Switching Back to the Classic Editor

I don’t know if this will work for everyone but it is worth a shot. If you have been switched over to the block editor against your will, see if this works to get back. I know that I have NOT been forced over to the Block Editor even though it was trumpeted all over my homepage that June 1st was the day it was going to happen. Whatever the reason, it hasn’t.

I use chrome so if you use a different browser things might look a tiny bit different in the pictures below.


Step 1:

Start a new post while being terrorized by the block editor. I personally authorize any use of force you feel necessary, all the way up the nuclear option. We will not be held hostage by damnable traitorous terrorists! Or self-important computer engineers with their heads up their fundaments.

Step 2:

Over on the top right, there are 3 dots. Click those dots. See picture below:



Step 3:

Scroll down to the bottom and click on the “switch to classic editor”. See picture below:



That should do it. I’d be really interested to hear from those of you who were forced to use the block editor to see if this works for you. I’m also including a link to the forums where you can voice your complaints about the block editor.  I’ve complained and I’ll probably go back and complain some more.

Complain About the Block Editor!


bookstooge (Custom)

Sabbat Martyr (Warhammer 40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #7) ★★★☆☆

sabbatmartyr (Custom)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: Sabbat Martyr
Series: Warhammer 40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #7
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 416
Words: 104K



From Wikipedia & Me

At the request of the reincarnated Saint Sabbat, the Tanith First-and-Only is summoned to the remote and tactically insignificant world Herodor. The Civitas Beati, a holy city dedicated to the Saint, is under assault from a legion of Blood Pact, led by Enok Innokenti. While the Ghosts prepare to defend the city alongside the local PDF force, Gaunt learns the truth of the situation: the woman posing as the reincarnated Saint is Sanian, an esholi whom the Ghosts encountered on Hagia. Utterly convinced that she is Sabbat, Sanian has clearly lost her mind. Lord-General Lugo – whose career has been unstable since his disgrace at Hagia – plans to use her as propaganda, and does not care that she is an imposter; he believes that he will be forever remembered as the man responsible for a miracle in the Sabbat Worlds. As far as untold thousands of pilgrims, Imperial and archenemy troops are concerned, Sanian is the true Saint.

However, things take a strange turn when Sanian actually does become the host for the Saint’s spirit, after Sabbat’s true incarnation perishes in the assault. Innokenti deploys nine specialist assassins to the Civitas Beati under the cover of the invasion. Their purpose: kill the Saint and shatter the morale of the Imperials. With the Imperial fleet all but destroyed and surrounded by an enemy who has multiple advantages over them, the Ghosts face one of their most daunting challenges yet.

The title Sabbat Martyr is a reference to the psychic message experienced by a number of Ghosts in Honour Guard. Ultimately, it is one of the Ghost’s most beloved leaders who becomes a martyr in Sabbat’s name, as he gives his life defending her from the final assassin.

Sabbat takes down Innokenti and with the death of the Chaos leader, the Chaos forces retreat and are eventually destroyed by reinforcements. Cuu is revealed as the final traitor and is killed. The book ends with one of the Ghosts, who has been getting messages from himself that have saved innumerable lives, being handed over to the Psykers and his final message being “Help Me!”


My Thoughts:

For whatever reason, I struggled with this book. I had to check to see if it was written by Abnett because the writing just wasn’t zinging along like his previous books in this series. Part of it was there were a couple of space battle scenes and I don’t care two figs for space battles. I don’t dislike them, but it doesn’t draw my attention. However, even the ground pounder action felt almost like it was a gaming scenario from a WH:40K miniatures game instead of a battle in a story.

How magic is treated (I was going to say works, but that’s not accurate) in this universe still baffles me. It is supposedly of Chaos and therefore tainted. But then you have whole Departments of the massive army dealing with the magic, ie, the Psykers, etc. So why don’t they take in everyone with some talent and use them until they become too tainted by Chaos? Why put them “under the question”? Then you have the whole “Emperor Protects” thing, where the people are basically invoking the Emperor to protect them with his magic and you have reincarnated saint like Sabbath. How does that square with everything? All magic can’t be bad, but it is treated like it is.

