I had not planned to read any more of the Dresden Files series after finding its first book, Storm Front, to be rather underwhelming. But I changed my mind after coming across a substantial number of comments and forum posts from fans who admitted the shortcomings of the earliest books and provided heartening assurances that the quality does nothing but improve as the series progresses. An unusual claim in this age of mindless sequels, but one that makes sense: if some authors explode onto the scene with First Novels of stunning perfection, many more must follow a flawed first offering with steady growth as a writer. Partly because I thought it would be fun to witness Butcher’s potential maturation as a writer and partly because I find the series’ premise appealing and enjoyed the TV show, I thought it would be fun to check out the second book.
While I did not feel that Fool Moon merited a higher rating of a whole number, it did seem more confident and less cheesy than the first book, even containing a passage or two that made me stop to appreciate a novel, well-communicated idea (all of which bodes well for the rest of the series). I could have happily done without the awkward sex scene and adult content sprinkled throughout in the drab, obligatory way that characterises both the modern novel and the movie desperate for a PG-13 rating. Perhaps that raciness is what characterises a “guilty pleasure” for others, but I would have felt guilty enough for reading a popular paranormal thriller when there is so much “serious” literature piled up by my bed.