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Fool Moon (Dresden Files) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2001
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I do dislike the poorly defined magic system, but it's nice that usually the epic saving moment isn't because Dresden finds some new magic reserve, or some new undefined magic object that fell into his lap.
My FAVORITE parts of this series is how typically to solve the current issue, Harry digs himself a little deeper in with a different wrong crowd. He has a very twisted sense of morality and things he would and wouldn't do, and he's not afraid to deal with the devil if he keeps himself free of another faction or two. And as part of that, each book builds on that last promise of power (with strings of course). Also, Butcher isn't afraid to seriously and permanently damage his characters, which is very nice and refreshing. No one is safe, everyone is getting scars, and people die. As much as its fantasy, it keeps it real in that no matter what happens in life, people do get hurt and those pains have consequences.
Amazing book series, even if it takes 1-2 books to really get into what Butcher is doing with his characters. I promise its worth it. The last 3 books are WAY better than the first in my opinion, but you absolutely need all the backstory and character building/events you witness first hand in the early books.
Oh and don't forget the dinosaur. Oh yeah, it's bada......
But despite all this, Murphy does eventually have to call in Dresden to consult on a strange homicide - one that appears to be so savage, it looks like an animal attack. But given the scope of things, it also seems to indicate the possibility of a werewolf. But the FBI is also involved in the case given a recent string of similar murders and Murphy is unable to do much given an Internal Affairs investigation as a result of her involvement in the last case. Thus Dresden decides to do the best that he can to help out given his unique magical gifts.
I appreciate the fact that the incidents in Storm Front had such a significant effect on Dresden's status quo. It's far too easy for these book series to stick to the episodic format of status quo - adventure - status quo every time. Here the significance of the deaths involved in the last case resulted in some major consequences for various characters here. And thus things aren't quite the same at all. As much as Dresden does in fact have a new adventure of sorts to embark upon, he also has to deal with Murphy's lack of trust in him, which is rather significant to his sense of well-being.
And the case itself is rather fascinating as well - an unusual exploration of the world of werewolves. And given how early on Bob the spirit explains that there are several types of werewolves out there, the list of werewolves acts like Chekhov's gun this time around. The list has been provided and thus you know that Harry is eventually going to have to deal with every single type of werewolf as he tries to get to the bottom of things. And as much as many readers may predict this, the manner in which they are revealed is sure to surprise folks.
And that's really what has me enjoying these books so much. Butcher is able to take many familiar concepts like movie monsters and good old-fashioned detective work and yet present them in a manner that is new and quite striking. And you can really feel the weight of every decision that Dresden makes whether it involves lying to Murphy one again or tapping into his dwindling magic reserves.
And yes, I love how limited the magic system is and how this book builds on the concepts established the last time around. Magic is not a be-all, end-all cure to things and thus despite him being a Wizard, Harry still needs to put a lot of work into getting things done. And this particular case pretty much has Harry on his last legs more than once as he tries to survive the many threats involved in this case. And the whole thing is just brilliant to behold.
Fool Moon is an amazing story and one that had me on the edge of my seat more than a few times throughout the book. It's amazingly well-written and quite the follow-up to the first book.
To be fair, I’m not much of a werewolf fan, unless we’re talking about old black and white werewolf movies, so this book started out with a disadvantage, but because I enjoyed the first one I was prepared to like this one just as well.
Since the last book, Harry finds himself with little to do and on the outs with Murphy and the Chicago PD. So of course he’s got money problems, no surprise there. During the full moon, there were several killings, and Murphy calls him to consult. Marcone tries to hire him, but Dresden sticks by his principles and turns the mobster down. He puts together a report on werewolves, which I did find interesting. The book’s system of werewolf lore made the storyline more interesting for me. His relationship to Murphy, who has gotten into trouble from the events in the last book, continues to go from bad to worse.
What I liked:
It’s interesting because some of the things that I like about the book I also dislike about the book. It’s sort of a weird push and pull thing that’s going on.
I do like recurring characters: so Murphy, Carmichael, and Marcone return. Marcone’s a bad dude but there is something likable about him. It real life he’d scare the hell out of me. I like Murphy. She’s someone I can identify with—a strong woman who keeps going against all odds. When she’s knocked down she gets up again. Although I don’t care for werewolves, I did like the details of various kinds and degrees of werewolves. I really can’t go into the details without giving too much away, but we are privy to at least four kinds with a lovely, but bitter sweet, twist at the end.
The action and fast paced story continued in this book. Unless you just hate the story, it’s pretty hard to get bored. There’s enough violence, action, and blowing things up to move the story right along.
Where I got bogged down:
Dresden’s macho attitude and complete inability to maintain a relationship get annoying. So, many times I was saying, “Really?” He breaks rules when it suits him, but he doesn’t have the brains to tell Murphy the truth and continues to alienate her.
Which leads me to, his sense of the noble knight saving the maiden in distress. In today’s world, a man with a little bit chivalry is nice, but excessive amounts turn men into annoying asses. Yes, I’m a woman, and I like men to open door, be polite, and behave like gentle men, but Dresden’s excessive attitudes toward women errs on the side of slighting the women he thinks he’s protecting. Also, at times, he seems like a fourteen-year-old boy who doesn’t know when to keep his smarts remarks to himself. A little snarkiness goes a long way. I want to like him, but he makes it hard.
By the end of the book, he has Murphy pissed off, again, and has slighted most of the other characters. I want to tell Susan to run far, far away, and get her stories from someone else. However, by the end, he does rethink things and seems to be reconsidering his relationship with Murphy. I’ve bought the first four books, so I’ll keep reading in hopes that Dresden steps up in the maturity department.