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Tiffany Aching's adventures in Wintersmith have attracted the notice of an old enemy to witches, the Cunning Man, and she has to deal with that along with her relationship with Roland and her relationship to the people of the Chalk now that she's their witch and not just little Tiffany Aching.

I've seen people mentioning here and there that this will be the last Tiffany Aching book that will be published as YA, and this book does indeed start out dark. On the other hand, despite the series being YA to date, I find the Tiffany Aching books to be some of the darker Discworld books, adult or YA, largely because they're about Tiffany growing into her power and acquiring more and more responsibilities as the books go on. As such, they're my favorite out of all the Discworld series.

That said, this isn't a very fair review, because I spent the entire book wondering if the voice was off or if I was just making things up. So I was pretty distracted while reading and focusing more on the nuts and bolts of prose rather than what was going on. I'm still not sure if it was me or the book; it's been a few years since I last read the Tiffany Aching books, so my memory, already terrible, is even worse.

So... the villain was very creepy, I loved the folk tradition woven into the ending, I'm curious to see how Pratchett handles Tiffany + romance, I continue to love how Pratchett always brings in so many different women of different ages in the witches books, I really liked how he handled Tiffany's relationship with Letitia, but I felt really distant from the book while I was reading it. I suspect this will be one of things that changes on a reread.

ETA: Also, let me know if you have a review of this! I know I missed people's while I was waiting for my library hold to come in.
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I skipped the other Watch books between Feet of Clay (partially read) and this one, largely because the Watch kind of annoys me. Don't get me wrong; I love Vimes. But Carrot doesn't interest me much, and Pratchett seems to use the Watch books to get in messages about sexism and racism that are well-meaning but do not take power differentials and institutional oppression into account.

Night Watch is more about rebellions, revolutions, and Les Miserables, only with time travel, cynicism, and a central tragedy that may or may not reoccur. And that tragedy is all the more effective because the men who die are not idealistic students. But mostly, it's got Vimes being Vimes, and I especially loved all the scenes in which he's trying to do the right thing by his younger self.

Also, getting glimpses of a younger, non-Patrician Vetinari is priceless.

I'm not entirely sure what to think about this; I like it a lot, and it affected me emotionally. But on the other hand, I'm not entirely sure if I agree with what Pratchett is saying, as is the case with some of his other books. In the end, his overarching humanism wins me over, even as I can't help but feel that there are some missing pieces of the puzzle.
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Moist von Lipwig is a con man blessed with an unmemorable face. Alas, that wasn't enough to keep him out of Vetinari's prisons, and he's going to hang in the morning. Then Vetinari offers him the chance to live and reform Ankh-Morpork's ramshackle postal system (the offices are literally buried in mail), and Moist finds himself conning more people than ever.

I didn't expect to like this much, since I don't like the Ankh-Morpork books as much as some of the others, thanks to Pratchett's good-natured but largely unsuccessful attempts to talk about things like racism and sexism in the modern world. But I absolutely adore Moist, and I had tremendous amounts of fun following him from one scheme to another, each one more ludicrous and exaggerated than the last. I also love the chain-smoking Adora Belle Dearheart (also known as "Killer" or "Spike") to friends, all the clacksmen in the towers, and the characters at the post office. (Especially the clacksmen. I think it appeals to the geeky not-really-coding part of me.)

In Making Money, Moist is given a chance to overhaul the Ankh-Morpork Royal Bank. Alas, because of his reputation from Going Postal, he goes into this as the favorite, which makes everything less fun. There are much fewer of his crazy schemes, and there's actually not that much about the bank either. I ended up wanting more details about the switch to paper money and how that worked and all the background of working at a bank, but instead, we get a lot of schemes against Moist that don't have all that much to do with banking per se.

Still, I hope Pratchett does end up writing Moist in the IRS, since I think that will prompt great creativity on Moist's part, which are my favorite bits. I was laughing so hard at the end of Going Postal for the sheer audacity of it all.

- [livejournal.com profile] tenemet's review of Making Money
- [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu's review of Going Postal
- [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu's review of Making Money
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I think this is up there with Lords and Ladies and Hogfather as one of my favorite Discworld books.

