Week 2 of May has come and gone! In fact, I’m a little behind on this: I mean, better than the months-behind I was only a short while ago, but it still counts! I had some computer issues this past week that caused this to get pushed back a bit, but I’m back on track now.
Week 2 of May was decent: better than week 1 for sure. I read one less book, but enjoyed all of them a lot more.
Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 10th. There’s a theme this week (and probably this whole month). I’m actually on-track to read half the Dresden Files series in May, which is pretty awesome! This was a definite improvement over Storm Front: the pacing was more solid, and I adored the depth of the werewolf mythology. There were at least 4 different kinds: 5, if you count Terra West, who I am convinced is a Skinwalker.
While I’m early on in the series, I’d like to address an issue that seems to pop up in a lot of reviews: Harry Dresden is a bit of a misogynist. For some reason, people seem to think this makes Jim Butcher a misogynist. I think Harry’s hypocrisy comes through loud and clear: it’s not intended for us to think “wow, women sure are dumb and need saving!” but rather “man, Harry sure can be a moron.” Author intent and author belief are not one and the same.
Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 13th. I’ve heard, over and over, that this series is a slow trek uphill in terms of quality and it hits its stride around the middle. However, I liked Fool Moon more than Grave Peril: maybe because I’m a slut for mythology, and the werewolf stuff in FM was amazing, whereas the ghost aspect of GP didn’t really bring anything new to the table. GP also brings us new characters (Michael & Lea), but unlike those in FM (Tera and Billy & the werewolves) I only liked one. I’ll admit that while everyone seems to love Michael, and even I admit that the idea of the Knights is very cool, I’m not a fan. Though the dialogue we get from Harry because of his “zomg no cursing! God is listening!” deal is pretty great.
Lea (short for Leanan Sidhe, one of my all time favorite fae), though… man, this gives us a great taste of the next book. Which is so much better. I feel like Grave Peril pretty much just exists to set up things for the future.
All The Rage, by Courtney Summers: Finished May 13th. This is the highest rating I’ve given a book this month. Before you go diving in, there is a HUGE trigger warning for rape. It’s at the core of this book, and while this is a young adult novel it’s brutal: it does not shy away from the realities of being a survivor, from the trauma and the horror of just trying to live your life after being broken like that. But this is an amazingly important and beautifully written book. It manages to be tasteful while also being brutally honest: it is real and dreamlike, horrible but amazing. If you feel like you are in a place where this would not trigger you in a harmful way, I suggest you read it. I really wish everyone would: it really gets to the core of what that act of violence really, truly means.
Summer Knight, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 16th. FAERIES! Definitely my favorite so far, and I can see why so many people say that this is where the series gets “serious.” There’s a lot of heavy mythology and worldbuilding like the previous books, along with the witty dialogue and action scenes you’d expect (although confession, I don’t love action scenes and tend to skim them) but here we finally get… serious character development! A look at the White Council! Serious peeks into Harry’s past! Lots of things that were hinted at in books 1-3 are actually brought to the table here.
And man, let’s just talk about how Butcher handles the Fae. He doesn’t go for cute/sexy, like so many people, but makes them truly alien and unpredictable. Or at least for the most part: I guessed the “bad guy” pretty easily based on how unpredictable the whole thing was (though that’s not really a fault, exactly). I loved all the courts, and I know that the Queens are seriously important in the rest of the books so I am really looking forward to that.
A last note: I really enjoy this series, but I don’t love it. I’m really hoping I do (since I’ve basically committed myself to 16+ books), but at this point I am 1/4 of the way through and the “I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!” has yet to kick in. They’re still just light, enjoyable reads for me. I’m hoping for more wham-moments and real character depth in the future.