Add one part Kolchak: The Nightstalker, a touch of Columbo, and heavyhelping of wizards, elves, dragons, and all sorts of fantasy creatures.Blend quickly while tongue is planted firmly in cheek. There you havethe entire Garrett P.I. series from fantasy writer Glen Cook. PettyPewter Gods is the 8th book in the series. While it definitely helps tohave read the first seven before jumping into this simultaneously zanyand action filled installment, Cook does a great job providing justenough back-story to explain the sometimes (O.K. quite often) strainedrelationships between our hero and his so-called allies.
In this installment, Garrett finds himself in the employment of the godsthemselves, who seem to be having a problem holding on to theirfollowers. And when the number of followers falls below a certain level,the gods are threatened with eviction! This one starts out with all thefun and mayhem of the other books, but unfortunately doesn’t quite liveup to the others in the series. The problem is that in this installmentI think the story got too big for Cook, and it appeared destine formultiple volumes. Instead, the author chooses to try and wrap everythingup in the last fifteen or so pages, with our hero making a lucky guessand having all you-know-what break loose. While the ensuing chaos is afun read, don’t think to hard about it afterwards, because then you willrealize just how contrived it was.
If this was done by most other authors, the story would have fallen flatand turned me off from the rest of the books. But Cook has a way ofletting you feel like you are in on some big, cosmic joke. Never takinghis protagonist or storyline too seriously, the end result is a fun ridethrough the magical city of TunFaire. The end result is a lightheartedaction-fantasy-adventure that fans of the series will enjoy. If you havenever read any of the Garrett P.I. books, don’t start with this one,however. Fans of Cook’s Black Company series may be surprised by thehigh humor and just outright silliness that appears in this book, and inthe entire series.
This book has been out of print for a while, but is still available atused bookstore vendors and in many libraries. While not the best in theseries, its definitely worth reading if you are familiar with the books.