on June 11, 2002
After reading what had been posted here, I was expecting to be disappointed by the latest Garrett novel. 'Petty Pewter Gods' was the weakest in the series to date, in my opinion, and the trend toward ever more far-fetched storylines made me nervous. However, in spite of an initial "Oh, no...." reaction to what is afoot in Tunfaire this time, (which will be obvious to the reader early on) I forged ahead in spite of my misgivings. Ultimately, this is far from being one of the darker entries in the series. Instead, it is both satiric and romantic in outlook, with a surprisingly upbeat denouement.
Part of me worried that this might be a final installment, since it seemed throughout to be heading for a conclusion in which loose ends are tied up and the hero goes riding off into the sunset. And having finished it, I can still see that. At the same time, there are enough potential new set-ups that a new addition to the series would fit in quite smoothly.
I seriously doubt that fans will be disappointed, as long as they can indulge the author in an admittedly over-the-top storyline. While the book is largely without the gritty, harsh realism of the Black Company novels (which is exactly what I love about Cook's work), it works quite well as a sort of opera buffa a la Chandler-- in its own way, it's the most loving tribute to hard-boiled fiction to emerge from the series. It's all in good fun, and most highly recommended to those already familiar with the series-- especially those who don't object to a playful take on the characters.
on May 11, 2002
Set in TunFaire, a city that was corrupt before dinosaurs ever learned to count, P.I. Garrett's adventures among the magical, the crooked, and the nasty (often at the same time) have been entertaining readers since 1997. TunFaire is the gem of the Karentine, a city where magic is generally bad news, racial violence between species is a commonplace, and you can find or buy anything if you have the wherewithal to acquire it. There Garrett has set up shop with his partner, the Dead Man - who is a Loghyr (think 500 pound telepathic elephant) who has been dead for 400 years and alternates between messing with Garrett's mind and taking naps.
Garrett does not lack for friends, if friends are what you would call them. There's Morley the full time restaurateur and part time crook, Saucerhead Tharpe, Dojango, Martha and Doris (the last three are all guys... guy grolls, that is). Then there in Playmate, a ministerial blacksmith who gets people like Garrett involved in plots like the one in 'Angry Lead Skies.' Ostensibly, Playmate wants Garrett to keep an eye on young Kip Prose, who has suddenly developed the ability to invent things. Things like tricycles, lead pencils, and weird gadgets with gears. It seems like Kip has befriended some strange silver elves and, suddenly, his head is full of ideas.
It doesn't take Garret too long to find out that the strange silver elves and the saucers and lights whizzing around the TunFaire skies are somehow related. And that too many people are interested in Kip's sudden rush of inventiveness. Soon Gerrett is neck deep in a chase that seems guaranteed to get him knocked out every four hours. Soon, the attention of TunFaire's regular cast of politicians and wizards turns to Garret's antics, and to the ever-increasing numbers of a new kind of elf that shoots back with a vengeance. The P.I. finds that there is always somebody spying on him, visible, invisible, parrot or pixie.
The good side of the case is that Garrett finds himself surrounded by the kind of women he likes best. Possessive and adorable. There are his regular ladies, Tinny, Alyx, and Katie. Then his new partner is the rat woman Singe, who can out track everyone else, and think circles around most of what TunFaire considers human. Rat people are on the bottom of the social scale in TunFaire, but Singe is well on her way to prove that there is much more to the story of the Rat people than most are willing to admit.
And so, once again, Glen Cook has managed to write a science fiction story from the viewpoint of those that live in a fantasy world, begging the question of what is magic, and what is not. He takes this heady concoction and turns it into the kind of tough guy mystery tale which would appeal in whatever setting it found itself. With titles that mimic John D. MacDonald. All of Cook's stories in this series combine a sarcastic sense of humor with a slightly bent set of morals (on everyone's part). But, mixed in are reflections of current events in our own world. Garrett's occasional reminiscences of the Tarantine war carry echoes of Cook's Black Company books, and of the Viet Nam conflict that lies behind both of the fantasy conflicts. This ability to write in layers is what makes Glen Cook a remarkable author who never fails to give a reader pleasure.
on April 4, 2002
Angry Lead Skies, the latest title in the Garrett P.I. series, doesn't have the same cohesive structure of the preceding works. In fact, the book is extremely dark from the first page. I think this might be due to the ending of the Black Company series and the writing styles have merged a bit. I have just finished reading the Black Company series from beginning to end (now that it is finished and I have recollected all of the books) and am currently reading the Garrett novels and can deffinately feel a lot more of the Black Company formula in this novel. The most disappointing feature of the book is the lack of consistency with the earlier titles. This book has a wonderfully convoluted storyline that keeps you wondering where Cook is leading you, but Garrett seems to have merged a bit with Croaker and many of the secondary and tertiary characters don't follow the same attitudes as they did in earlier books (and it has only been a few weeks since happenings in earlier titles according to time references made in this book). Overall, I truly am enjoying this novel due to Cook's amazing ability to keep a rolling narrative that leads you in so many directions at one. As most people do in their heads as they think, you get to see inside of Garrett's cynical, over-sexed mind. Deffinately a great read for fans of the series, but newcomers to the series would be better off starting with a couple of the earlier titles that are still in print. As with earlier works, it is really Cook's amazing storytelling ability that makes you want to read through the night.
