NESFA Members' Reviews

Angry Lead Skies

by Glen Cook

A book review by Mark L. Olson

Roc, 2002, 364 pp, $6.99

Garrett is at it again, this time dealing with love-starved space aliens who are visiting TunFaire. Some are there to proselytize, some to explore, and some to haul the proselytizers back home to jail.

Into this is mixed all the characters accumulated from the previous novels – the Dead Man, Morley, and thirty others – and some sensible thoughts on race relations as practiced in a city in which 30 or so humanoid races live.

Cook seems to be taking the series further and further into social commentary. He's doing it well, but he's creating a collision between his serious points and the essential silliness of the premise (a hardboiled detective in fantasyland). Pratchett is doing much the same thing, but is somewhat more successful because none of his characters started out quite so far out of synch with the milieu.

Not only are Garrett's personal beliefs simply incompatible with the person he must be in that city, but in the last several books a lot of the supporting characters have also grown more 3-dimensional and they, too, seem too modern in their outlook. (It's hard to see how Cook could have done otherwise, though, given that he wanted to make them more realistic. If he'd had them behaving as people from a 1500's society would, they would not have been very sympathetic to modern readers.)

This is not to say I didn't enjoy the book – as always, it was a good story.

See my other reviews of Glen Cook books: Faded Steel Heat, Angry Lead Skies

NESFA homepage | Review Index | More Reviews by Mark L. Olson