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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher More magic, this time with added werewolves

#1 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:06 PM

Just read the second one. It was a step up in quality.

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A few months after the events of Storm Front, wizard Harry Dresden is going through some lean times. Following the events of the prior novel, his stock with the Chicago PD is at a low and word has gotten out that Dresden may be in cahoots with the city's foremost gangster. However, an outbreak of savage killings every full moon sees the police reluctantly enlist Dresden's aid once again.

Fool Moon is a notable step up in quality from the first Dresden Files novel. The writing seems altogether more confident, the characters are better-written and the book is altogether better-paced and more enjoyable as a result. Some new characters who look likely to return in later volumes are also introduced, and Dresden starts to confront the possibility that there is some other person out there manipulating events against him, which looks set to be the beginning of some kind of long-running story arc. Butcher also shows a ruthless side, killing off a couple of recurring characters from the first novel, just to keep the reader guessing on what will happen next.

There aren't too many problems, although as with the first volume, the novel rarely rises above the entertaining popcorn level. There's also a repeat of a story element that was tiresome in the first book, namely that halfway through proceedings Dresden gets seriously injured and spends the rest of the book fighting the enemies despite suffering significant aches and pains that are described again and again in tedious detail. We get it. Dresden is overcoming serious odds to beat the bad guys. Move on. Dresden needs to either start hitting the gym or stocking up on some healing magic soon. There's also the continuing and wholly artificial distrust between Dresden and his police contact Murphy who, despite have her life saved by Dresden several times in these two books, continues to be wary and distrustful of him. Also, Butcher continues to be unsure just how widespread knowledge of magic and the occult is, with ordinary human characters varyingly reacting to the revelation of magical deeds with apathy or amazement.

Fool Moon (***) is a fun and enjoyable novel that shows the writer's growth in talent and ability over its predecessor. It is available now in the UK from Orbit and in the USA from Roc. The limited edition from Subterranean Press is also still available at this time of writing.

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#2 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:09 PM

Pretty much spot on again.

I am anxious for you to read and review the third, and see if it hooks you like it did everyone else.
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#3 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:52 PM

I completely agree with Wert on this one. He is eccoing many of the things that irritated me in this one.

Even more interesting to see what Wert thinks when he gets to the next two where the story really takes off.
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#4 User is offline   Traveller 

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:36 AM

Yes, of the six I've now read, I found this one to be the weakest. Mainly too many competing aspects in the second half made it seem a bit confused.

Great scenes throughout though - imaginitive new take on things, definitely made me want to go and get the next one.

This post has been edited by Traveller: 23 April 2009 - 07:44 AM

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#5 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:57 PM

Agreeing with review - the whole 'Harry is beaten to a pulp and keeps going' thing was REALLY overdone between these first two books.

I totally enjoyed the different forms of werewolf element.

This was good enough to make me read the third, which was was prepared to drop if it was more of the same. Happily, it's not. Butcher really raises his game with the third book.


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#6 User is offline   Stalker 

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:46 PM

I enjoyed this one, like most of the books it provides a short fun read. Granted this is one of the weaker novels, I liked all the different wolves.

The novels from here really raise the bar though.

This post has been edited by Stalker: 22 April 2009 - 02:46 PM

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#7 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:21 PM

View PostAbyss, on Apr 22 2009, 03:57 PM, said:

Agreeing with review - the whole 'Harry is beaten to a pulp and keeps going' thing was REALLY overdone between these first two books.


And yet, it's not like Butcher stops throwing Dresden into these crazy situations where he gets messed up. The fun to see how Dresdens learns of these scraps and begins taking precautions, enhancing his defenses and refining his techniques from book to book.

The Dresden of the latest book was a hell of a lot more capable than the one we first meet.
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#8 User is offline   Traveller 

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:40 AM

Yes, I think it was Death Masks where it looks like he's getting low on power again
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So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
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#9 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:21 PM

All true, and in one recent book Harry even makes the point that if there's one thing he can do, it's take a beating and keep on going, which he then does.


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