The Auditors, having failed in their latest scheme to make the universe a neater and more orderly place, have hatched a plot to stop time altogether by getting someone to build a perfect clock. Meanwhile, Death has sensed something running amuck and summoned Susan for help, the History Monks are trying to deal with a thief who's way too good with time, and the clockmaker's helper Igor really just wants a good thunderstorm.

Unlike some of the other Death books, all the plotlines in this book were engaging, and I'm not sure if I had more fun reading about Susan trying to whap Death of Rats on the head, Lu-Tze teaching everyone about Rule One, Death trying to round up the Four Horsemen, Igor just trying to serve the first sane master he's ever had, or the Auditors attempting to analyze human behavior.

Everything ties together wonderfully, and though I wanted more of Lobsang and Susan in the end, the ending was highly satisfactory.

I was trying to decided how disgruntled I was about the History Monks being some weird amalgamation of Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan practices, but Lu-Tze is so awesome that I kept getting distracted. I also generally like how it pokes fun at the romanticization of Eastern religion and how Lu-Tze's Way is the Way of an innkeeper in Ankh-Morpork.

Also, literal death by chocolate!

Now I want to reread Small Gods and figure out what Lu-Tze was doing in there, since I'm pretty sure that was when he was trying to reconstruct all of history the first time around.

This was appropriately frightening and hilarious at all the right places, and I would love to see more of Lobsang and Susan in the future, but am not sure if we'll get a chance to.
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It was rather neat reading this right after meeting my first Omnian priest in the form of Mightily Oats in Carpe Jugulum! I only wish I remembered more of what Mightily Oats quoted Brutha as saying, to compare with what Brutha actually says.

The country of Omnia is currently engaged in religious wars against a host of other countries, the most notable being Ephebe, the Discworld equivalent of Greece and/or Rome. Alas, even though millions of people are dying in his name, the god Om is weaker than ever, and he soon appears to his Chosen Prophet Brutha.

But since this is Discworld, Brutha wasn't so much his first choice so much as his only choice, and he seems to be stuck in the shape of a tortoise and prone to making commandments about the evils of moldy lettuce.

I can see why I saw people make a few comparisons between this book and Nation, as both are about attempting to rebuild something out of the ashes of another, and both are centered around a humanism that denies many religious creeds. I think Nation is more cynical about religion than Small Gods, part of which is due to the darker subject of the former.

I'm not sure why, but I didn't become convinced by the book until near the end. Possibly the comparisons with Nation had me expecting higher stakes or something darker, and though Vorbis is frightening, I knew things would not end well for him in Discworld. But I do like the ending, and I like that there's an acknowledgment that an institution as large as a widely-believed religion can't be changed overnight, that reform is difficult and flawed and messy but still worth doing, that sometimes even the enemy needs a hand. And I'm impressed by how much Brutha changes over the course of the book.
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Upon the birth of his daughter, King Verence of Lancre decides to have a giant party. Unfortunately, this means he decides to invite Omnian priest Mightily Oats and the Magpyr family, which in turn sets off Nanny Ogg, who takes issues with Omnian past practices of setting so-called witches on fire (the real witches got away, of course), and Granny Weatherwax, who does not approve of vampires attempting to take over Lancre.

I enjoy the witches books, so I'm a little sad to see that this is the last one that directly stars the trio of witches (I like the Tiffany Aching books, but I miss having more Granny Weatherwax). I'm also sad that Agnes/Perdita has not quite achieved the same place Magrat has in my heart (and I am very glad Magrat is in this book), although I suspect she very well could with another book.

I think (?) people tend to like this one better than Maskerade; I may be the exception, largely because I howled at all the parody in Maskerade but was a little meh to the vampire ones in here. They aren't as frightening as Fairy, and the tropes that Pratchett lampoons are tropes that aren't much in play any more.

Now, if he had written this book about brooding, morally conflicted and yet utterly gorgeous, perpetually teenaged hero vampires and the clumsy gorgeous girls they find to save them from their lifetime of misery and angst and squirrel blood, I would have lapped that up!

