Thursday, 1 October 2015

Review: Fool Moon

Fool Moon Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my, I don't know, third or fourth re-read, at least, and I still couldn't remember the ins and outs of the plot. Perhaps this is because the author thought it would be cool to come up with as many kinds of werewolves as possible, and then put all of them in the book, so for a long time it's extremely unclear which of them are responsible for the crimes.

I suppose that's similar to the Agatha Christie school of mystery writing, where everyone could have done the murder. It's confusing, though. Maybe even more so than it's meant to be.

There's also a lot more graphic violence and horrible death than I usually go for, so I'm trying to remember why it was that I stuck with this series back when I had a lower tolerance for that than I do now (and it's still pretty low).

I think it's the characters. Harry is so committed to doing the right thing, even when badly and repeatedly beaten up and facing highly probable death, that you can't help being on his side.

I agree with those who say that this isn't nearly as good as the series became later on. The minor characters are more developed, later, and the plots consist of more than "Harry blunders about getting beaten on in the noir tradition, until eventually the mystery shakes loose more through his persistence than his skill." Still, I did enjoy the ride, for the most part (could have done with less grisly death).

The audio this time is better than the first book. The gasps, sighs and sniffs have been edited out this time, and only the reader's occasional word blunders remain to annoy.

I'm enjoying going back through the series and reminding myself of how the secondary characters (and even Harry) started out. The Alphas, the late-teenage werewolves, are so young and earnest here, though they seem to have lost their environmental activism after this book. I think this may also have been the last book that had potions in it, which is probably a good decision, on the whole. They're a bit like Q's devices in James Bond: you know they'll turn out to be exactly what the hero needs at some critical juncture, and then they'll never be mentioned again.

Plenty of flaws, but also plenty going for it, and so I press on through the audio reread.

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