Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 14


Chapter 14

Last time- Harry Dresden: fugitive from justice!

I woke up someplace dark and warm. But then I opened my eyes, and it wasn’t dark anymore. Just dim.

Nobody ever edited these things, did they?

I moaned, before I could think to keep quiet. I’m not a wimp; it just hurt that bad.


This attitude to pain and suffering is utterly toxic. There isn’t a threshold you have to pass before you’re allowed to react to it, if something hurts you you can act however you damn well please. If someone criticized you for it, they can go fuck themselves.

A book entitled SAS Survival Manual lay open to a page with several black and white illustrations of bandaging techniques

So is Tera West supposed to be British? Because I’m not aware of any part of the UK where people talk like she does.

While she was bandaging his wound Tera also cut off the handcuffs Murphy had put on him with a hacksaw. Man, she really gets shit done, doesn’t she? Unlike a certain someone.

I did my best not to move too much, but the pain didn’t go away. After a few minutes, I decided that my wound wasn’t going to start hurting any less, so I sat up.

Your wound isn’t going to suddenly start hurting less, but it sure as hell can start hurting more. When you’re in blinding agony the correct course of action almost never involves getting up and going for a stroll, particularly if doing so might risk re-opening a wound somewhere.

Tera floats into the room all mysteriously.

“You were very lucky,” she said. “The bullet went through the muscle and missed the bone and the artery. You will live.”

This is at least some acknowledgment that the shoulder is a dangerous place to get shot in as opposed to an invincible bullet-sponge, but I imagine Harry would at the very least still have some nerve damage and other complications to contend with.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“A hotel in East Chicago,” she said.

I nodded. “How did you pay for it?”

“I used cash. MacFinn told me that the police can track the plastic cards.”

…. So she’s a time traveler or something? I guess? That would explain the awkward ye olde dialecte.

Tera is like “we have to roll and stop my husband from werewolfing people, like, right now” but then Harry is like “no give me information” because I guess they couldn’t be having this conversation while driving.

“You will leave this place now, ” she said, glaring into my eyes.

“Why should I?” I snarled

Jesus Harry she saved you from both prison and death, have a little respect.

Harry SOUL GAZES with Tera and is surprised when nothing happens.

There were only two kinds of people whose eyes I could meet for more than a second or two: the people who had already met my eyes in a soulgaze were one kind; inhuman beings from the Nevernever were the other.

I’m somewhat confused about the cosmology going on here, what exactly counts as “inhuman”? What about werewolves? Earlier Harry seems to treat “the Nevernever” (christ that’s such a stupid phrase) as a catch-all terms for supernatural beings, and elsewhere he talks about it as if it’s an actual place. To be fair this was probably explained in the first book, and I’ve just forgotten.

We will leave now,” she growled.

I felt a surge of defiant grumpiness course through me. “Why should I?” I whispered back.

“Because I have called the police and told them that you are here, that you are acting irrational and dangerous, and that you possess a weapon. They will be here momentarily. I think that the police might be feeling threatened, given all the recent deaths. They will be likely to shoot you rather than take chances.”


Tera is awesome.

Eventually she just leaves so Harry is forced to follow her. Then he remembers that her attractiveness (and therefore worth as a woman) hasn’t been ranked yet and we, the reader, are caught in a state of acute existential crisis. DRESDEN SCAN ACTIVATE:

I studied her as she got in the car. She was tall and lean and pretty in a knife-edge sort of way.


Would you say she’s a flat ground, or more of a single bevel? I tend to go for concave women myself.

She drove us out onto the streets of East Chicago, one of the distant suburbs of the big city, down at the south end of Lake Michigan, finally turning off into a quiet drive beside a sign that read WOLF LAKE PARK.

Oh come on.

Tera West made me nervous. She had appeared from nowhere to save me from the back of a police car, true, but what were her intentions? Was she really trying to help her fiancé keep from falling victim to his family curse again? Or were the two of them working together to remove anyone who could rebuild the magical circle that could contain MacFinn and render him harmless?

There are at least two reasons this doesn’t make sense: 1) if she wanted you dead or out of the way she could have just left you to bleed out from the gunshot wound or let the police arrest you and 2) unless someone else is putting MacFinn into the circle against his will then it’s obvious he’s using it voluntarily.