On the other hand, I had been expecting a more negative treatment of Mightily Oats in the book and was pleased to find that he actually developed as a character. And I very much love seeing Granny Weatherwax being put into a tight spot, from her opening encounter with Death to her battle against the vampires, largely because she always rises to the occasion. Or makes the occasion come to her, sometimes.
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
Mau is going through his nation's ritual to become a man, but when he sails back from Boy Island, he discovers that the entire village and nation have been wiped out by a giant wave. Also there is the shipwrecked Daphne, who finds that all her training to be a British lady has taught her absolutely nothing useful. Soon, more survivors of the tsunami come to the island, and Mau finds himself chief, even though he's not even a man by his nation's standards.

Despite my classification, this is only nominally fantasy, in that it seems to be a slightly alternate version of our world in the 1800s. And there may or may not be dead ancestors and gods talking to Mau. And despite the book being published as YA, it's rather dark at points, given the demise of everyone Mau knows. Pratchett handles it very well; there's a constant reminder of what Mau has lost without dwelling on it too much, and the touches of humor felt like Mau and Daphne trying to make sense of their new world and didn't contrast too much with the darker tone of the book.

The thing about rebuilding/building civilization isn't as much of a draw for me as it is for some others, especially since I was wary about the racial politics. But Pratchett does a good job of not making the nation into something primitive, and he effectively contrasts the more "exotic" practices of the nation with those of white Britain, which look equally impractical and constructed. I do think the rhetoric of colonialism and imperialism wasn't taken apart as much as I wanted, but I'm also unsure of how Pratchett might have done that in a YA book without making it All About Colonialism.

Still, it's uncomfortably there in the background, and it made me very uncomfortable when Mau was doing a lot of things for Daphne (the "native" man/white woman dichotomy). That disappeared pretty quickly, though, and I very much liked that while Daphne poked fun or didn't understand some traditions of the nation, she actually adapted them very well.

I also love the twist that comes near the end.

And I really liked the ending, which felt real to me.

I know other people have read this; send me links if you have write-ups!

- [livejournal.com profile] gwyneira's review
- [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu's review

ETA: some spoilers in comments, mostly ROT13'ed, but some not!
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And we continue to be All Pratchett, All the Time!

Let us not talk about my sleeping habits or what I am not doing in lieu of gobbling down Discworld.

I really loved this one. Not as much as Lords and Ladies because I didn't like this one's ending as much, but this had me giggling like a maniac on the train. I think right now the Witches books are my favorites, but that may also be because I've read the most of them. Also, it helps that they're mostly female and that there's the young-woman-coming-into-power plot in several of them, which apparently is a button of mine and explains why I am so addicted to YA.

Plus, awesome older women!

Anyway. Agnes Nitt has gone to the Ankh-Morpork opera to Be Someone; namely, Perdita X Nitt, opera star and all-around glamorous person. Sadly, it's just not quite happened yet. Instead, there's an Opera Ghost wandering around, people getting murdered, and she's stuck with a ditzy soprano named Christine who can't sing as well as Agnes but can fit in the costumes much better.

Back in Lancre, Nanny Ogg finds that a two-person coven just doesn't work. Nanny and Granny go off to A-M and probably terrify half of Discworld in the process.

[livejournal.com profile] rilina's mentioned how much of Pratchett enjoyment lies in familiarity and love of the subject. I loved some of the prior Witches books because they dealt with Faerie and fairy tales, but this one is even more awesome because it's Phantom of the Opera! In Discworld!

(I fell into Phantom in sixth grade and have since never quite recovered, despite not liking it much now.)

I loved all the theater mentions and Christine and the mirror and people with their hands by their heads and the chandelier. All of it! I love the loving mockery of opera, I love how Pratchett takes a minor plot point in Phantom and makes it a major one (the voice subbing), the Discworld versions of the managers from Phantom, Andre vs. Raoul, everything.