The body count is pretty high and even with the injection of the Verdegast volunteers from a couple of books ago, the Ghost’s are going to need a fresh dose of people to keep things moving along. At some point though the Tanith Ghosts will lose their identity if that were to keep up. My guess is by the end of the series they’re chewed up to nothing and the few survivors are rolled into other units. We’ll have to wait and see.

Finally, the biggest reason this was dropped half a star is because of the end of Lijah Cuu. That miserable son of a gun has been a cancer within the ranks of the Ghosts and caused so much trouble that his ending should have been appropriately horrific. Instead, he’s dispatched like a rabid dog with just a couple of shots. Bam, he’s dead. No justice for the horror and betrayal he’s committed ever since we met him. That just stuck in my craw and was like vinegar and gall.

Even with all that complaining, I still enjoyed the book enough to continue on with the series. Obviously I won’t enjoy every single book and I guess this one just falls into that “I mostly enjoyed it but didn’t love it” category.



bookstooge (Custom)


[Calibre] Word Count, Here I Come!



I use a free program called Calibre to manage all my ebooks. Not only does it manage my ebooks, but I also use it to store my reviews offline so I’m not dependent on the internet. The developer is a fantastic guy from India who is active, my age and has been going since 2008 or so. Which means there is very little chance of the program just suddenly stopping (barring him dying of course). Even then, I could export everything into a csv file and export it into a spreadsheet, so I’m covered even that way.

Not only does Kovid Goyal maintain the program, but it is open sourced and a lot of other fantastic people have written plugins that can enhance what Calibre can do. I use several plugins, one of them being the Page/Word count plugin. I’ve only been using the Page Count part of the plugin, to keep my numbers consistent but since I decided to start keeping track of words as well, I was using a combination of Kobo.com and Readinglength.com, completely forgetting that the second half of the Page Count Plugin was for WORDS.

Now there will be some internal consistency to my page and word count numbers. I highly doubt any of you will notice a change in my reviews but this is mainly for me anyway. Instead of some of the highly questionable “guestimates” based on audiobook length, etc, etc, I will have the same formula so when I compare Book A to Book B they are using the same metric and it has actual meaning. That “means” something to me, hahahaha.

If you use ebooks a lot, I highly recommend Calibre.  It has its own Support Forum on Mobileread which is a great place, barring one person from Massachusetts. Don’t expect to babied along and spoon fed though. You are expected to have done your own homework and to DO the work yourself.  I lurked there for years before joining and learned alot. I still visit daily just to keep up. It is amazing what people can do with Calibre, even while I have no need of whatever it is they are doing.

I guess this was just a huge Calibre plug (in), hahahahaa. But I tell you, I use it so much that I’ve donated to show my appreciation. Free program, free help (and let me tell you, sometimes the threads for help get wicked involved and go on for pages and pages), and it does what I want it to. I couldn’t ask for more.

If you have any curiosity or need, go lurk at the forums and see. However, the best way to learn about Calibre is to USE Calibre.


bookstooge (Custom)


A Quote From: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (#4)

gulagarchipelago (Custom)

Instead of the twenty men Cell 21 was supposed to contain, there were three hundred and twenty-three! There was water underneath the bunks, and boards were laid in the water and people lay on those boards. That was right where the frost poured in from the broken windows. It was like Arctic night down under the bunks. There was no light down there either because it was cut off by the people lying on the bunks above and standing in the aisle. It was impossible to walk through the aisle to the latrine tank, and people crawled along the edges of the bunks. They didn’t distribute rations to individuals but to units of ten. If one of the ten died, the others shoved his corpse under the bunks and kept it there until it started to stink. They got the corpse’s ration. And all that could have been endured, but the turnkeys seemed to have been oiled with turpentine — and they kept driving the prisoners endlessly from cell to cell, on and on. You’d just get yourself settled when ‘Come on, get a move on! You’re being moved!’ And you’d have to start in again trying to find a place!
~ page 644

