Friday, September 08, 2006


In a review of Fool Moon:
I'm sensing a new trend of intentionally semi-competent heroes. This and Dead Witch Walking are my only indications, so I could be wrong.

Take Harry Dresden, Freelance Wizard. He screws up. A lot. Not necessarily terrible mistakes, but little slips. But people often die from these mistakes. Being fallible makes Harry more human, but it's asking a lot of me to look the other way as innocent victims are offered up on the sacrificial altar of our hero's character development. Halfway through this book I wanted someone to take over for Harry. Someone who could work toward a solution instead of stumbling his way through.

Writers who don't let their heroes make mistakes bother me. If Harry Dresden were perfect, I would have stopped reading the books long ago. I like that he fucks up and I like that his mistakes cause serious problems. The lovely thing about fiction is that you can sacrifice as many innocent victims as you need too and no real people get hurt.

Also, it's difficult to believe that Harry, even the SuperSpeshul!Harry that this reader would prefer, could manage to save everyone. The book features a bunch of killer werewolves. Killer werewolves are not easy to deal with.

I've had to accept that that some people actually like Sues and Stus. They like reading about completely perfect characters. They enjoy reading flowery descriptions of flawless complexions and can happily accept ridiculously high IQ scores. These are the people who have made Eragon and books like it so obnoxiously popular.