Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sweet Silver Blues (first novel in the Garrett P.I. series)

(Originally posted on Sunday, 1 November 2009)

The cover is VERY misleading. I almost refrain from buying this book because of it. As You can see there are some gnomes holding guns (a pistol and UZI). This is absurd. There are NO guns in this book. The only ranged weapons are crossbows. This book is pure fantasy with NO such futuristic elements. I don’t know why they made this cover that way. A very bad idea in my opinion. First when I saw this cover I thought “What a crap. I won’t buy it.”. Lucky me that later I had the possibility to buy it for a very good price. I gave it a try because for such a low price I was risking hardly anything but my time to read it. This book is a classic example of the saying “Don’t judge the book by its cover”.

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

[Short review]

What’s bad:
1. Nothing. Not a damned thing.

What’s good:
1. Glen Cook’s style of writing.
2. Lots of action, mystery and plot twists.
3. Huge amount of humour (mostly sarcastic humour that makes me smile almost all the time, but there are also some really hilarious scenes that make me laugh aloud).
4. The amount of different creatures (elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, centaurs, unicorns, trolls, and so on) and the way they are described make this book almost a parody on fantasy books. That’s very good because I don’t like standard fantasy creatures like the ones I mentioned.
5. Pure first person perspective.
6. The story is told as if the narrator was your friend and you were sitting together in a bar, drinking beer, having good time and talking about his adventures.
7. Garrett's home town is diverse and full of life.
8. Although it is fun-oriented the book touches some dark sides of life.
9. The story itself in one moment becomes a kind of horror (not so much laughing there). This part is so well written that it feels really creepy. It makes this book even more original and enjoyable.
10. Many interesting and memorable characters both “positive” and “negative” ones. Overall there are no purely good characters. Even Garrett is not perfect, especially considering the way he looks at women (the kind of look that most men look at women).
11. There is a very interesting background story about the ongoing war. Garrett himself is a war veteran – he served his five years in hell and was very lucky to come back home. In this book and all the later books in this series Garrett learns about things that are currently happening there and talks about how they are influencing the life in his home town. This is a very interesting aspect of this series.

Many people consider the Garrett series as a series of detective novels. Well I wouldn’t call it that way. The fact that the main character is a private investigator doesn’t make a book a detective story. I’d like to point out that in Garrett books there are no clues about how a particular mystery will be solved. I think in a detective story there should be such clues, to enable a reader to guess the outcome. In Garrett books this is not possible. There are many plot twists that could never be foreseen. This is very typical for all of Glen Cook's books.

There is nothing I didn’t enjoy in Sweet Silver Blues. It is very, very, very enjoyable. Pure fun. For me this is a perfect book.

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