Harry goes to a place to do a thing, namely investigate the fearsome band of hardened criminals known as the STREETWOLVES.
Not to be confused with the Street Sharks.
A block from the Forty-ninth Street Beach there was a run-down garage, the sort of place you only find in the worst sections of big cities.
I can just feel the dilapidation in Butcher’s evocative prose (there is a description of the place afterward but it includes the phrase “gobbets of rust” so I don’t think it counts).
On one side of the garage was a vacant lot; on the other, what looked like the sort of pawn shop where crooks traded in their spare guns and knives for a few extra dollars when things were tight.
Could it be any more obvious that Butcher has never been within 1000 miles of real “crooks”?
A faded sign hung askew over one of the garage doors, reading FULL MOON GARAGE
Back in my City of Bones post (which was extremely well reviewed in the New York Times) I made the following witty and trenchant observation:
Urban Fantasy tradition demands that vampires inhabit modern places of business with self-referential titles, and so the hotel is called Hotel Death.
Once again I am always right about everything, as we see this general principal also applies to werewolves. The werewolves in that movie also have a werewolf garage, and I believe in True Blood they’re a biker gang or something, so for whatever reason it seems to be common knowledge that werewolves are associated with vehicles and engine grease.
This is what really bothers me about Urban Fantasy- it’s just so cookie-cutter and formulaic, right down to the atomic level.
“Thank God it’s not too obvious or anything,” I muttered
See, this just draws attention to the obvious question- if you were a werewolf opening a werewolf garage, why on Earth would you call it that? To signal to other werewolves that they can get their cars fixed there? Just for the lulz? I mean you never see ordinary humans naming their garages HOMO SAPIENS GARAGE or GREAT APE GARAGE or something.
Harry uses his usual investigative technique- just barge into dangerous locations- armed with his blasting rod, shield bracelet and a ring that lets him do Falcon Punches. He doesn’t have his gun with him, presumably because there’s going to be an up-coming action scene that would be resolved too easily by a gun but not by magic blasts and Falcon Punches.
Sometimes, a biker gang is just a biker gang. There might be no connection to the Alphas at all.
There probably is, though. And in fact the rules of good writing and not wasting my fucking time dictate that the Streetwolves must have some sort of role in the plot.
Predictably. Harry’s approach of skipping merrily into dangerous locations gets him cornered in the dark by a group of ruffians. He tries to throw them off by using the rumor that he’s working with Johnny Marcone, but they know he’s really with the police.
Christ. I wished the police were as savvy as these ne’er-do-wells.
I think “I wished I had tried to make any sort of attempt at stealth at all” would be a more apt thought here”.
There was a rough laugh. “What do you think they say about you, Dresden? Get your hands where I can see them. Now.” There was the click-clack of a pump shotgun’s action.
There was a car. There was a sound. There was laughter. There was another sound.
For fuck’s sake man, write.
Harry asks about the murders, using the current police theory that the signs of werewolfery were faked.
There was a flurry of mutters around the room, low voices in hushed tones all around me. A dozen, maybe. More. I got a sudden, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Once again: maybe just walking straight into their hideout alone wasn’t the best idea.
Seriously, he starts panicking big time here and all I can think is why the fuck did you get yourself into this situation in the first place? This seems to be a running thing in these books, with Harry doing things that make no sense to serve the whims of the plot.
The STREETWOLVES (totally radical, bro) start chanting “kill him” and their shotgun-wielding leader tells them to keep a lid on it.
“Stop it,” he snarled, turning his head toward the others in the room. I could see his body responding as the energy grew, growing tenser, more ready. “Fight it. Hold it in, dammit. You can’t let it loose here. There will be cops all over us.”
CONTRACTIONS. USE THEM. DEAR GOD.
I really should have pointed this out more often in the Kvothe books, what is the deal with mediocre writers not using contractions.
The shotgun roared and threw a flash of white light over the room, showing me a frieze of half-dressed or naked men and women hurtling toward me, their faces twisted with grimaces of berserk anger.
In a previous chapter Bob the skull mentioned this kind of werewolf- I think it was lycanthropes- as being basically humans who are overtaken by animalistic instincts at certain times. I guess we’re going to be seeing all of the werewolf types in this book.
Also, I feel I need to point out that this is the second time in the space of four chapters that Harry has been attacked by werewolves after wandering into a dark building. At the very least I guess it’s action-packed. Occasional werewolf attacks really would have livened up the Kvothe books (if you are the editor of Doors of Stone, you’re welcome).
A dude jumps on Harry so Harry Falcon Punches him with his magic ring, then runs out to his car. The greasy werewolf-leader dude stands in the doorway to prevent the rest of them from going after Harry. Harry looks into his eyes and SOOOOOOUUUUL BOOOOOOONDS which as I’ve mentioned is a thing that Harry does sometimes in order to deliver plot information or make women swoon.
Fury overwhelmed me
If Parker was to live, I had to die. He had to kill me, pure and simple, and he had to do it alone to prove his strength to the pack. That was the only thing that kept him from coming at my throat that very second.
Worse, he didn’t know a damned thing about the last month’s killings.
In the first book there was a long string of Harry pissing people off chasing dead ends, followed by ominous I SHALL DESTROY YOU declarations that I’m assuming are Chekhov’s guns for future books. I wonder if this will follow suit.
He had seen me in much the same way I had seen him. I don’t know what he saw when he looked upon my soul. I didn’t want to know what was down there.
Nope, this inner darkness shit wasn’t convincing when Rothfuss tried it and I’m not buying it here either. If your character has inner darkness then you have to actually show them having inner darkness instead of just telling me they do.
Stupid, Harry,” I said. “How could you have been so stupid? Why in the hell did you go wandering in there like that?
Now you’re just drawing attention to how illogical Harry’s actions are.
Technically, I suppose, Parker and his lycanthropes weren’t human. The First Law of Magic, Thou Shalt Not Kill, wouldn’t necessarily apply to them. Legally, I might be able to make a case for the use of lethal magic to the White Council.
This makes it sound as if the Wizard’s First Rule (do you see) doesn’t have a “I had to use lethal force because a werewolf was trying to kill me” clause, which is kind of stupid. If ever there was a shoot first and ask questions later scenario, it would be werewolf vendettas.
(Out of context the quote up there makes it sound as if Harry is contemplating murdering the entire pack; he’s actually just saying that if Parker, the leader, comes after him he won’t hesitate to kill him, which is entirely reasonable)
Magic was more than just an energy source, like electricity or petroleum
Could’ve fooled me.
Harry goes on to talk about how magic is, like, life and shit.
There’s more magic in a baby’s first giggle than in any firestorm a wizard can conjure up, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Oh Jesus I forgot about this sentence.
This reminds of all that Love Is The Strongest Force stuff from Harry Potter. Look, I know it seems like you’re being profound or something and I’m enough of a starry eyed idealist at times to get behind something approximating that idea, but at the same time I refuse to accept that in just about any practical scenario you care to name a baby’s first giggle or whatever the fuck is going to be more useful than the ability to blow people up with your mind.
Magic comes from what is inside you. It is a part of you. You can’t weave together a spell that you don’t believe in.
I didn’t want to believe that killing was deep inside of me.
God this is such a stupid and contrived way to generate angst.
That was black magic, and it was easy to use. Easy and fun. Like Legos.
Just…. stop talking, Harry.
I went up to my office, unlocked it, and flipped on the lights. Gentleman Johnny Marcone was seated at my desk in a dark blue business suit, and his hulking bodyguard, Mr. Hendricks, was standing behind him.
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN