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Faded Steel Heat (Garrett Files, Bk. 9) de…
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Faded Steel Heat (Garrett Files, Bk. 9) (1999 original; edició 1999)

de Glen Cook (Autor), Allan Pollack (Il·lustrador)

Sèrie: Garrett P.I. (9)

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509337,111 (3.85)4
Riots between humans and trolls, elves, and other non-humans have plunged Tunfaire into near chaos. Garrett finds himself pulled into the game when a powerful gang of human rightists tries to shake down his employer'and ends up caught in a conspiracy of hate that pits man against? everybody!
Títol:Faded Steel Heat (Garrett Files, Bk. 9)
Autors:Glen Cook (Autor)
Altres autors:Allan Pollack (Il·lustrador)
Informació:Ace (1999), 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Faded Steel Heat de Glen Cook (1999)

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Faded Steel Heat
Series: Garrett, PI #9
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 453
Words: 131K


From Wikipedia

This ninth installment in the Garrett series sees Garrett visited at home by three lovely young ladies, Tinnie Tate, Giorgi Nicholas (Nicks), and Alyx Weider, daughter of Max Weider. Alyx explains that she has been sent by her father to get Garrett to investigate an apparent extortion attempt on the Weider business by The Call, a group of human rights activists headed by Marengo North English. Meanwhile, Colonel Block and Deal Relway strike a deal with Garrett: Garrett will attempt to infiltrate The Call, reporting back to Block and Relway on their activities, while Relway and Block will try to help solve the extortion attempt on the Weiders, as well as ensure the safety of the Weiders and Tates during the ordeal.

In typical Garrett fashion, things start to get complicated when Garrett is attacked by a group of thugs while poking around the Weider brewery. After cleaning up and meeting with Max Weider, Max decides it may be best for Garrett to come to Ty Weider's and Giorgi Nicks' engagement party the following night. When Garrett returns home, the Dead Man concurs, pointing out that it will allow Garrett to investigate the motive of his assailants, as well as help him infiltrate the upper echelons of The Call's society.

With Belinda Contague as his date for the evening, Garrett stumbles into a party that turns dark quickly. By the end of the evening, two of Max Weider's children have been murdered, Max Weider's wife has died, and multiple shapeshifters have been discovered, incapacitated, and arrested. To make matters worse, Belinda Contague gets kidnapped by Crask and Sadler as the evening is winding down.

Garrett quickly hightails it to the Palms, where he has Morley hire an expert tracker, a ratgirl by the name of Pular Singe. With Pular's help, Garrett and Morley track down Crask and Sadler, freeing Belinda and dealing the mafia skull-crackers a serious blow. When Garrett returns home, he's shocked by what he finds: Dean and the Dead Man are gone!

The next day, with help from Colonel Block, Garrett tracks down and arrests Crask and Sadler, who are barely alive from their wounds. With this out of the way, Garrett starts his search for information on the shapeshifters, starting by visiting his friend at the Royal Library, Miss Linda Lee. After getting nowhere fast, Garrett heads back to the Weider's estate, where he and Colonel Block manage to sort out just how and why shapeshifters infiltrated the Weider household.

With Tinnie Tate in tow, Garrett heads out to the estate of Marengo North English, where he continues his search for the shapeshifters. North English, who gets injured in a surprise attack against The Call, has little to offer, but Garrett and Tinnie still manage to uncover one shapeshifter in the midst. With the help of Morley, Belinda Contague, and Marengo North English, Garrett hatches a plan to reunite all the guilty parties back at the Weider manor in an all-inclusive finale.

In the end, Garrett manages to solve the intertwining mysteries of the Weider murders, the shapeshifters, and The Call, and he even unearths an embezzlement scheme that has bankrupted North English and The Call. After a little more detective work, Garrett and company manage to ferret out the last remaining shapechanger in TunFaire, ending the string of murders and impersonations and bringing a small amount of peace to the city. The Dead Man, who returned home with Dean, actually helped mastermind the finale at the Weider's estate, where he had overseen the night's events from his hiding place in a large tank of beer.

My Thoughts:

This was much better than the previous book but just wasn't as good as the first few books. I don't know if I'm really starting to notice Garrett's womanizing ways more, or if Cook is writing it more, but it stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Something has changed in my enjoyment of this series, but I just can't tell if it is me or the books. I'm going to try one more book and see what happens.

This was one busy book. So much was going on and there were these abrupt changes in directions, that I felt like a horse being yanked around with no idea of the how or why. Any confusion I felt while reading this I'm laying squarely at Cook's feet. I've read enough of him to know he can write clearly, succinctly and has the ability to convey his thoughts without confusing me, so why this is happening is either because I don't care and am skipping things OR Cook is trying to be clever and letting 1 sentence from 3 chapters ago suddenly have way more meaning than it ever should have. If the meal tastes bland, blame the Cook! Hahahahahaha.

Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed with this novel. I just wasn't quite as satisfied as I've been in the past. If this series was a bunch of slices of cheesecake, I'd say that somebody started using inferior ingredients, not that my taste in cheesecake was getting jaded.

