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Death Masks

Book Notes

The Dresden Files, book 5

Rereading books you've read before is always interesting, because you pick up on details you missed the previous times. Good books are ones where you learn something new, find something new to reflect upon, or revisit a thought you had before when reading the book previously.

I am rather enjoying rereading the Dresden series. I keep noticing details I might have missed before, subtle foreshadowing (or deliberate referral in later books by Butcher), and entertaining parts in the series.

This is the book that introduces Nicodemus, along with Ortega, Ivy, Kincaid, and Shiro. We see Susan Rodriguez again, which gives Dresdent some relief from the overbearing (and I'd argue misplaced) guilt he had in previous books. We have Michael Carpenter and Sanya, and oh boy this is one of those books in the series where we are introduced to just so many players in the game.

I enjoyed this book, and keep it as fan in the recommend column. If you're a Dresden fan, you won't be disappointed. I don't know how you'd take urban fantasy, though, if you prefer historical crime non-fiction, say.

Based on my notes in the book, I'm amused by a typo that's been around for a while.

The priest left my car almost before I’d set the parking break, hurried to the nearest door, and ducked inside as quickly as he could open the lock."
Page 24

Pretty sure that was supposed to be a parking brake.

And why this book is called UC_Death Masks on both kindle and audible, I will likely never know. Annoys me when I'm looking for the book.

“So if you’re not religious, you risk your life to help other people because…?”

“Because it must be done,” he answered without hesitation. “For the good of the people, some must place themselves in harm’s way. Some must pledge their courage and their lives to protect the community.”
Page 74

Sanya is awesome.

“Perhaps some could argue that I am agnostic.”


“One who does not commit himself to the certain belief in a divine power,” he said.

“I know what it means,” I said. “What shocks me is that you think it applies to you. You’ve met more than one divine power. Hell, one of them broke your arm not half an hour ago.”

“Many things can break an arm. You yourself said that you do not need a god or goddess to define your beliefs about the supernatural.”

Page 75

“But there is a better choice.”


“Don’t fight. Can’t lose a fight you don’t have.”
Page 177

“Fighting is never good. But sometimes necessary.”
Page 177

"The blood on their hands does not make it right to bloody my own. My choices are measured against my own soul. Not against the stains on theirs."
Page 297

How many times do we make poor choices because of others' actions? Realizing that each is responsible for his own actions, and that we are responsible for ours, and can choose only our own responses not others responses, can help us make fewer of those poor choices.

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.
Page 373


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