That would make sense, given that once Kim Delaney was dead, they came after me.

No it doesn’t fucking make sense Harry, Kim Delaney was obviously only wondering how to make the circle because she had been asked to do it (Tera West explicitly told him this in the previous chapter), therefore she was in no way a threat to them until they specifically made her one. The only way this line of reasoning makes sense is if the wuffle couple’s plan is “kill all wizards, everywhere” and they’re just going to lure them into traps one by one.

I’m really astonished at how weird and counter-intuitive Harry’s chain of logic often is. Guy couldn’t detective his way out of a paper bag.

If Tera West was a monster, and wanted me dead, she could have killed me already-and she surely would not have bothered to clean and dress my injury.

There you go, knew you had it in you. It only took a whole page of tortured reasoning to arrive at the one fact that immediately renders all of your speculation pointless.

Of course, that begged the question: What did she really want?

Maybe she wants the thing she plainly told you she wanted, ie a new containment circle for MacFinn? Is there any reason to assume she’s lying about that?

Tera and Harry get out of the car and go snooping around a spooky park for Monsieur Werewolf. They don’t get very far before Tera steps in one of those traps you used to see on old cartoons that dangles the person upside down from a tree. Then we get the Worst Metaphor Ever:

then something came up out of the leaves, rose right up like Hamlet’s dad from the stage floor. But instead of bemoaning his fate and charging me with avenging him, he slugged me across the jaw

I don’t understand how people think this is acceptable.

The Hamlet dad ghost or whatever the fuck is a muddy guy who quickly demolishes Harry and pins him to the ground in a forearm choke.

I didn’t stand a chance.


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12 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 14

  1. J.D

    Nevernever is an early Victorian colonial phrase for the Australian Outback, coined by a surveyor who went out into the desert where no one lived. Because no indigenous Australians lived there, they have begun to use the term as well.
    Harry Dresden using it is nonsensical. You calling it “stupid” isn’t great.

  2. Pingback: Doing In The Wizard

  3. nickfernan

    The funny thing is I think these books would be more interesting if Dresden was intended to be a slackjawed moron who needed to be led around the nose by the people doing the real work and not a Peter Parker style angsty True Hero.
    It’s a good sign when a book teeters close to something great completely by accident.

  4. Austin H. Williams

    So is Tera West supposed to be British? Because I’m not aware of any part of the UK where people talk like she does.

    I’m sure Butcher has as firm a grasp on foreign accents and covert ops as he does on inner-city Chicago, story logic, and not being a misogynist shitbag.

    There you go, knew you had it in you. It only took a whole page of tortured reasoning to arrive at the one fact that immediately renders all of your speculation pointless.

    I think you were spot on about no one editing this, least of all Butcher himself.

  5. welltemperedwriter

    TBH the Hamlet dad thing cracked me up. Perhaps my standards are just that low.

    The SAS Survival Manual is easy enough to get in the U.S.–they sell it on Amazon, not to mention finer prepper/survivalist boutiques everywhere–so it doesn’t necessarily mean that Tera is supposed to be British. Maybe Butcher thinks it’s cooler than the U.S. Army survival manuals, which are also pretty easy to get.

    1. Austin H. Williams

      It almost registered as humorous along the lines of the sort of overblown metaphors that Terry Pratchett and, errm, Tracer Bullet use to spectacular effect.

      I don’t think that’s what the author intended though. It’s hard to tell. The tone in this book is not entirely stable.

    2. Number27

      Does MacFinn have property in Canada as well as the US northwest? If so, that’s probably where the SAS manual came from.

  6. braak

    The Nevernever IS an actual place, but I think it’s also the only supernatural place, so all the supernatural things (but especially faeries) live there. Most werewolves are NOT inhuman creatures, but there are a bunch of different kinds of werewolves.

    The mystery of Tera is actually kind of maybe one of the better mysteries in this book, because it is an obvious answer that Butcher permits to be cleverly elusive.

    1. Signatus

      So, what is she? Fenrir? I read this book long ago. Had completely forgotten about this character (and how chaotic everything actually is).

  7. Pingback: Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 12- 13 | Doing In The Wizard

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