on April 10, 2002
This does not read like the previous books in this series. I have been checking Amazon constantly for a new book and pre-ordered this as soon as it was available. If you are a big fan of the series, you will likely be disappointed. I would guess that Cook did not write this book. Too many contradictions (mentioned by other reviewers, whose comments I agree with). But, if you really are a fan, you are going to buy this book anyway, just don't get your hopes up. The interaction between the characters feels strained and not natural. I wanted to wait until the end, thinking it would get better, but it didn't. Cook has done a great job with the series until now. I eagerly await the next book, with the hopes that it gets better. Worse than anything, there was not enough of Morley Dotes, my favorite character in the series. I think there must have been a book before this one and somehow Angry Lead Skies was accidently published before it (sarcasm). I never thought I would say this but, there is too much sex in the book, not that that is a problem, but it just doesn't fit. It's as if it were thrown in because there was nothing else, so why not go with something that sells. Singe wants a turn with Garrett? Perhaps it has been too long between books? I look forward to the next one, if there will be a next one. Hopefully Cook will read the series for a refresher, (if he wrote this one). I can't say don't buy it, because I want to see another one, but if you are new to the series, pick up the earlier books (which I have read several times each).
I expected more....and I hate to think that Cook does not have it anymore.
on March 31, 2002
On TunFaire, Playmate visits private detective Garrett in order for the sleuth to protect a kid Cypres "Kip" Prose from abduction attempts. Apparently thugs hired by bounty hunter Bic Gonlitt are to snatch the kid so that his clients can use Kip to find his weird pals Lastyr and Noodles. Kip offers very little in terms of what is happening and even Dead Man with his multiple minds has trouble understanding the lad who seems more footed in his own reality than that of society.
Garrett struggles to comprehend what Kip tells him about his two pals. A frustrated Garrett is ready to drop the case as a waste of his time even with Playmate pushing him to stay on. However, it turns personal when assailants snatch the lad. Garrett begins a search to find Kip and learn exactlt what is going on.
ANGRY LEAD SKIES is a wild science fiction mystery that never slows down for a moment. The who-done-it plays second banana to the weird ensemble representing some of the craziest "sentient" beings to ever grace a novel. Garrett is a wonderful lead protagonist keeping the tale grounded as if he is the nucleus and everyone else is the electrons revolving around him. Glen Cook cooks up a gritty novel that will provide much gratification to those sub-genre fans who appreciate a strange but cohesive ride.
on March 20, 2002
"Angry Lead Skies" is another wild, weird, wonderful ride up and down the fertile hills of Glen Cook's imagination. In this most recent of the Garrett Files, we meet again nearly everyone with whom we've become familiar. And it's a pleasure to see them again. The plot is astounding in its strangeness. What starts out as a simple favor to a friend quickly becomes an adventure unlike any other in the Metal Series. What a shame we had to wait so long for this one. (This was not the author's fault; blame the publisher.) Unlike the previous books, "Skies" does not feature an mystery to be solved, and only minor feats of detection to be performed. It is sheer adventure in wacky weirdness and fans of the series will break speed-reading records. Let's hope the next book (already written) will not be the last in the series, as Mr. Cook has hinted. Clearly, his interest in the characters has not waned and his imagination remains unmatched.
Note: Newcomers might be better served by reading one or two of the previous books before this one.
on April 1, 2002
I don't know what the author has planned (since he's finishing off the series with the next book...personaly I expect a blow-out with the Kingpin) but this just didn't read like a Garrett novel. Doris and Marsha are suddenly speaking perfect Karentine (they couldn't in the other novels), the Tates' have Dwarfish ancesters instead of the Elvish ones as named in the first book, we have [over-sexed] aliens (actually, everyone is over-sexed) and someone named Kathy (where did she come from?). I kept expecting Garret to wake up at the end and find that this was all a bad dream.
I give this book 2 stars only because I truly enjoy the rest of the series (to the point of reading them every third month or so). Otherwise, I'd be giving it a -1 star.
on May 17, 2002
I wanted to write this review after I'd had some time pass since reading it. But now I have nothing to add that other fans of the series haven't already said.
Indeed, this is Cook's weakest, darkest and most inconsistant book in the Files of Garrett PI line. Did he lose the will to write it, and only did so because he had a contract with the publisher? Did Mr. Cook lose his notes and didn't know who or what his characters were anymore (I was waiting for Morley Dotes to chow down on a steak any moment)?
More's the pity becuase the events could have been the basis for Garrett's biggest adventure yet. Instead, it feels like the author needed to cram what seems like his own deepest dark outlook in our own world into this novel.
on June 17, 2002
With out even reading the back cover the minute I saw the New Garrett Mystery I bought it. I am sorry I did. If my dog had not grabbed it I would have returned it. If you have read the other books in Glen Cooks Garrett series how can you help but be upset by this pale immitation. Gone is the marvolous pacing and quick wit. It has been replaced with bad jokes and worse style. It is ham handed and lacks the subtle sense of irony and twisted sense of humor that I have come to enjoy in a Garrett Mystery. Before I buy the next book in this series I intend to check it out of the library and see if I wish to waste my money on him again.
on July 24, 2002
For whatever reason, Cook takes the series in a new direction, with the addition of aliens to the cast. Unfortunately, it doesn't blend well with his universe, though some of the aspects of the integration are quite funny. Also, the heavily convuluted subplots and large cast of characters made it rather confusing, especially towards the end. All of the other books in the series are great, though.