★★★☆☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | May 27, 2020 |
Garrett is finally back home, but all's not right with the world. With the endless war between the Karentines and Venageti over, the troops are home and TunFaire is flooded with the precious silver that sorcerers use for their magic. But of course, for every silver lining, the people of TunFaire can find a cloud. The demobilized troops, coming home to find a metropolitan city and very few jobs, have decided to belligerently propound a new mission of human rights. And when half the population of TunFaire is elf, dwarf, pixie, ogre, and more, that can only mean trouble. Garrett just wants to laze around and drink beer, but trouble's afoot, and a triplicate of beautiful women has shown up to throw him right in the middle of it. So now Garrett has to handle mysterious doings at his friend's brewery, recruiting agents for human rights groups after him, shapeshifters taking over prominent persons, a military genius somewhere in the background pulling all the strings, and an irritating talking parrot that just won't leave him alone.

All this--especially the shapeshifters--adds up to a recipe for a twisty, imaginative plot and some truly great climaxes, but unfortunately, the story turns out to be half baked. As Garrett himself says, "Nothing in this whole damned mess had gone the way you'd expect it to or made any sense while it was going to hell." It was, improbably, both an idiot plot and a kudzu plot. I knew who the bad guys were from pretty much the moment they walked on. Given the pointed clues and hints, it was incredibly obvious--except to Garrett, who seems determined to avoid following any path that would lead him to that conclusion. Even so, their actions were so illogical and incoherent I had no freaking clue what was going on, even after the the "mystery" is unveiled. I kept hoping that what looked like a bunch of mercenary idiots blundering around would somehow solidify into a crafty and clever plot, but it turned out to be...well...just a bunch of mercenary idiots blundering around. And Garrett was the dumbest of the bunch.

So let's start with Garrett. He walks into a situation, does a bit of questioning, then gets attacked. He handily defeats them, for once, without help. But he doesn't bother to actually question his attackers. Next, people try to recruit him for the human rights movement. Hello. This is Garrett, guy with a Loghyr sharing space, a half-elf best friend, and a selection of seedy inhuman underworld connections. But Garrett doesn't suspect their motives. At all. Next, he's brought in to patrol a party after suspicious activity. When he discovers that shapeshifters are going around killing people and replacing them, and that half of the targeted family has been replaced, he remains unsuspicious. When people mysteriously disappear and miraculously return after near-death experiences, he is unsuspicious. Silver can be used to check credentials, but unsuspicious Garrett just takes everyone on trust. To add to the chaos, two coldblooded killers are loose and out for revenge, and the eventual explanation for their appearance is incoherent. At every point in the story, Garrett takes the wrong turn and sinks his investigation just a little more. He eventually tries to do a Poirot by gathering all the suspects in one room, but since there are hundreds of them, chaos inevitably results. He is so incompetent it's a wonder he figures out anything at all. The story is also, as Garrett himself admits, a series of anticlimaxes. Don't expect epic battles or even much resistance from baddies with vaunted fighting skills. Things end up working out, mainly due to the staggering incompetence of the various baddies.

What kept me reading was the humor of the character interactions. Although I found his idiocy as an investigator unbearable, I found Garrett as a person significantly more likeable than in past novels. Part of it is due to personal prejudice. I don't like cheerful, thoughtless womanizers, and Garrett is one. The way any woman around him throws herself at him has always irritated me; I've never figured out if it's because, due to the war, he's one of the few men still in one piece, or if he's somehow so improbably attractive that it makes up for all his other flaws. Honestly, I suspect it's just spoofing the noir tropes, but I still find it irritating. However, in this book, Garrett's trying to get back in the good graces of Tinnie Tate, and he's doing his best to resist the five other beautiful women throwing themselves at him. I took a great deal of malicious enjoyment in his agony when they flirted with him and he couldn't reciprocate. I also liked a lot of the other characters thrown in: the regimental Block, the rather creepy Relway, and a new character, the timid (but clever) ratgirl, Pular Singh. Last, I loved the interactions between Garrett and his new companion, Mr. Big/The Goddamned Parrot. Cook really uses the power of the unreliable narrator here. Garrett spends the entire time complaining about Mr. Big and claiming that he wants to give him away or put him in a cooking pot, but also (although he won't admit it) worries for him and misses him when he's not around.

The story has a lot of promise. I positively adore fantasy stories, such as Terry Pratchett's Discworld, that deal with political contention between the different races; when used cleverly, it can provide some great illumination on our own cultural racism and bigotry. But in the end, I felt that Cook's portrayal lacked depth, and the fact that the political strife is not backed up by an ingenious mystery was something of a sinker for me. However, I still enjoyed the book. Although irritated by Garrett's idiocy, I found him much more likable than in past books, and I enjoyed the inclusion of characters such as Pular Singh, the ratwoman. I also appreciated Garrett's humorous narration. Last, I think TunFaire is up there with Ankh Morpork as a fantastically detailed, wonderfully gritty urban fantasy maelstrom. If you're looking for a little more of John Green's Nightside or Pratchett's Anhk Morpork, TunFaire is worth checking out. Overall, if you're looking for a light story focused more on fun than mystery, this is a fun read. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
See Sweet Silver Blues. ( )
  TadAD | May 14, 2008 |
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Riots between humans and trolls, elves, and other non-humans have plunged Tunfaire into near chaos. Garrett finds himself pulled into the game when a powerful gang of human rightists tries to shake down his employer'and ends up caught in a conspiracy of hate that pits man against? everybody!

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