I started reading Fool Moon (Urban Fantasy 261 pages) by Jim Butcher a few days ago as I continued on my travels and my laptop crashed. This is the second book in the Dresden Files series and it’s got the same trends of humor and sarcasm as the first book in the series, Storm Front.
I think one of the things that frustrates me with some of the books in this series is how often Harry’s arrogance actually endangers the lives of the people around him. When Kim Delaney approaches Harry for help with several circles of binding, Harry doesn’t provide her with any information that could potentially be useful to her learning how to use the information. He just automatically assumes that she can’t handle whatever those binding symbols represent without asking if there was anything he could do to help with whatever she was involved with. He assumes that whatever she’s doing is amateur and beneath him. He doesn’t provide her with references or resources or places to maybe look for other information on the symbols. He just tells her “no” and like a pretentious adult, he doesn’t assist her with information or with helping her work through whatever she’s involved in. He was trying so hard to protect Kim through ignorance that he shut her down and she eventually winds up killed for her ignorance.
Harry has the same pattern of behavior with Karrin when she starts asking questions about the different types of werewolves. He doesn’t trust her enough to provide her with the information she needs in order to keep herself and her people safe when dealing with supernatural wolves. Though he does provide her with a detailed report about what kind of supernatural elements could kill people the way the police have found the bodies, he doesn’t do anything to actually make sure that her people are actually taking steps to protect themselves. He just assumes that they won’t be able to handle whatever’s coming their way and treats them like children who don’t know any better.
To be fair, these books really are early in the Dresden Files and there’s a lot of character development just between this book and the last book. I think it’s probably safe to say that these books are following in a very particular pattern. The beginning of the book has Harry being called by Karrin to the scene of a terrible crime, only this time, it’s a death scene with bodies ripped apart by animals. To throw another wrench into the system, the scene soon also has members of the FBI, which puts Karrin into something of a bind. Harry does have some very introspective moments where he realizes that he might be able to save a lot more lives if he actually trusts people enough to start letting them help themselves instead of believing that he’s the only one who can battle the forces of evil. He eventually trusts Susan, even though the main reason he does this is because he needs her help. Then, he trusts the Alphas, the college kids who volunteered to become werewolves because they saw the forces of darkness getting stronger and they couldn’t just stand back and watch bad things happen to people. Billy Borden rattles off some rather unpleasant statics for Harry when he’s trying to convince Harry that he needs some help. Right near the end of chapter 26, he says: “Did you know that violent crimes have increased nearly forty percent in the last three years, Mr. Dresden? Murder alone has almost doubled, particularly in heavy urban areas and isolated rural areas. Abductions and disappearances have gone up nearly three hundred percent.”
One of the neat parts about this story is that Harry has to write up a report about the different types of werewolves, which means that the reader is given more information on the different types of supernatural creatures within the world of the Dresden Files. I think it was an interesting look at the different werewolf mythologies.
Overall, I’d say this book is a pretty solid three on my rating scale. It’s worth reading and has some really good humorous parts to it. I’m likely to reread it again and I’m glad it’s at least partially a part of my own library.