FOOL MOON by Jim Butcher — a Review

FOOL MOON by Jim Butcher is the second entry in the Dresden Files. Picking up a couple months after STORM FRONT ended, FOOL MOON has two plot lines driving the story forward.

The first deals with grisly murders that appear to be caused by a werewolf, or possibly werewolves. Our detective/wizard Harry Dresden must learn all he can about werewolves before the body count rises with the next full moon.

The second is more internal, focusing on what type of man Dresden is, who he will trust, and who he will work with. Karrin Murphy, his contact in the Chicago P.D. doesn’t trust him any more. She is being investigated by Internal Affairs, and Dresden’s alleged relationship with organized crime leader Johnny Marcone has turned Dresden into a suspect. And Dresden doesn’t exactly know how to define his relationship with local reporter Susan Rodriguez.

Like STORM FRONT, FOOL MOON weaves together a few subplots with fast-paced action and plenty of wit and sarcasm from Dresden. And of course there are false leads, betrayals, and surprises along the way. Once again, Dresden fights to save the day while also getting his butt kicked. Over the course of the book, he learns quite a few things about himself and the larger, magical world he inhabits.

I liked FOOL MOON, but I didn’t love it. To me, it was a little slower to get started than STORM FRONT, but once it did get rolling, Butcher never let off the accelerator. This book is a bit darker, more vicious than STORM FRONT, but I suppose that shouldn’t surprise readers, given that werewolves are a major part of the book. And while I liked Butcher’s take on the beasts, that second, more internal plot line was my favorite of the two. Watching Dresden confront the worst parts of himself was more engaging than watching him engage with the dark magic. And while STORM FRONT had a cool ending, I think FOOL MOON had a better ending. It pulled back from the story, hinting at a larger magical landscape. It made me eager to learn more about Harry and that world. I look forward to the next volume.

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