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

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

men at arms

Synopsis from Amazon:

Be a MAN in the City Watch! The City Watch needs MEN!

But what it’s got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detrius (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman…most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving).

And they need all the help they can get. Because they’ve only got twenty-four hours to clean up the town and this is Ankh-Morpork we’re talking about…

Ankh-Morpork is in trouble. There are a series of mysterious murders, a student who wants a king put on the throne and the “Gone”, a very dangerous weapon with a mind of its own. So who is there to solve this mystery? The Night-Watch, consisting of an adopted dwarf, a real dwarf, a werewolf and a troll. How will pan out….?

This is another Discworld classic. It is number 15 in the series. I found this book just as enjoyable as the others. Pratchett’s writing was engaging and inviting. As ever, Ankh-Morpork is described so well that you lose yourself there. The characters have been seen in other books, and were hilarious at times. My favourites were Death, who makes a  couple of appearances, with some very witty one-liners; Corporal Carrot, a very simple human who was adopted by dwarfs and Gaspode the talking dog. His manipulation of humans was classic. The conversations between Cuddy and Detrius were amusing, as trolls and dwarfs traditionally dislike each other, so they rivalry had to continue for show. Detrius learning to count and his use of numbers had me laughing too. Pratchett is very original with his ideas of a Fools Guild, an Assassin Guild and even a Dog Guild. This is a very well thought out and well written book.

I recommend this book because it is engaging, full of danger, and adventure and hilarious. This is a grea fantasy book and well worth reading.

9/10

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

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

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

Synopsis from Google Books:

Discworld’s pesky alchemists are up to their old tricks again. This time, they’ve discovered how to get gold from silver — the silver screen that is. Hearing the siren call of Holy Wood is one Victor Tugelbend, a would-be wizard turned extra. He can’t sing, he can’t dance, but he can handle a sword (sort of), and now he wants to be a star. So does Theda Withel, an ambitious ingénue from a little town (where else?) you’ve probably never heard of.

But the click click of moving pictures isn’t just stirring up dreams inside Discworld. Holy Wood’s magic is drifting out into the boundaries of the universes, where raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas are beginning to ferment into a really stinky brew. It’s up to Victor and Gaspode the Wonder Dog (a star if ever one was born!) to rein in the chaos and bring order back to a starstruck Discworld. And they’re definitely not ready for their close-up!

This is the tenth book in the Discworld series, and in my opinion, one of the best, alongside Mort, which was hilarious.

In this adventure we see the creation of Moving Pictures, basically films. This is Pratchett’s take on the creation of the movie world. Set in Holy Wood, the alchemists have created something dangerous and enchanting.  People rush to Holy Wood from all over the Discworld to seek fame and fortune – but something is not right. As Victor gets drawn into the fray, him and his co-star Ginger find out the secret danger that is Holy Wood, and with the aid of Laddie and Gaspode, a talking dog, they have to save the day.

This book is incredibly funny. Pratchett is subtle and sly with his humour and mocking of Hollywood. We see the characters chasing fickle dreams and destruction. As ever, the books are engaging and exciting. There was adventure and some heart stopping moments. Pratchett does not fail to catch the imagination and like with the other books I was quickly and easily transported to the Discworld.

As in the other books, Death features. He seems to be the most regular character, and as always he made me laugh. I loved it when he was in the bar drinking, very funny. Gaspode was probably my favourite of the new characters. His dry humour and sarcasm were great reading. There were so many funny characters and story lines in this book. I loved the troll, Rock and his aim for fame, and the troll Ditritus and how he tried to date Ruby, and I think the funniest part of the book for me was when the senior wizards were sneaking out of the university like naughty students.

This is a great book. I highly recommend it. There is action, film, adventure, love, trolls, dwarfs, talking animals, wizards and Death, alongside fire, hidden cities and Dibler, the man always out to make a fast profit. I can’t think of a complaint for this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

9/10