Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Maskerade

Synopsis from Amazon:

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT…

The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork…a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar evil mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress…

At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld’s most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn’t hold with that sort of thing.

So there’s going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evening’s entertainment with murders you can really hum…)

This is book 18 in the Discworld Series, and one of my favourites. This is Terry Pratchett’s take on The Phantom of the Opera. Now I love that musical, and this book just added to my love. I will definitely watch it in a completely different light now.

This is a Witches novel, and sees Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg travelling to Ankh-Morpork to see an opera. Yet there are strange goings-on in the opera house. There are a series of murders and money disappearing out the window. It seems that there is an Opera Ghost, who likes to leave notes that just say: “Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha!!!!!” The fear is rife in the opera, but the show must go on. So Granny sets herself up to investigate, while the show goes on, and unmasks the Opera Ghost.

This is classic Pratchett. I love the Witches novels. Both Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are hilarious. This is a very funny take on The Phantom of the Opera – mainly mocking the idea that a small mask that only covers the eyes would hide someones identity. Death features in this book as well, and he is probably my favourite character. Pretty much all he says is funny, and I enjoyed his game of poker with Granny.

Pratchett yet again transported me to Ankh-Morpork and incorporated some of the funniest characters in this adventure. Of course it is unrealistic, but it is an amazing fantasy novel. I have no complaints and as ever, I am eager for the next Pratchett book. This is a great series, full of adventure, humour and amazing characters. I highly recommend this novel. It is very, very good.

10/10

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

interesting times

Synopsis from Amazon:

Mighty battles! Revolution! Death! War! (and his sons terror and panic, and daughter Clancy). The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes. Warlords are struggling for power. War (and Clancy) are spreading throughout the ancient cities. And all that stands in the way of terrible doom for everyone is: Rincewind the Wizard, who can’t even spell the word ‘wizard’…Cohen the barbarian hero, five foot tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime’s experience of not dying…and a very special butterfly.

This is book 17 in the Discworld series, and as enjoyable as the rest. In this novel we are taken on an adventure with the not-so-great wizard Rincewind. Known to get himself into trouble, he finds himself a pawn in the god’s game. Sent by the wizards at Unseen University Rincewind ends up in an unknown kingdom were they were planning a very civilised revolution. He is believed to be The Great Wizard, and again, through running away he gives off this impression. Working alongside Cohen the Barbarian – not that either realise it – they embark on an adventure to take over the Empire and see which god is going to win their game.

I love this series. I have really enjoyed all of them, and this one is no exception. Rincewind novels make me laugh because he finds himself in the oddest situations and yet still comes out looking like a hero. I particularly enjoyed the return of Two Flower and Cohen the Barbarian. The Barbarian Horde were probably my favourite characters because they were all in their 90s or older and yet won many battles and still sniggered at sexual innuendoes. Their whole mentality and them trying to become ‘civilised’ was great reading.

I enjoyed the storyline of this book too. Emperors dying, the Red Army rising out of the ground, and a polite revolution – it was good fun. As ever, Pratchett leads headlong into the Discworld and his writing is so good he makes it seem real. He is witty, writes a good adventure and well worth reading.

As with his other novels, there is not a lot I can complain about – this is just a really good story that I enjoyed immensely. The Discworld books are high on my list of recommendations.

9/10

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

lords and ladies

Synopsis from Amazon:

THE FAIRIES ARE BACK – BUT THIS TIME THEY DON’T JUST WANT YOUR TEETH…

Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves.

It’s Midsummer Night. No time for dreaming…

With a full supporting cast of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and one orang-utan. And lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.

This is the 14th book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. This adventure sees the return of the elves, and they are not as pretty and nice as they seem… Granny Weatherwax is up for a big fight – aided by the wizards.

This book is up there with my favourites. I found it very entertaining. I really enjoy the Witch books, I have found all of them to be funny and exciting, and this one was no different. In fact, the humour of this book was aided by the fact a selection of the wizards had come along. I like the Librarian – what a great character.

As ever, Pratchett’s imagination is just incredible. He draws you into this alternative world, full of fighting and mythical characters, and just lets the action unfold. His descriptions are just amazing, and I really want to travel to the Discworld.

Nanny Ogg is fast becoming one of my favourites character. She is witty and generally humorous, and a great companion to the hilarious Granny Weatherwax. I thought the old love flame between Granny and the Arch Chancellor was great, it added another dimension to the books.

As always, I really enjoyed this Discworld book, and this has to be top rated. It was full of great fight scenes, humour and pure adventure. A really good read.

10/10

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

small gods

Synopsis from Amazon:

In the beginning was the Word.

And the Word was: “Hey, you!”

For Brutha the novice is the Chosen One. He wants peace and justice and brotherly love.

He also wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him now, please…

Meet Brutha. He is not overly intelligent – in fact people think he is a bit nuts. But that might be because his god is trapped inside a tortoise, one he is carrying around and talking to. As it happens, he is right; and his mission, find some philosophers who can get the god out. A road trip is in order. Along the way they experience horrors such as the sea god, ship wrecks and war. All in all, another Discworld extravagant adventure, full of fantasy, humour and anticipation.