And this is just in one of the holding prisons before any of the prisoners got to their final destinations.  As much as I am loathe to admit it, I don’t think I could hold on to my humanity in such a situation.  I pray to God my Christianity is never tested like that.



bookstooge (Custom)

[Manga Monday] A Gathering of Heroes (Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch Saga #1) ★★★☆½

agatheringofheroes (Custom)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: A Gathering of Heroes
Series: Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch Saga #1
Author: Ryo Mizuno
Artist: Yoshihiko Ochi
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 214
Words: 7K



Chapter 1 introduces to the world of Lodoss and how a generation ago 7 heroes fought against the dark god and re-chained him. That story is told by a blind bard to an elf named Deedlit. They are then attacked in daylight by goblins, something unheard of. We then switch to the dwarf Ghim, who is taking leave of Neese, a high priestess. Neese’s daughter Leylia was kidnapped 6 years ago and Ghim means to find her and rescue her. We are also introduced to Parn and Etoh, a young knight and priest respectively. Parn has seen goblin attacks in his recent journey and is trying to rouse the villagers in defense. They ignore him so he and Etoh go after the goblin band themselves.

Chapter 2: Parn and Etoh fight the goblins but only succeed because Ghim hears the sound of fighting and helps them. Parn is wounded with a poison knife and Ghim takes him to the sorcerer Slayn for healing. Slayn apparently knew Parn’s father in the past. They all decide to go on a quest to find out why the goblins are active in the day. We switch to the city of Kanon, where a castle lies. Guards see a fleet of battleships approaching from the dark island of Marmo. The sorceress Karla appears and destroys the fortress, allowing the fleet to unload all of its warriors. Last off the ship is Emperor Beld, one of the 7 heroes, who has become an evil villain.

Chapter 3: Beld reveals to Karla that he intends to rule the entire island of Lodoss. Parn and Co are now in Allan, capital city of Allania, one of the kingdoms of Lodoss. The kingdom is celebrating the birth of the new heir. Parn sees a woman being attacked and comes to her rescue, only it turns out to be the elf Deedlit, who takes care of business all by herself. Parn is instantly smitten. Slayn meanwhile visits his old university only to find it abandoned and neglected. Deedlit takes Parn out to dinner as thanks for stepping in. We see Woodchuck, a thief just released from prison, picking a pocket and running away.

Chapter 4: We see Woodchuck making some sort of deal with the Thieves Guild. Deedlit brings a drunk Parn back to his inn and she meets Slayn. The next morning Slayn relates his discoveries of his old school and how it was destroyed by a former student, one Wagnard, who turned to black magic and was expelled. Wagnard learned some powerful magic, returned, killed all the wizards and plundered and destroyed the school. Parn gets angry that the wizards didn’t fight back and Woodchuck, who is having breakfast at the inn, mocks Parn for his naivete.

Chapter 5: Woodchuck tells a tale of how it wasn’t Wagnard that plundered the school but some unlicensed thieves and how the guild wants them punished. Woodchuck claims to know where the plunder is but that it is now guarded by minions of Emperor Beld. The group goes off to investigate. Slayn and Deedlit confront a dark elf while the other explore the inside of the manor.

Chapter 6: Deedlit, Slayn and Woodchuck defeat the dark elf. Inside, Parn and Ghim kill 3 soldiers of Marmo and find a plan that looks like an attempt at assassinating the King of Allania. They find a magically sealed door. The room doesn’t hold any of the schools books but there is a note signed by Karla and a picture of her upon the wall. Ghim seems to recognize it. The group brings the plan to the King and the assassination is thwarted. Woodchuck asks to join the group. The chapter ends with Allania finding out about Beld’s invasion and due to an alliance made in the previous war, they must come to Kanon’s assistance.

Chapter 7: Allania has decided to barricade themselves in against Beld instead of fighting against him. Parn gets angry and tells everyone he’s going to Vallis to see if that kingdom will mobilize against Beld. His only way to Vallas, though, is through the Forest of No Return. Deedlit guides them through the Forest and reveals to Slayn that she is one of the last existing High Elves.

