fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy book review Jim Butcher The Dresden Files Dead BeatDead Beat by Jim Butcher

Mavra, Queen of the Black Vampires, is after “The Word of Kemmler,” the ultimate how-to on being an all-powerful necromancer. Mavra wants it, and is blackmailing Harry into getting it for her. Harry must find this book, while dodging a whole collection of black wizards who are also seeking the tome.

Jim Butcher’s Dead Beat is another one of the “middle” DRESDEN books that I love so much. Just about the time when most series start getting stale, THE DRESDEN FILES gets better.

Dead Beat continues the tradition of one-upping the action from the previous novel. Harry seriously gets to unload on the bad guys, and the battles take place around some of the most iconic Chicago landmarks. While I was at a Jim Butcher book signing, someone asked Jim which of the books he would like to see turned into a motion picture. His answer was Dead Beat. The story is still early enough in the DRESDEN universe to begin a movie with, and the effects and action would be amazing.The Dresden Files Series Kindle Edition

I can’t really tell you any more without spoiling the book, and I’ve said about all I can say about how wonderful this series is in my previous reviews. There is never a dull moment, and the books just keep getting better as Butcher’s craft gets tighter and tighter.

Dead Beat is available in unabridged audio from Penguin Audio. James Marsters is the voice of Harry Dresden. James is best known as Spike from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he is brilliant in Dead Beat, as he is in all the audio DRESDEN FILES have listened to. When I hear Harry in my head while reading, I now hear James Marsters. Penguin has used Marsters in every DRESDEN audiobook to date, and if they are wise it will remain that way.
~Justin Blazier

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBOOK SEVEN?? How is it that this series continues to entertain me, even with its somewhat repetitive structure? I think it’s because Harry’s relationships continue to deepen and become more significant. The reader cares for Harry by now and we just want him to be happy and not alone in the end. Way to go, Butcher. Long live Harry Dresden!

Oh, and the audio is amazing!

~Kat Hooper


  • Justin Blazier

    JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.

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  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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