Irwin Pounder, the scion of a mating between his human mother and Bigfoot father is now grown and attending college. After dreaming that his son may be in danger, Irwin's father, River Shoulders, once again calls on Harry Dresden, asking him to check up on his offspring. Harry thinks that River Shoulders should do the checking up himself, but he reluctantly agrees to see to the young man's well-being if his Bigfoot friend agrees to see his son in person. When Harry finds Irwin, he discovers that Irwin is dating a beautiful and seemingly nice young woman named Connie, but he almost immediately senses that she isn't what she appears to be. In fact, her true nature could threaten Irwin's very life even though it becomes abundantly clear that the two are madly in love. Add in Connie's controlling father who has big plans for his daughter, and Harry has his hands full keeping Irwin alive and hopefully chalking up a win for true love.
"Bigfoot on Campus" is a short novelette that falls between Turn Coat and Changes in the Dresden Files series chronology. It's also the last in a trilogy of shorts about Bigfoot River Shoulders and his half-human son, Irwin. In this one, Irwin is now grown and attending college at the University of Oklahoma, which according to the author's note at the beginning of the story is apparently Jim Butcher's alma mater. Once again, River Shoulders meets with Harry and tasks him with checking up on his son after having a dream that he's in danger. Harry is a little reluctant this time. He agrees, but only if River Shoulders promises to finally meet Irwin in person. However, Harry discovers that Irwin has a new girlfriend named Connie who, while outwardly seeming like a nice girl, isn't all that she appears at first glance. She isn't really aware of her own nature, though, which could put Irwin in grave danger even though the two seem to be madly in love. This pits Harry in a battle against evil forces to save Irwin's life.
I've very much enjoyed the previous Bigfoot stories and this one was a fun wrap-up to the trilogy. It starts with Harry at the police station after some sort of altercation which left bizarre evidence behind. The cop on duty is trying to decide whether to arrest Harry and insists on him telling his story even though Harry is adamant that the cop won't believe it. So Harry sets about honestly relating events as they happened, occasionally interspersed with his conversation with the cop. It was all quite amusing, because the cop becomes very invested in the tale, hanging on his every word. As for what actually happened, I don't want to say too much or it will give away spoilers, but suffice it to say, as usual, Harry has his hands full dealing with the situation. I enjoyed that this one has a little romance in it. At first I wasn't too sure of the Irwin/Connie pairing, but it soon becomes clear that they adore each other. My favorite part, though, is that we finally get to see what powers Bigfoots actually possess and they're pretty impressive. I was a little sad that we don't know precisely what happened to all involved at the very end, but because the reader can extrapolate to some extent, it was still satisfying even if a little ambiguous. I'm kind of sorry to see the Bigfoot stories come to a close and hope that maybe we'll see them again somewhere down the line in the series. "Bigfoot on Campus" was previously published in the multi-author anthology, Hex Appeal, before being reprinted in the single-author anthology, Brief Cases.
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