression and longing for her – it just made him want her more.
- Marcone’s character reappears in the series as well and this time he has decided to team up with Harry – with his best intentions put first of course. Of course, as if Marcone is helping for the good of mankind, still unlikely. But his softer and more human side was shown here and I cannot help but think that he too is dealing with personal problems of his own. He just knows damn well how to hide it.
- The addition of new characters in the series is done with utmost care. Although new characters are introduced in each book, there still is a connection between each and their importance is reflected throughout the series so far.
- As usual, Harry still is the type to get almost killed before being able to think of something to get his ass off from trouble. I’m still hopeful to see something different than this. It’s either he gets shot or beaten up badly, passes out and wakes up somewhere where he is tended to by his closest friends.
“I did the only thing any reasonable wizard could have done. I turned around and ran like hell.”