Also, I absolutely adore Agnes, which was why I didn't like the ending as much. On the other hand, I loved how opera the ending was, down to Death's appearance, and it felt like all the meta anime out there ever making fun of anime tropes and conventions. Oh cracktasticness, I love you so much.

Spoilers )

Anyway, if you couldn't tell, I enjoyed this a ton. I think it's the Discworld book I've laughed the most with so far.
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Vimes is about to retire from the Guard, only before he can, he and Carrot have to solve a series of mysteries regarding a strange weapon that fires lead projectiles really, really fast. And we find out a wee bit more about that birthmark Carrot has...

I liked this, but I didn't like it quite as much as Guards! Guards. Part of this was because Vimes isn't in it very much; the book's most on Carrot. And I like Carrot, I do, but he verges a little too close to perfect in this book. Pratchett handwaves it a little by chalking it up to his heritage, but it means he can solve problems a little too quickly and a little too well. There wasn't this problem in GG because Carrot was a newbie. I sort of miss the newbie-ness; it gave him room to stumble.

Things I liked: The Carrot-Vetinari talk at the end. Dr. Whiteface (creepy!). Leonard of Quirm and Nanny Ogg. The mystery itself, which was nicely twisty and interesting. Cuddy and Detritus and the silicon brain (I geeked out at this). Angua as a general concept. Carrot as TCK.

Things I am ok about: Angua as she was executed... to me, she felt a little more like a collection of "cool woman" traits than an actual personality. Part of this may be because I am comparing her with other Pratchett women, who are bursting to the brim with personality. But I wanted some more -- I can't quite think of what she likes and dislikes right now, except that she was amused by Carrot's reading of the oath (as was I). I am guessing she'll get fleshed out more later though.

Things I didn't like: the racism/speciesism thing.

Now, before anyone comments defending Pratchett, let me say this. I think his portrayal of race and racism is wrong. That said, I think he's well-intentioned and somewhat clueless, but his cluelessness goes more toward institutional racism. And putting this in his book(s) means he's at least willing to think about it, which I appreciate. Also, I didn't throw this book against a wall. I know that sounds like I'm damning it with faint praise, but honestly, if I hadn't been giving Pratchett the benefit of the doubt, I would have thrown this book against a wall and probably left a frothing post here. (eta: fixed link)

So: I'm not actually offended or pissed off, I don't think Pratchett is a racist except in the sense that we are all products of institutional racism, and I still like and enjoy the Discworld books and this book. I just think he gets it wrong.

More on this, minor spoilers )
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Someone stop me! I am eating these up like candy. I don't know what it is, except I just don't feel up to reading anything angsty, emotionally significant, or serious right now, much less anything with a complicated plot.

Anyway, I've been a little wary about starting the Watch books, just because everyone likes them so much.

Carrot Ironfoundersson is told one day that he's not actually a dwarf (which handily explains his two-meter height); he's sent off to join the Ankh-Morpork City Guard with his birthright sword and the knowledge that he was found on a hillside. We all know where that leads....

Meanwhile, Captain Vimes of the Night Watch is trying to either get drunk or stay drunk, the Librarian has to find a missing book, and some suspicious hooded figures seem to be wandering around and siccing a dragon on Ankh-Morpork.

This was much better than I had expected, given the quality of the early Witches and Death books; the plot's coherent, all the parts fit together, the villain is actually creepy (the dragon? is scary! although it has a good point about people), and even though the characters are still more at the caricature stage, Vimes has a surprising amount of depth, considering that this is his first appearance.

Ok, I admit it, I suspect I will be a complete sucker for Vimes. It is his strange belief in people despite his drunk and cynical exterior! And the way he goes "Er" a lot at Lady Ramkin.

I like Carrot and Colon and Nobby, but they're more sketches than full-fleshed people right now; I adored Lady Ramkin, who is awesome awesome awesome; I laughed a lot at Errol the dragon and his strange digestive system; and in general had a good time. The points about humans vs. dragons and imagination and Vetinari vs. Vimes were a little anvilly, but whatever.

I think my favorite parts were Errol, Vetinari's prison, and the strangely charming interactions between Vimes and Lady Ramkin.