Chapter 8: Karla is reciting how the gods themselves warred and brought destruction to the land and how even now humans fight amongst themselves for more and more power. Her goal is to put a stop to the fighting and destruction, everywhere. Beld reveals to Wagnard that his fight is personal against King Fahn of Vallis. Parn and Gang are on their way to Vallis when they meet Karla,who has kidnapped Fianna, daugher of Fahn.


My Thoughts:

My memories of the Record of Lodoss War start with the anime and the original 13 episode OVA. The manga came much later. In all honesty, it is probably a good thing.

This is basically a Dungeons & Dragons campaign scenario. You have The Group with your various “character types” and an overarching campaign goal of stopping Beld’s invasion, while each individual character has their own little sub-goal.

The style itself is different enough from the anime that it was a bit jarring at first. The noses are much snubbier and everyone isn’t as streamlined as in the anime. Rougher is probably the best word. It’s not bad by any means just different.

I read these 8 chapters in one collected volume, but the original manga was released in 8 comics and THOSE covers were gorgeous! I’ve included one as a sample.

The Grey Witch 03 - Cover




bookstooge (Custom)

May ’20 Roundup & Ramblings



Raw Data:

Books — 11

Pages — 4505

Words — 1215K

Average Rating — 3.55 Stars

The Mediocre:

Pericles, Prince of Tyre — 3 Stars

The Sword-Edged Blonde — 3 Stars


The Good:

Captain’s Fury — 5 Stars

Kingfisher — 4 1/2 stars



The 10th Kingdom ended on a rather meh note and I know I won’t be watching it again any time soon. June’s options are either Karas or The Returner. So far, Karas has all the votes.


Miscellaneous Posts:

This was a very wordy month and while I didn’t write a post every day,  my total (including this one) was 26. With 11 reviews, that means I pushed out 15 non-review posts.  Never felt burnt out even while some of the posts bordered on the simply ridiculous.

So without further ado, here’s the bullet list:



Work has gone back to a regular 5 days now, so I was a bit too busy to let small things get any notice.  Work is fine, cars are fine, condo is fine, so it’s all fine.  Not going to complain about that!


Plans for Next Month:

With work going back to a normal schedule, I suspect my reading numbers will drop back into the single digits and that my output of non-review posts be less numerous as well. I am planning to read & review some manga and to have some more Gulag quotes, as well as the old standbyes of movie &  #6degree. Trying to scrounge up some tag post material as well. Might be another rant post about the calendar/scheduling if that continues to annoy me.


bookstooge (Custom)

A Bit More Than Peeved


I’m sure you are all well aware that every wordpress user has been, or will be,  forced over to the new Block Editor. I’m writing this 2 days before that actually happens to me, so there might be some things I say here that don’t apply or have been figured out or whatnot.

I am not a fan of this, at all. In fact, ever since they introduced the block editor back in ’19 I’ve tried it several times and each time gave up in disgust.

I just found out that there is a “classic” block but that I have to go through a hoop or two to use it.

That link shows you how to get to the classic block and I figure I’ll be making use of it. Not as as good as starting everything automatically that way, but better than not having it at all.

My issue, however, is that I can no longer see at a glance, what days I have posts scheduled.  When I went to schedule posts in the old editor it brought up a calendar of that particular month and any day with an already scheduled post was highlighted in blue, thus visually, and more importantly, easily (!!!!!!) clueing me in to what days I should avoid posting the new post on. I’ve talked to a so-called expert and been told that ability has been removed. So I’m supposed to either open a second tab and look at my scheduled posts on my site (which doesn’t show a calendar, just a list of posts with dates in very small writing) or better yet, just get a paper calendar and write down when I’m scheduling posts. What a great step forward!!! That is what I call progress. I could swear….

A hobby shouldn’t be this frustrating.

bookstooge (Custom)

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Jeeves Omnibus #4.3) ★★★☆½

stiffupperlipjeeves (Custom)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: Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #4.3
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 240
Words: 45K



From Wikipedia

Jeeves comes home after serving as a substitute butler at Brinkley Court, the country house of Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia. She tells Bertie that Sir Watkyn Bassett was there and was impressed with Jeeves. Additionally, Sir Watkyn bragged about obtaining a black amber statuette to Aunt Dahlia’s husband, Tom Travers, who is a rival collector.

