Monday, 15 February 2016

Angry Lead Skies (tenth novel in the Garrett P.I. series)

(Originally posted on Friday, 9 August 2013)

Please read my post from April 2009 to find out about my rating.
Please read my post from May 2009 to learn about Glen Cook’s style of writing.

My rating: 8/10 (high re-reading value)

Reading Angry Lead Skies was a real pleasure. To me this is by far the best Garrett book since the 4th one (Old Tin Sorrows, rated 10/10). Among the novels numbered 5 through 10 this is the only one I want to re-read.

I was afraid to start reading Angry Lead Skies because I had read many negative reviews of this novel. To me, however, this book was very enjoyable.

What’s good:
1. Glen Cook’s style of writing.
2. Significant amount of good, mostly sarcastic humour. Not as much as in the first three Garrett novels, but quite close.
3. A lot of fighting and exploring, both inside and outside the city.
4. Very good and enjoyable mix of fantasy and science fiction.
It may seem strange, but Glen Cook pulled that stunt perfectly.
5. It’s interesting to see how “fantasy people” react while discovering highly sophisticated, electronic equipment and the alien creatures themselves (sky elves). Glen Cook describes it in a very believable way. In particular he never uses “modern words” – for example a TV screen is described by Garrett as a “window to a different place”, or something like that.
6. Garrett is, finally, maturing – getting smarter and more thoughtful about other people and himself (in a positive way). Glen Cook surprised me very much with Garrett getting older, because in some of his other novels it seemed to me that all the characters were changing for worse.
7. Nice touch on economy and money making in Garrett world, bearing a strong resemblance to what is going on in our world.

What’s bad:
1. There are several inconsistencies considering the whole series. First of all two grolls named Tris and Marsha, who were not able to speak Garrett language before, now talk to Garrett without any problems and he is not even surprised. Some readers claim that their size is also different, but I am not sure.
2. A much bigger and much more disturbing inconsistency to me is the race of Tinnie Tate – Garrett’s love throughout the series (with some breaks). I am sure that she was a gnome. She was sexy,
red-haired and short, but she was a gnome. In this book I got a very strong notion that the whole Tate family are treated like humans. I’ve got a similar notion in the previous novel, but I thought that I have misunderstood something. I can’t believe that Glen Cook forgot about Tates’ real race.
3. The sexual side of this novel is a little too weird to me. Getting laid with sky elves by Garrett would be enough, but the fact that Pular Singe (a rat girl living in Garrett’s house) gets jealous about it was
too much. Nothing happened between her and Garrett, but my imagination is too strong for such ... unusual ideas.
4. At the end of the novel the economy side-plot gets more important than the sky elves themselves. It makes the end of the main story a little lacklustre. On the other hand it couldn’t have been much different, for obvious reasons.

To me Angry Lead Skies is somewhat similar to Bleak Seasons from the Black Company series. There are many people who hate it, but to me it’s very enjoyable. Not perfect, but definitely far from being bad. Overall I rate Angry Lead Skies as a novel more than just good, with high re-reading value.

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