Title: Fool Moon
Series Title: The Dresden Files
Author: Jim Butcher
Date Added: January 17, 2013
Date Started: May 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 27, 2018
Reading Duration: 32 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Mystery
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.
But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…
Where do I even begin? Not only is this book astoundingly predictable, but the main character’s overbearing White Knight complex is arguably the catalyst for a friend’s death and the start of everything. Harry’s refusal to give her any information leads to her making a fatal error, and you can see it coming from a mile away. It’s bad enough he does this to one of his student’s, but when Dresden does the same thing to Karen Murphy, the fucking police chief, it’s impossible not to call him out for his sexism. Murphy is a police lieutenant with experience, and it’s goddamn patronizing, which is exactly what she tells him. She’s not his daughter. She’s not his student. She’s a an experienced cop who has every right to take the risk. If she has the information and knows something is dangerous, it’s her choice whether or not to follow through. While I get Murphy might know all the ins and outs of magic, it’s still not Harry’s call, and the truth is his unwillingness to supply information is why his other friend wound up dead.
Then later, Murphy tells him not to keep secrets from her, and what does Harry do? He doesn’t tell her about the car potentially tailing him, nor about the spell he could use to find the killer. Then he has the fucking audacity to blame her for no longer considering him a friend, when he’s the one jeopardizing the friendship with his actions. I can’t feel sorry for him for this or when Murphy arrests his ass. All he had to do was let her know what was going on, and the only reason he didn’t was because of his ridiculous White Knight thing.
I know I use the phrase “painfully predictable” a lot, but this book was painfully predictable. It’s not the predictable part; it’s the painful one. You expect certain things from certain novels. We know Harry is going to survive (in some capacity) because he’s in later books (though I hear that he does die in one of them, but that’s not relevant now), but when you introduce the Chekhov’s Gun late in the story and not long before the character needs to use said MacGuffin, it takes away any semblance of shock.
I think if I wasn’t already annoyed with Dresden, this wouldn’t have been as bad, but he’s insufferable. He has to remind us what a stand-up guy he is in every fucking chapter; how he’s willing to sacrifice himself to save others; how he has to protect everyone, and other patriarchal diatribe that’s just so goddamn trite. I hope he and Murphy never get together, because he’ll just become even more “protective” and controlling. I don’t really want to say that his friend’s death is firmly on his head, because she did choose to attempt the circle, but he also knew she was going to attempt it, and instead of offering to help, he admonished her like a child.
I read and enjoyed the first book of this series Storm Front, though that was quite a few years ago, and I was a different person who cared less and/or didn’t notice the benevolent sexism/white knight nonsense, and while I garnered some enjoyment of this novel’s plot, Harry annoys the hell out of me. His White Knight complex gets in the way of common sense, and while many readers find that endearing (…why), I find it irritating and sexist. Murphy asks him to do one thing: not keep any secrets from her about the investigation on which he’s a consultant, and what the fuck does he do? That.
There’s also his “Only I can save the world/make the ultimate sacrifice, and no one else can come with me, because I have to keep everyone safe and be the white knight even though I just got my ass kicked and probably die in the attempt without saving anyone” MO. And you know what? I’ve written shit like this. You might even say I write shit like this all the time, but with Dresden it’s unearned. Yes, he has wizardly powers, and they more than like get even more potent in later stories, but he’s not the only one who can take action. What they’re up against needs as many people as possible , nor is Harry the only one who has a stake in it. He refused to give Murphy the information she needed to do her job as police lieutenant, and his refusal to give his student information was the catalyst for her death.
I’m over Dresden’s self-righteousness, and if it wasn’t for the fact that friends have told me the series improves, I’d call it quits. The last chapters were an absolute struggle to slog through. Harry’s stereotypical sexist behavior only became more grating as Fool Moon went on. I am going to continue the series though in the hopes he gets better, but I’ll be borrowing from the library from now on instead of spending money on the novels.