Jeeves dislikes Bertie’s new blue Alpine hat with a pink feather. Bertie continues to wear the hat, and has lunch with Emerald Stoker, the sister of his friend Pauline Stoker who is on her way to the Bassett household, Totleigh Towers. He then sees Reverend Harold “Stinker” Pinker, who is upset that Sir Watkyn has not given him the vicarage, which Stinker needs to be able to marry Stephanie “Stiffy” Byng, Watkyn Bassett’s niece. Stinker tells Bertie that Stiffy wants Bertie to come to Totleigh Towers to do something for her, but knowing that Stiffy often starts trouble, Bertie refuses.

Gussie Fink-Nottle is upset with his fiancée Madeline Bassett, Sir Watkyn’s daughter. Jeeves suggests that Bertie go to Totleigh Towers there to heal the rift between Gussie and Madeline, or else Madeline will decide to marry Bertie instead. Though Bertie does not want to marry Madeline, his personal code will not let him turn a girl down. Bertie reluctantly decides to go to Totleigh, saying, “Stiff upper lip, Jeeves, what?”.[2] Jeeves commends his spirit.

At Totleigh Towers, Madeline is touched to see Bertie, thinking he came to see her because he is hopelessly in love with her. Sir Watkyn’s friend Roderick Spode, formally Lord Sidcup, loves Madeline but hides his feelings from her. At dinner, Madeline says that her father purchased the black amber statuette from someone named Plank who lives nearby at Hockley-cum-Meston. Stiffy says the statuette is worth one thousand pounds.

Jeeves tells Bertie that Gussie is unhappy with Madeline because she is making him follow a vegetarian diet. The cook has offered to secretly provide Gussie steak-and-kidney pie. The cook is in fact Emerald Stoker, who took the job after losing her allowance betting on a horse. She has fallen for Gussie.

After telling Bertie that Sir Watkyn cheated Plank by paying only five pounds for the statuette, Stiffy orders Bertie to sell it back to Plank for five pounds, or else she will tell Madeline that Gussie has been sneaking meat, and then Madeline would leave him for Bertie. Stiffy takes the statuette and gives it to Bertie. Bertie goes to Hockley-cum-Meston and meets the explorer Major Plank. Plank mentions that he is looking for a prop forward for his Hockley-cum-Meston rugby team.

When Bertie tries to sell the statuette back to him for five pounds, Plank assumes Bertie stole it from Sir Watkyn, and intends to call the police. Jeeves arrives, saying he is Chief Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard. He tells Plank that he is there to arrest Bertie, claiming that Bertie is a criminal known as Alpine Joe. Leading Bertie safely away, Jeeves tells him that Sir Watkyn actually paid the full one thousand pounds for the statuette and had lied to spite Tom Travers. Jeeves returns the statuette to Totleigh Towers.

Spode sees Gussie kissing Emerald, and threatens to harm him for betraying Madeline. When Stinker moves to protect Gussie, Spode hits Stinker. Stinker retaliates, knocking out Spode. Spode regains consciousness, only to be knocked out again by Emerald. Seeing Spode on the ground, Madeline calls Gussie a brute. He defiantly eats a ham sandwich in front of her, and their engagement ends. Gussie and Emerald elope. Sir Watkyn offers Harold Pinker the vicarage, but changes his mind when he finds out that Stinker punched Spode. Meanwhile, Madeline resolves to marry Bertie.

Major Plank, after learning from a telephone call with Inspector Witherspoon that Harold Pinker is a skilled prop forward, comes to the house and gives him the vicarage at Hockley-cum-Meston. Because of this, Stiffy no longer needs the statuette, which she stole a second time to blackmail Sir Watkyn, so she gives it to Jeeves to return it.

