Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Fool Moon

Fool Moon
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Dresden Files series. If you like Harry Dresden and the first book, I suspect you will like this one more. If you don't, I would not foist this book upon you. That isn't to say it's a retread, like certain series I might mention. But not a lot has changed.

In this book, Harry Dresden is even more broke than he was in the first, mostly because he assumes Karrin Murphy, His Chicago police contact who he works for sometimes, is still in a snit that he withheld information during the last book. It turns out to be that she's under investigation because he's been linked to a mob boss, and she can't afford to be seen with him. But, when people show up looking like they were mauled by humongous wolves, she has no choice but to enlist his help.

Evidently someone told Jim Butcher about ramping up the tension in a book, because Harry spends about half of the book unable to access his magic, or with very limited access. Add up the time he has his magical toys taken away, and he spends more time bemoaning his helpless state than magically showing off. I started to get exasperated with Harry for not doing anything to recharge, just before the final encounter. It made me worry for how much more later books would have to step up the punishment so the readers weren't yawning and saying Harry's gotten out of worse.

But the tension did keep me wanting more, and wondering how Harry was going to get out of it, and rooting for the jerk. And he makes some decisions to be less of a jerk in this book, so hopefully later books show that he's taken these lessons to heart.

I recommend, by the way, that you listen to these books on audio. James Marsters lends Harry a humanity he lacks on the written page, at least in my paperback copies. The narration makes the difference between my rolling my eyes at Harry making excuses for himself, and smiling at his self-deprecating humor.

If you've already read the first book, this will have a lot of what you liked about it, only with a greater sense of tension. I'm going to read the third, but honestly, if he gets half as much stuffing beaten out of him in that book, I might not make it all the way through.

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