“I had to smile at the man. I mean, you have to smile at idiots and children.”
A novel should be able to stand on its own, regardless of if the series as a whole is amazing and ground-breaking. Fool Moon is not that.
Harry Dresden is still scrounging around for some pocket change to survive on. Wizardry tactics are as heavy as ever, alchemy and mysteries going hand in hand. But instead of an evil wizard ready to kill the guy, it’s werewolves. Lots of werewolves.
It takes about the first half of the book before the ball starts rolling in its favor. At just over three hundred pages, that’s not exactly permissible.
One major complaint I have is that Butcher basically repeats the plot from Storm Front. We have terrible acts that can be narrowed down to a select few that Dresden doesn’t know. Dresden then gets tied up on the wrong side of the mystery, pushing Murphy into blaming him for the crime. Then he has to redeem his name and confront the killer by his lonesome. Even the “hanging from a vine” scene was done again near the climax. And Harry thinking he dies valiantly? Yeah, that’s added too.
I mean, really Butcher?
Let’s pick that apart:
Werewolves. How many of those things are roaming around? And why doesn’t Harry have tabs on them? Why doesn’t he know a single thing about them? He claims to be a great wizard, but doesn’t know a thing about a popular myth from Western society. You would think something as overused as werewolves would garner some curiosity from the man. Evidently not until the bodies start racking up.
Murphy. I know Harry’s played out to be this “Knight in Shining Armor” kinda dude who has to protect the ladies, but not letting Murphy help? It’s one thing to keep her out of harm’s way. It’s another to completely ignore the fact that she can help. That’s not being chauvinistic; that’s being downright stupid. How many times has she saved your life, Dresden? More than the other way around I bet.
Dresden has to be the hero. Ah, a favorite trope I hate. When you’re going in head first to face a whole mess of bad guys, bringing in some kids just for the noble and comedic benefit isn’t always a good thing. Sure, you have this primal werewolf woman to back you up, but she can only kill so many people at once. Dresden on the other hand can’t kill a single person it seems. If he had some badass sure-fire confidence throughout the novel instead of foolishness, massive egotism, I might root for the guy by himself.
Not a chance, sadly.
One reason being he can’t stand the smell of death. I mean, how many times have you seen a dead body, seen a crime scene? You would think the man would’ve hardened up a bit by now. He’s not a rookie.
But then again, I don’t expect to walk in on a Dresden story and expect something great. The pacing’s fast, the ideas are somewhat interesting. But there’s too many flaws for it to be amazing like everyone I know rants about. At least not right now.
3 thoughts on “Fool Moon by Jim Butcher”
Completely agree with you here, Chill. Everyone I know tells me it gets really good after the fourth book.
And I kind of resent that. I need to read three more books before it actually gets good? For a series considered the pinnacle of Urban Fantasy, I’ve read better. Try out Dirty Streets of Heaven. Only one book so far, but I had more fun with that book than I ever did the entire time I was reading the first book of this series.
I’ve only read the first two myself and I keep saying I’ll pick up the next, but the thing is: I don’t really want to. I haven’t read nearly enough urban fantasy as I should have done (especially for someone who isn’t a massive fan of epic fantasy) and so I only want to read the good stuff.
I’m not saying the Dresden files are BAD, they’re just…ehh, pulpy I guess. A book one can whittle away in a weekend and then forget about the next week. I’ve already forgotten most of Fool Moon and it wasn’t too long ago that I read it.
Edit: Is it also massively ironic that, on the top of that book cover, it says: “National Bestselling author of White Night” ?