I cannot decide if my love for the Harry Dresden books comes from their being objectively awesome, or from them being in such sharp contrast to the Anita Blake books. I mean, sex happens, but it’s dealt with tastefully, with soft-focus lensing and quick cut-aways, and far more importantly, it is not the constant focus of Harry’s regular magic-wielding, mystery-solving lifestyle. Which leaves him some time to think about wielding magic and solving mysteries. Is the prose with which he wields his magic, the world-building in which he solves his mysteries, the characterizations that come into play when he interacts with the other, er, characters really any better than most books I read? I’m going to guess that probably not, and yet I could grab the next three that I currently own and read them all in a row without getting the least bit tired of it. Um, unless the plot suddenly changes into a situation where he’s banging the vampire chick Bianca like a drum and his cop friend starts hating him and he wallows in angst by taking up with a werewolf pack? Don’t be sexy, Harry! It’s not worth it!
But also I guess there are some specifics about Fool Moon, which book is the one I just read? Werewolves, then. It turns out that there are about 5 different ways for a person to change into a wolf in Dresden’s world, and each of them with a different name. Which sounds like pretty extraneous information to have at my fingertips, except that someone with a lupine MO has been committing murders, and Harry has to figure out who and how so he can stop them from killing again! See, and I’m still not convinced why I should love these as much as I do. We’ll assume it’s not just by comparison, and go from there. I figure the two factors that the author really has working for him are multiple interesting characters (the cop chick, the mob guy, and the skull all leap to mind) and Dresden’s voice. I’m genuinely interested in everything that Harry Dresden has to say, so this first person narration thing is like the world’s best gravy on top of a mysterious chicken fried steak. The substantial food part may be really good, or it may be mediocre, but the gravy is so great that I have no way of knowing!