As promised last week, this week I’ve decided to cover the second book of “The Dresden Files.” I finished reading it before my Miami trip ended and I’m already a good way through the third book as we speak. But for now, let’s take a look at “Fool Moon” and see how it holds up.
From the title and given the source material, you can probably deduce that this book has something to do with werewolves (I know I did even before my fiance mentioned it). The plot involves Harry Dresden once again helping Murphy on a case involving what appears to be a serial killer werewolf or possible imitator. Along the way, Dresden gets tangled up in both the mob and a variety of werewolf factions, making it harder to figure out who the culprit is. Will he find and stop the killer before he or the people around him meet a bloody end?
Plotwise, I enjoyed this book even more than the first. While I still prefer vampires (no, not the sissy Twilight ones) over werewolves as my monster of choice, I liked the representations involved with the story. You have the magically-induced hexenwolves, the seemingly more “traditional” werewolves, lycanthropes, and the fabled loup-garou, just to give you a taste of how many are in this. It was a little daunting at first keeping track of them all and also the people involved, but Jim Butcher did a good job at making them stand out from each other. I definitely didn’t expect the culprit until the reveal, and the book has an intense climax and ending that left me feeling satisfied.
A few things carry over from the first book as well, such as Harry’s friendship with Murphy now being strained due to him appearing untrustworthy to her. He also gets in a pseudo relationship with Susan, one that appears to be very physical from the brief mentions of it. Their status as a couple is outlined a bit better from what I’ve seen in the third book, but I can’t help thinking how much more interesting it would’ve been if she had been a fresh face from the first book for him and not just someone for us to meet. That’s not to say I dislike Susan, because I do think she’s a good character and I love that she’s a reporter given my own college background. I just feel their relationship, as presented in this book, wasn’t very defined. Though, to be fair, it’s not the main focus of either story and I’m glad Butcher tends to keep things focused on the mystery occurring within the book.
I found the supporting characters even more interesting in this story, particularly that of Tera, a werewolf who has a connection to the case and aids Harry whenever necessary. I found her mysterious and honestly pretty cool, and if she were to ever pop up in the future, I’d be happy. Many of the werewolf characters in general were interesting, and I’ve been told at least one of them returns in a later book, which I’m hoping will give them more characterization.
If I had to nitpick, aside from my minor grievance with the Harry/Susan relationship, there are two things I can pick on. The first would be a character introduced in the first chapter, Kim Delaney. We’re told she was mentored by Harry, but this is our first time meeting her and she very quickly “leaves” the book as quickly as she came in. Aside from minor plot relevance later, we don’t learn a whole lot about her and it would have been nice if she was a character we’d met in the first book to make a real connection with. As such, she just felt like a wasted opportunity.
The second thing is something I’ve noticed even since the first book, but I felt it was more noticeable here. On a technical level, there are a few glaring spelling mistakes in the book. I’ve even spotted at least one while reading the third, and I have to wonder if it was an oversight by the editor. I’m usually not a stickler for grammar, but when it comes to spelling, it just kinda irks me a little and makes me think, “I could’ve totally done a better job.”
That being said, despite some really minor flaws, I really liked “Fool Moon.” There was even more action, the various werewolves were fun to both learn about and get to know, the true culprit caught me off-guard in a good way, and the main characters and even supporting ones are once again well-written. I’ll be back in a couple weeks time (possibly even before Christmas) to go over the third installment.
Until then, I give “Fool Moon” a solid 9/10.