Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Faded Steel Heat (ninth novel in the Garrett P.I. series)

(Originally posted on Thursday, 8 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: 7/10 (low re-reading value)

What’s good:
1. Glen Cook’s style of writing – he is back to his usual, great form.
2. There is some good and sarcastic humour. Maybe not too much, but still much more than in the previous 3 novels together.
3. The action is really interesting and gripping.
4. Glen Cook finished (at last) a crappy side-plot from previous novels about a rebellious, racist-like movement. I didn’t mentioned it in my previous reviews, because it was so strange I just didn’t know how to judge it.
5. There are shape-shifters. Don’t worry - it’s not a spoiler because it is clear very soon into the book. I mentioned it because Glen Cook is a master of handling shape-shifters. They are always background characters, but very memorable and climatic.
6. This novel is like an all-star game for the Garrett series. There is almost every important character from ALL of the earlier Garrett novels.

What’s bad:
1. Two Garrett’s enemies – Crask and Sadler – at one moment are described as if they were supernatural beings (like vampires) radiating some evil energy. It makes no sense, because they are normal people without any magical abilities. Yes, they were very cruel and tough, but nothing more.
2. There is some strange encounter during a night that Garrett spends in a mansion outside his home city. It is never really explained and makes no sense to me.
3. I hate what Glen Cook did to one of the characters. He acts totally out of his usual character, almost pathetically. I don’t want to spoil anything so I can’t name him. It’s not a main character, but I liked him anyway (previously).
4. The ending is somewhat disappointing considering a great build-up of tension throughout the book.
5. The fight at the end of the book is described as totally chaotic, but I don’t see any logical reason for it. Yes, there was a very powerful and dangerous monster involved, but only one. He couldn’t attack everybody at the same time.
6. The ending for one of the villains was not understandable to me.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can’t explain.

Faded Steel Heat is much more light-hearted than the previous three Garrett novels. It’s far from perfect and the ending is somewhat disappointing, but the series is back on the right track. Overall I rate it as a good (solid) book, but its re-reading value is still low.

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