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Literature: Fool Moon
Warning! All spoilers for Storm Front are unmarked on this page!

Business has been slow since the events of Storm Front, to the point that Harry Dresden is wondering if his next square meal will be a block of ramen.

However, things start to look up when the police discover a brutally-mutilated corpse with some odd, wolfish footprints nearby. It looks like someone has full moon fever, and Harry must draw upon all his magical resources to find out how to stop them.

Fool Moon is book #2 in The Dresden Files. Now has its own Shout Out page.


Fool Moon provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The Streetwolves make even stereotypical Hell's-Angel bikers look like Sunday school kiddies.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When contemplating who could have magically armed Victor Sells and the Hexenwolfen:
    Black wizards don't just grow up like toadstools, you know. Someone has to teach them complicated things like summoning demons, ritual magic, and clichéd villain dialogue.
  • Artistic License - Geography: Butcher calls the neighborhood surrounding the University of Chicago Lincoln Park. In reality Lincoln Park is an affluent neighborhood on the North Side of the city. The University's neighborhood is Hyde Park, which (apart from parts of neighboring Kenwood) is a less affluent area on the South Side.
    • He also describes it as being a bad neighborhood. In this case, he may have confused the University of Chicago with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which is near some pretty rough neighborhoods.
  • Big Bad: Agent Denton.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Happens to Agent Harris in mid-battle, when Harry unfastens his Hexenwulf belt just before Harris can tear his throat out.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Similar to the previous book, Harry mixes a couple of potions early on which come in handy later. A pseudo-invisibility potion which makes it difficult for people to notice him allows him to sneak into the SI building where the Loup-Garou is being held, and a super energy drink potion gives him a burst of energy when he needs to fight on very little sleep. Both of these backfire on him: the pseudo-invisibility potion's effects make him unable to warn people at the SI building when things get dangerous, and he badly overexerts his power under the effect of the energy potion, leaving him nearly incapable of magic for the rest of the book.
    • Also with Murphy's earrings: “Her earrings seemed to be little more than bright beads of silver in her ears, which I had never really noticed when she had worn her golden hair long.”
    • And with Kim’s paper scrap.
    • The magical shapeshifting belt Harry confiscates from Harris, which he later uses as a last resort to fight the Hexenwulfen.
  • Clear My Name: Harley MacFinn is the set up scapegoat to the corrupt FBI agents who need a mystical killer, to keep the White Council from looking for them.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: If Harry had been straight with Kim, or she had been straight with him. Or MacFinn had just hired Harry to start with, things would have been very different.
    • Likewise, if Tera had confronted Harry and discussed things when she detected him spying on the Alphas at the warehouse.
  • Deal with the Devil: Harry made a deal with a demon he calls "Chauncey", giving up one of his four names in exchange for information to help him with a case. (Chauncey already had two of his names, the first and last, making this a risky deal indeed.)
  • Disney Villain Death
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Harley MacFinn's Loup-garou curse placed on him by Saint Patrick of all people. What could his family have done that warranted such an extreme punishment? (Although Chauncy only said "legend has it" that St. Patrick was responsible, not that he'd actually laid the curse.)
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Invoked by Tera and her primal dance in the rain so that Harry can get some tools out of his apartment, which the police are watching.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Using the Hexenwulf belts is explicitly likened to being a cocaine addict but the rush when using the power feels even better.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: “I'll bet you sex to donuts that they are, Carmichael. And that should tell you how certain I am."
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Carmichael.
  • Exact Eavesdropping
  • Face Death with Dignity: Played for a spot of fun when Harry faces MacFinn in his transformed loup-garou form, and is trapped in the corner. As he faces his possible demise, Harry reconciles to himself that he would at least die at the jaws of what he saw as the perfect predator rather than by a scabby troll or whiny, angst-ridden vampire.
  • Fallen Hero: Harry soulgazes Denton and sees how he's gone bad.
  • Flippant Forgiveness: Murphy shoots in Harry's direction to save him from some crazy who was about to kill him. Harry, who was facing the opposite way at the time, had not seen his attacker and thought she shot at him instead because she doubted his loyalties. However, he had previously betrayed her trust, so he decides he can not blame her for thinking him a bad guy and he forgives her for shooting him. Murphy thinks he is a big idiot for thinking that way, and lets him know it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tera West only eats the meat patty from her burger, discarding the bun. As a wolf, she has a carnivore's taste in food, even in her human form.
    • The second part of the curse on MacFinn's family was that the bloodline would not die out until the end of days. Given that MacFinn died without any apparent heirs...
    • Chauncey drops hints about Dresden's family background that would be explored in Blood Rites and Changes.
    • The fact that some Native American shamans had their own version of werewolf shapeshifting is mentioned, an ability Listens-To-Wind would employ in Turn Coat.
    • Flatnose grouses about Parker's dealing with Marcone, asking "who is he, the governor?" Several books later, Marcone becomes the official ruler of Chicago, at least in the supernatural community's eyes.
  • Frameup: Many of the murders in the book are committed by the corrupt FBI agents. This leads them to frame the biker gang for mortal police and MacFinn for the White Council.
