Oh, Fool Moon. I’ve read this book at least three times now, and every time I’m surprised I went on to the rest of the series. This is possibly my least favorite Harry book. Silly title, werewolves (I’m not into werewolves), not enough Mister. Okay, the last one is a very minor point.
There are still some redeeming things in this book. There are different groups of werewolves rather than just one ‘people turning into wolves’ crowd, and they don’t all get along, which makes things a bit more interesting. Plus, we meet Billy and Georgia. On the other hand, it creates some confusion (‘this is the guy that can turn into a wolf that way but not that other way, right?’), dragged out resolution, and too many people on the suspect list (see above, confusion).
Fool Moon is also where we start to see Harry develop further into the character that embodies the contradiction of being really badass (blasting werewolves through walls with fire) and really vulnerable (I’m pretty sure he spends at least 100 pages in a continuous state of being beat up and in pain). Interestingly enough, Fool Moon is also where a possibility of losing magical ability is mentioned (‘I had burnt out some internal circuitry’), which adds to Harry’s vulnerability.
Harry makes some enemies by being staunchly good and by not being afraid to tell mobsters and tough men that they are scum. His goodness also shines through when he is tempted by power. ‘Temptation of Harry’ is a strong theme that runs throughout the series, but its first real glimpse is here, in Fool Moon.
All these things make Fool Moon rather important for the development of the whole series. The Dresden Files is designed in such a way that you can’t really skip books. Yes, each book is a self-contained mystery, but there are little bits and pieces that come into play later. This, of course, is what makes the Dresden Files a feast of geekery. Really, even the weakest book is worth getting through in the end.