Hiding from Plank behind a sofa, Bertie overhears Spode and Jeeves convince Madeline that Bertie did not come to Totleigh Towers for love of her but rather because he wanted to steal the statuette, which Jeeves says he found among Bertie’s belongings. Madeline decides not to marry Bertie. Spode proposes to Madeline and she accepts. Bertie is discovered and Sir Watkyn, a justice of the peace, intends to make Bertie spend twenty-eight days in jail. After being arrested by Constable Oates, Bertie spends the night in jail. In the morning, Bertie is released. Sir Watkyn is dropping the charge because Jeeves agreed to work for him. Bertie is shocked, but Jeeves assures him it will only be temporary. After a week or so, he will find a reason to resign and return to Bertie. Moved, Bertie wishes there was something he could do to repay Jeeves. Jeeves asks Bertie to give up the Alpine hat. Bertie agrees.


My Thoughts:

By the time I was done with this book I wanted to read another. Light and funny really hit the spot at the moment and if one of something is good, then isn’t two of something even better? Thankfully, I DO know better. The humor in these books continues to work for me BECAUSE I know when I’ve had enough. I am rather proud of myself, to be honest, for not only finding this balance, but sticking to it as well. It is much easier to gorge on chocolate eggs until you’re sick and then not eat another for 6 months than to simply eat one chocolate egg every 3-4 weeks for 6 months.

Of course, the problem with reading so many of these books (this IS the twelfth one so far) is that at some point you run out of things to say about the story, especially when the stories all run in similar veins.

But they’re still working for me and I’m still smiling at the antics of Bertie Wooster and his superhuman gentleman’s gentleman Jeeves! So eat some fish to make your brain bigger, get some spineless friends and have a laugh at your local castle!



bookstooge (Custom)


Ageing (A Very Short Introduction) ★★★☆☆

ageing (Custom)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: Ageing
Series: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Nancy Pachana
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 144
Words: 38K



Official Blurb

Ageing is an activity we are familiar with from an early age. In our younger years upcoming birthdays are anticipated with an excitement that somewhat diminishes as the years progress. As we grow older we are bombarded with advice on ways to overcome, thwart, resist, and, on the rare occasion, embrace, one’s ageing. Have all human beings from the various historical epochs and cultures viewed aging with this same ambivalence? In this Very Short Introduction Nancy A. Pachana discusses the lifelong dynamic changes in biological, psychological, and social functioning involved in ageing. Increased lifespans in the developed and the developing world have created an urgent need to find ways to enhance our functioning and well-being in the later decades of life, and this need is reflected in policies and action plans addressing our ageing populations from the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Looking to the future, Pachana considers advancements in the provision for our ageing populations, including revolutionary models of nursing home care such as Green House nursing homes in the USA and Small Group Living homes in the Netherlands. She shows that understanding the process of ageing is not only important for individuals, but also for societies and nations, if the full potential of those entering later life is to be realised.


My Thoughts:

This was so much better than that execrable Entrepreneurship. This was a literal snapshot about aging. Speaking of “Aging”, I could tell immediately that this was published in England, what with the “AgEing”. My goodness, they might as well be French, throwing in all those extra letters into words 😉

I do wish that the author had touched a bit more on Aging throughout history and from various cultures. Beyond a cursory acknowledgment that such things existed, it was never touched on again. I guess that is what this series is going to do, make you want to explore a particular area of the subject in more detail. I, however, wasn’t interested ENOUGH to go find other books.

She did spend a lot of time on dementia. More than I thought necessary, especially as she specifically stated that alzheimers/dementia only affects about 6-10% of the aging population. Regular memory loss is something quite different. If half the words she spent on dementia had been spent on Aging in the Past, I would have been a much happier camper.

I was satisfied with this read. I highly doubt any book in this series is going to go above 3 stars and honestly, I’m ok with that. I feel like I’m picking “healthy” chocolates from the box and never know what I’ll get. Forest Gump’s Momma would be proud of me.



bookstooge (Custom)


Faded Steel Heat (Garrett, PI #9) ★★★☆☆

fadedsteelheat (Custom)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.



bookstooge (Custom)