The next one

Despite my desire to read something a little more substantial (after the serial disappointments of the past five books), I am to an extent ruled by my library account. When you put e-books on hold and the library notifies you that your next one is now available, it’s foolish not to take advantage of that while you can. So I just finished reading Fool Moon, the second in Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy series, The Dresden Files.

I don’t have a lot to say about it, except that I liked the second even better than the first and will definitely read more as they come my way or when I’m looking for an in-betweener. They don’t bowl me over to the extent that I want to drop everything else to read the entire series, but as an occasional “amuse bouche,” they are a delight.

Interestingly, posters on Goodreads note that A. this is one of the weaker books in the series, and B. that the series doesn’t get really good until [book 3] [book 4] [book 7]. So I guess my trajectory with Harry Dresden has nowhere to go but up!

Things I really enjoyed about this one:

Bob. He may be a plot device to keep Harry in the know, but Bob is also a delightful store of arcane (literally) knowledge, and I enjoy reading his “dissertations.” I also enjoy that he’s an old, old guy who inhabits a skull and who occasionally gets let out to “play.”

Werewolf lore. The aforementioned Bob is responsible for filling Harry in on a lot of it, but he also sources it from the various wolves’ mouths, and it’s both complex and fairly sensible as a set-up for weird trivia. There are hexenwolves, werewolves, lycanthropes, and loup-garous, each with its own set of characteristic behaviors and abilities, and the ins and outs of these aren’t just interesting info, they have a profound effect on the murders Harry (and Murphy) are trying to solve.

Things I continued to dislike: Harry is kind of a chauvinist. Murphy is kind of a dick (and I’m not using that as shorthand for detective). Their relationship and interplay is problematic, and I hope it gets substantially fixed as the series continues.

Verdict: Keep reading.

One Comment on “The next one

  1. If book 3 had been my first Jim Butcher read, it would have been the last. It left a depressingly harsh affect in my head. But many of the books in the series are wonderfully well done, and it is fascinating to observe how Butcher’s style and voice developed over time. Butcher has a gift for edge-of-the-seat battle set pieces, at least until Changes (#14 I think). “Interminable” is the word that comes to mind for that one. Readers hoping for romance in this series will be disappointed — most of Harry’s potentially romantic relationships tend to result in noble suffering. Action is the focus, and the story arc grows darker as it progresses.

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