And... am already halfway through Men in Arms...
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Sketchy notes because I feel like I'm boring everyone with the Pratchett posts.

I skipped ahead a little because when I borrowed this, I was running out of the next in line for the Death and Witches and Guards books.

William de Worde starts printing the news tidbits he gathers, and soon, he and The Ankh-Morpork Times are embroiled in a conspiracy involving Lord Vetinari, the City Watch, and some very unpleasant moth-ball-sniffing people.

I was particularly interested in how Pratchett takes a sideways swipe at classism in this book, and I very much like how he dealt with William's privilege. I wish Sacharissima had more to do, though I liked her, and I was very surprised by how much I liked Otto by the end. My favorite part was probably the thunder of Ankh-Morpork finally booming at all the right places with Otto gleefully yelling, "And a castle!"

On a side note, this got me more interested in the Watch, and right now I'm reading Guards! Guards! and wondering how Vimes got to where he is in The Truth.

Fun, not my favorite Discworld book, but among the better ones.
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Someone tries to get rid of the beloved Hogfather, and it's up to Death to take his place! And while he's doing that (much to the disgruntlement of the faithful but snarky Albert), Susan attempts to figure out exactly what's going on and why previously non-existant deities and myths keep popping up, like the oh god of hangovers.

Everyone was right! This is my favorite Death book so far, not in the least because all the subplots worked together, the main threat was genuinely creepy, and ... it was good.

I wasn't actually that scared of Mr. Teatime, largely because I was reading The Truth at the same time and all the amoral assassin figures were running together for me. On the other hand, that world Susan ends up finding herself in? THAT was creepy.

I loved Death and Albert's conversations about how things should be, particularly Death's insistence that people would have a good Hogswatch and he would damn well make sure of that. I also liked Susan a lot more than in Soul Music, largely because I got a much better sense of her personality in this book.

I feel I should have more comments, except I keep saying the same things about Pratchett's books.

ETA: Oh! I forgot! One of my favorite parts was Susan berating her charges for attempting to be twee via lisping and cute looks. And the poker. And "I was fairly confident."
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Death goes off to try to figure out the meaning of it all, and in the ensuing absence, a girl named Susan is called to be his substitute. Meanwhile, Imp y Celyn somehow ends up popularizing Music with Rocks in It, which causes quite a few wizards to paint their rooms black and take up drums or guitars and also wreaks havoc with Susan's job.

I actually ended up liking this less than Reaper Man, even though the A and B plots were much more balanced. A lot of that was because while the rock and roll section wasn't as boring as the other wizard plot in Reaper Man, it still didn't interest me all that much. Also, I wanted to see a lot more about Death and Susan and the Death of Rats.

I feel like this book wasn't as character-driven as the Pratchetts that I enjoy the most, so that may be part of it as well. Susan and Imp don't really develop as characters, and we don't get to see much of Death either.

It's not a bad book, by any means, but it hasn't stuck with me very much either.

(except Death of Rats, but we all knew that!)

Also, was anyone else bugged by the US MMPB cover? How old is Susan? I thought she was more a teen or a kid, not the busty woman on the cover.
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The problem with Reaper Man is that there's a great book in there, but it's unfortunately diluted by the really boring book that's also in there.

Death of Discworld gets fired from his job and ends up working on a farm for an old lady (the great book). Since he basically just runs off without giving two weeks notice, strange things start happening on Discworld as life starts to accumulate and as the dead get undead (the really boring book).

I could have cared less about the entire plot that has to do with Poon and his not-afterlife, the Unseen University, and the snowglobes attempting to take over the world. I find that in general, I'm bored to death by the wizards (I suspect this is why everyone says to skip the Rincewind books?). Also, the wizarding world is so male! I mean, I am stating the obvious, but it was hard to get used to after reading a lot of the witches books in a row.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the storyline about Death. I loved how excited he was about time, and then how afraid he got about mortality. I loved his relationship with Miss Flitworth and especially the resolution, which was touching even as it was a little funny, unlike the entire snowglobe/Poon plot.


Also also, Pratchett mentions the Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents here! I had no idea!