This is book thirteen in the Discworld series. I did not enjoy this one as much as others I have read. That said, this book is still funny and worth reading. Pratchett takes you into a fantasy world, filled with gods, all whom need followers to survive. As ever, his writing style is such that I was easily transported to the Discworld and remained focused and interested in the book.

I like to see characters who featured in other books pop up, and this is the case. The most persistant character is Death – who of course had me laughing, and Dibbler – that man is funny too, with the way he tries to bargin with everyone, gods included. Brutha was a great character too, even though this is the only book he will feature in. His simple nature, and his faithfulness to his god made him an enjoyable and humorous read.

Overall, although not the funniest book in this series, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to anyone.

7/10

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

witches-abroad

Synopsis from Amazon:

It seemed an easy job…After all, how difficult could it be to make sure that a servant girl doesn’t marry a prince?

But for the witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, travelling to the distant city of Genua, things are never that simple…

Servant girls have to marry the prince. That’s what life is all about. You can’t fight a Happy Ending.

At least – up until now…

Book 12 of the Discworld series sees a return of Granny Weatherwax. This time, with her partners, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, they go travelling. Their aim: to stop a servant girl from marrying a prince. Based around fairy tales, namely The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella, the three witches travel abroad to fight mirror magic and happy endings.

As usual, Pratchett has delivered a treat. I love the Discworld books. None of them have disappointed me. Pratchett writes in a way that draws you in; he is engaging and funny; and when reading, although these books are fantasy, you have no trouble believing them. His descriptions are near perfect, and you find yourself there in the Disworld alongside the characters. I really enjoy how Terry Pratchett takes a story or a concept, so in this book it was fairy tales, and reinvents them and makes them his own. He is a very talented writer.

Along with his other books, Pratchett has a feast of characters who you just enjoy reading. The witches are so funny. Every book that features them is funny. Granny Weatherwax is legendary. She is witty, intelligent, and never backs down. My favourite bit was when she tried to dance. As for Nanny Ogg – she is a genius creation. Her post cards, and her translations, along with the drinking was very funny. Of course, Death features in this book too. And of course, he was not a let down. He is a very funny character.

I enjoyed this novel. It is full of fantasy, adventure, and a few family secrets. This book wasn’t a let down.

8/10

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

the-voyage-of-the-dawn-treader

Synopsis from Amazon:

Book five in the Chronicles of Narnia sees the intrepid Edmund and Lucy returning to Narnia–with their beastly cousin Eustace in tow–on the ship The Dawn Treader where their old friend Prince Caspian is searching for lost friends of his father’s. As the children take to the Eastern Seas in their hunt for the friends they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous adventure that leads them once again into the arms of Aslan the lion.

This is the fifth book in the reading order of The Chronicles of Narnia. In this book we only see two of the childern – Edmund and Lucy, as they go on their final journey through Narnia. The adventure starts in their Aunty’s house in Cambridge, in a room with a picture of a boat hanging up. On careful examination they discover the boat is Narnian, and all of a sudden they are in the sea, and not alone, they have their hideous cousin Eustace with them! They are rescued by Caspian and set sail in search of seven friends of Caspian’s father, who had been out-lawed by his evil uncle. Their adventures lead them to pirates, dragons, sea people and of course, Aslan. They travel to the end of the world, and see all sorts of magic, goodness and evil.

I enjoyed this book. Not my favourite of the series but still enjoyable. This book is full of fantasy, with the dragons and sea creatures, and all sorts of other magical beings. It was a good book, I had fun reading through it.

I was a bit disappointed it was only Edmund and Lucy this time, but I was aware that would be the case. I liked having Caspian in the book though, for a bit more consistency. We only really get fleeting glances at Aslan, but he is always there to teach them a lesson and help them out. I didn’t really have a favourite character this time round.

Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable like the others but not the best. I think both adults and children will like this story. It was easy to read and had its fair share of adventure and fantasy.

7/10

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

reaper-man

Synopsis from Amazon:

DEATH IS MISSING – PRESUMED…ER…GONE.

Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn.

Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There’s a harvest to be gathered in…

This is book 11 of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. The main character is Death. He retires. The Grey Shadows have come and told him his time is u, so he sets off to the Discworld with his horse Binky. He gets a job as a reaper man on a farm, and goes by the name of Bill Door. He works hard, makes friends by being excellent at being awful and plots a way to fight the new Death. Meanwhile, in Ankh-Morpor, there is too much life force around, bringing items to life, and preventing the dead for moving on. This causes mayhem, an attack of trollies, and wizards going mad.

I found this book to be a little bit like the first in the series, The Colour of Magic – enjoyable, but with maybe a little bit too much going on. With so many characters I sometimes struggled to remember who was who, what they doing, and why. That said, there were areas of the book that just had me laughing out loud. Pratchett’s humour is well captured in this book, as is his sense of imagination, I just found there to be too much taking place.

My favourite Discworld character, right from the start, has been Death. He is great with the one-liners, sarcasm and irony. The other character I really enjoyed in this book was the university’s Dean. I laughed so much when he started going around like a gangster, and how his catch-phrase became “Yo!”. I found myself almost crying with laughter at him.

Overall, I enjoyed this book even though there were times when I was unsure as to what was going on. The comedy in the book made up for any complaints I have. Worth reading if you like Pratchett.

7/10