Review: Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher

Rating: 7/10

Synopsis

Harry Dresden–Wizard

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…

Review

Fool Moon starts out with Dresden being down and out once again. After the conclusion of the last novel Storm Front, Dresden is having trouble making rent and supporting himself 6 months later. There is just little to no work to be had in the realm of supernatural investigation. That’s where the werewolves come in.

If you couldn’t guess it from the title, Fool Moon revolves largely around werewolves. I found this fascinating as there were at least 4 different kinds of werewolves mentioned and because of that Butcher was able to put a unique spin on a typical werewolf story. Not only that, but getting to know about new monsters is just plain cool.

Other than information that we learn through the plot about the different kinds of werewolves and how they work, there wasn’t much world building in this one. Demons were hinted at a little more, but everything else including The White Council and the NeverNever had almost zero page time. I was quite disappointed in this as learning about this world has been one of my favorite parts of this series so far. However, I am not too concerned for the series as a whole because there are still 15 books to go and counting.

“Until you stop pretending…and try to face reality, you’re not going to be able to heal. You’re not going to be able to trust anyone.”

Harry Dresden, as always, was compelling. We get to know some more about his back story. There are hints dropped about his parents’ lives and deaths that I found very intriguing. We also get to see a more vulnerable Harry in this one. The Harry that is scared to lose one of his only friends in Murphy. The Harry that is terrified to commit to someone in a real relationship for fear of getting hurt or them getting hurt. I think the reason that Harry is so compelling, at least for me, is that he is so relatable in his struggles and his ways of dealing with them.

“Black Wizards don’t just grow up like toadstools, you know. Someone has to teach them complicated things like summoning demons, ritual magic, and cliched villain dialogue.”

The humor within these pages was spot on for me once again. I think this will be a personal preference thing for most people, but I absolutely love the charmingly sarcastic and witty banter that Dresden often employs. He also tends to speak this way in situations that are totally inappropriate for jokes, like while getting attacked by a werewolf or being yelled at by his best friend. That’s not to say that there weren’t moments of reflection and intimacy, as well as a whole lot of danger, that kept me invested in the well being of our protagonists and the plot itself.

“My magic. That was at the heart of me. It was a manifestation of what I believed, what I lived. It came from my desire to see to it that someone stood between the darkness and the people it would devour……From my life. From the hope that I could make things better for someone else, if not always for me.”

I loved getting to learn more about the magic system and seeing more of what Harry is capable of. It’s a magic system that is grounded enough to be believable, while at the same time mystical enough to have flexibility. I also really like that Harry can’t just pull something random out of his hat and save the day. He has to use every trick he has up his sleeve to even have a chance at victory. Often the solutions are very creative and use more intellect than any mystical power which makes each victory feel earned.

Although I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first, Fool Moon was still another solid entry in The Dresden Files and I cannot wait to dive straight into book 3!

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