  • Friend or Foe: The FBI agents shooting each other.
  • Geometric Magic: Circles and other geometric forms of magic are discussed.
  • Giving Them the Strip: The loup-garou pins Harry's duster to the ground with its paws. Harry escapes by abandoning his coat. It likewise bites at Harry's feet but is left with only a cowboy boot to shred.
  • Go Out with a Smile: MacFinn.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Harry views his use of the Hexenwolf belt as such, a last resort.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Dresden makes the potion which renders him Beneath Notice to even a werewolf. The effect is so perfect that even as Dresden is screaming about the incoming Loup-Garou, the police he's screaming at only hears something mundane.
  • Hereditary Curse: Harley MacFinn, whose family curse allegedly originated from St. Patrick himself. One member of each generation is cursed to become a Loup-Garou (super-werewolf) during the full moon.
  • Heroic BSOD: Harry suffers a mild episode when Murphy shows him Kim Delaney's ripped-up corpse, shutting down emotionally and keeping uncharacteristically silent. His timing couldn't be worse, for not opening up about something.
  • Hidden Villain: Like in the previous book, we don't know who supplied the corrupt FBI agents with the were-pelts, but they also warned them about the White Council and the fact they would hunt down Black Magic users. Harry surmises that one dark wizard could be responsible for the events of both books.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Either several of these were given out to Murphy or she’s just that stupid by herself (she gets better in later books).
      • Especially when they arrive at the second scene.
    • Also with Harry when goes following the wolf pack into a dark and confined area.
    • Ditto for when he decides to protect Tera and Susan by jumping out of a moving car. At least in this case he admits it was a stupid move.
  • Instant Sedation: Marcone's tranquilizer gun pretty well drops the Alphas in their tracks. Only Tera West shakes off the effects enough to fight back after being drugged.
  • It Was a Gift: Silver alone isn't enough to hurt a loup-garou - it specifically has to be inherited silver. Fortunately, both Harry and Murphy received gifts of silver from members of their family.
  • Killer Cop: Denton and his team of FBI agents become hexenwolfen in order to take down criminals the law cannot touch. By ripping them to shreds.
  • Knee-capping
  • Locked Out of the Fight
  • Meaningful Name: Full Moon Garage and Wolf Lake Park.
    • The latter is Lampshaded when Harry points out that Murphy would immediately go to a place called "Wolf Lake Park" to look for a deranged werewolf on the run. Which of course is exactly what happens.
    • Invoked by the Alphas, "alpha" being the biologists' term for the top male and female of a wolf pack.
  • Not So Different: After Harry holds Denton at gunpoint and talks with him for a while, he points out that what the FBI agent was doing made him just like Marcone, who he was supposedly fighting.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: There are four kinds.
    • The first kind, "human can turn bodily into a wolf at will", is represented in story by the Alphas. Or there's where somebody else turns you into a wolf (highly illegal, as it inevitably kills the victim' personality). Or wolves who learn to turn into human, though that could be a werehuman.
    • Hexenwolves, where someone gives you a talisman to turn you into a wolf, causing you to retain your intellect, but gain animal ferocity, represented in story by Denton and the FBI agents.
    • Lycanthropes, who only turn spiritually into a wolf, with their body remaining human, though with abilities associated with werewolves, represented in story by the Streetwolves,
    • The Loup-Garou, which is far more like the traditional werewolf, except that you turn into one by curse, and it takes inherited silver to kill you. Represented in story by MacFinn.
  • Police Brutality: Murphy beats Harry up while arresting him for withholding information. Keep in mind Harry wasn't resisting and was even pleading with her to listen to him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: “I closed my eyes and leaned against the stone wall. I didn't try to fight or to explain. What was the point?”
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Especially inherited silver, which is the only thing that can stop Loup-Garou type werewolves.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Murphy appears to shoot Harry, when she was really shooting at Denton. Why she didn't just step around him is anyone's guess...
    • Actually a double example: while Murphy is shooting Denton off Harry's back, Harry is using his silver pentacle to blast the loup-garou off Murphy's back.
  • Stealth Pun: Billy Borden and the rest of the Alphas first learned their shapeshifting when they were in college. If this happened in Billy's freshman or sophomore years, then it's likely that Billy was a teenage werewolf.
  • Stop or I Will Shoot!: Police do not seem to think twice about shooting at Harry, even when he is just running and giving no sign of fighting back. Justified It turns out that the FBI agents who were shooting at him were actually the werewolves responsible for the murders he was investigating, and had been trying to kill him from the moment they realised he was a true wizard.
  • Stout Strength
  • Take Up My Sword: Murphy instructs her SI officers that if the loup-garou brings her down, one of them must take up her pistol (with silver bullets) and shoot the creature in the eye.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: In this book it’s even introduced as the first law of magic.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Harry Dresden returns to his office to find John Marcone sitting at his desk, waiting to make him a job offer.
  • We Need a Distraction: See Distracted by the Sexy above.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Denton tells Harry that he should have shot once he was at his mercy rather than moralise.

Family BitesWerewolf WorksThe Fifth Elephant
Storm FrontLiterature/The Dresden FilesGrave Peril
FoolLiterature of the 2000sThe Forest of Hands and Teeth

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