In conclusion: Death of Rats = Best Thing EVAR.

Especially that last bit with Death and the Death of Rats and the Death of Fleas and the matter of proper steeds. That was awesome.
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Er, I may be on a bit of a Pratchett kick. On the other hand, this may end soon, as I am still waiting for books to come in via the library.

This takes place right after the events of Witches Abroad -- Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat have just returned from some time travelling after rescuing the city of Genua from an overzealous fairy godmother.

I think so far, this is my favorite Pratchett. It's as funny as the others I've read, but it also really fleshes out Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat. And? Magrat gets to kick some ass in this one, while remaining herself! Whoo! That was probably my favorite part of the entire book, particularly the arrow through the keyhole bit.

I also enjoyed the Ogg offspring and getting a look at the steel under the wrinkles and dumpiness of Nanny Ogg. Also, what made this work better for me was that I actually felt afraid for the characters. It's still funny, but the elves are pretty scary, and I was worried at some points, even though I was fairly sure people would be ok, given that there are other witches books and all. But there was a real sense of danger.

And I really loved getting a look into the psyche of Granny Weatherwax -- it's odd seeing her actually be afraid in this book after seeing her in the others, but that's what really made the book feel real for me.

Also, does Agnes show up in the Tiffany Aching books? For some reason, her name sounds familiar.
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I continue to go through Discworld! I think that while I am fond of the Discworld books I've read so far, I'm not head-over-heels in love. That said, they're remarkably good light reading, they generally cheer me up, and while Pratchett can get a little repetitive in his intended points, I find that I have been looking for light fluffy books these days. I suspect the fluffiness is more because Pratchett is very skilled at writing light without writing thin; the books are easy to digest, but they also have a lot more layers than they seem to.

Witches Abroad takes place after the events of Wyrd Sisters, though I'm guessing you can read these completely out of order, as Pratchett reintroduces characters and concepts. Sometimes he does this too much; the beginning of this book is nearly identical to that of Wyrd Sisters (the coven gathering, then the food), which had me rolling my eyes a little.

Anyway, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat find themselves trying to carry out the last wishes of a fairy godmother, which means subverting the evil intentions of Lilith, who just wants everyone to have their own happy ending.

Some of the themes got extremely anvilly, which was irritating, particularly that about not being able to make people's happy endings for them and that the easy fix is usually the bad fix (as someone who likes to pretend to be able to come up with hack-y solutions, I object a little to this, though I get Pratchett's point. Multiple times).

On the other hand, I really liked that I actually felt threatened by the villain; most of the other Pratchett books didn't have me really believing in the threat. There are also some genuinely creepy moments in the book (the big bad wolf, for me). And, of course, I am always a sucker for fairy tale takes.

Also! Actual black people! /sarcasm

More seriously, I liked that Pratchett mixed together New Orleans and gumbo and Voodoo and Legba with Cinderella and "traditional" fairy tales; the Discworld books I've read so far are pretty West-centric, though people have commented that there are Asia and Africa and Australia equivalents in the world. I probably just haven't gotten there yet. Is there a South American equivalent?

I would normally be irritated by Nanny Ogg's mastery of "foreign" (particularly the moments of "chop chop" and the pidgin Asian languages) except that Pratchett is clearly making fun of the general propensity of tourists to march in and bungle things up, and I laughed at Granny Weatherwax's belief that if she just said something slowly and loudly enough, the language barrier would magically disappear. I'm also not sure how he does with Voodoo -- from my very uneducated POV, I was a little irritated by the voodoo doll and the zombie, but I also liked the take on the zombie and the voodoo doll. Also, I loved Mrs. Gogol's gumbo pot, and in general, my impression was that Pratchett was taking the trappings of Voodoo that make it into horror movies, poking holes in those caricatures, but also building fairly solid secondary characters underneath. I'm still not quite sure how he does this, but I am very impressed by how he can pull it off consistently.

Is Mrs. Gogol black? I thought so, though reading through the passage via Google books doesn't explicitly say so. On the other hand, the Discworld wiki lists her as black.

Anyway. POC! Yay!

And I loved Pratchett's description of Cajun food.
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We return to the adventures of Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle!

In A Hat Full of Sky, Tiffany ends up being possessed by something called a hiver, and Wintersmith is a sort of take on the Hades/Persephone myth. I continue to enjoy this series, though next time I may try to stop myself from reading several over a few days. It's interesting that each successive book has Tiffany make more mistakes than the last -- the conflict in Wintersmith is much more Tiffany's fault, and she comes off much more flawed.

Generally I like that, except for the romantic bits in Wintersmith, which I didn't take well to.

I'm rather impressed that Roland is actually likeable as a character, as opposed to the brat he was in The Wee Free Men. I think I wished for more of the Feegles in Wintersmith, particularly more of Jeannie.

My favorite in the series so far is A Hat Full of Sky; I found the ending very touching and real, and I particularly love the Granny Weatherwax-Tiffany interactions. Then again, Wintersmith has great Nanny Ogg-Tiffany interaction, and I really love that Pratchett has an actual range of older women in this series alone, from Miss Tick to Miss Treason to Nanny Ogg to Granny Weatherwax to Granny Aching. And Roland's aunts. He's got older women who reject traditional femininity and have lots of power, to those who play at traditional femininity (mostly Nanny Ogg, who subverts it in her own way by having lots of lovers and by continuing to talk about it while being older, and partially Miss Tick as teacher), which I appreciate.

Also, Horace the Cheese cracks me up.
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My library doesn't have the next books in the Death series or the Witch series, which makes me sad!

Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching one day finds there is a monster in her river. Then some small blue men with funny accents start stealing the sheep. Then her little brother disappears.

Tiffany decides that This Will Not Do and goes after her brother with a cast-iron frying pan, along with a whole lot of the Nac Mac Feegle (the eponymous Wee Free Men).

I wasn't going to like Tiffany at first, since she was entirely too capable, but I ended up liking her anyway. She hits things with frying pans!

Um. I was going to say something else, except I have gotten stuck on the frying pan bit. It reminds me of Patricia C. Wrede's Frying Pan of DOOM!

Also, the Nac Mac Feegle are hilarious!

Oh yeah. Anyway, there is a lot of stuff about Faerie (the scary version) and dreams, and I found the latter to be particularly confusing, because people would keep slipping in and out of dreams. I have a difficult enough time following straight-forward plots, much less plots that change every two pages.

Still, I liked this quite a bit, particularly Granny Aching, and I am glad I already have the next two in the series checked out.
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Something not about racism so my brain doesn't explode (even more, that is)!

I think I've actually read this one before, since I own it and vaguely remember reading it (by itself, the owning doesn't say much, given how many unread books I have....).

Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat, three witches in a coven (they're just testing it out), somehow managed to get tangled up in the murder of the king of Lancre and the eventual attempts to restore the kingdom to its rightful heir. I had a lot of fun with all the Shakespeare references, even though I'm sure I missed a ton.

And I think I'm getting more used to Pratchett's voice -- I can tell more easily when I'm supposed to take something seriously as opposed to just mocking it, or, more often, when he's making a serious point disguised in his insane metaphors. I feel a bit like a dunce in humor, because usually it takes me a couple reads or watches to actually grok how something is supposed to be funny (or not).

So yes, I enjoyed the crazy language, Granny Weatherwax's peculiar brand of witchcraft, and the general capers that went on, even as I felt sorry for the Fool and both rolled my eyes at and symapthized with Magrat. I'm particularly impressed with the character of Magrat, who could so easily have been a one-note joke, but is instead a real person under all the funny prose.
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(Apologies for spamming! Um, yes, I am trying to catch up with my backlog, so there may be a few more...)

I actually haven't read very much Terry Pratchett at all. The first time I read this, I was mildly amused but not too impressed. I suspect for most things intended to be funny, I have to read them a few times. Otherwise, the prose strikes me as too twee or too contrived.

Mort is all elbows and thinks entirely too much for his small village, which is how he ends up at a fair for people trying to find apprentices. Fortunately (?) for Mort, Death of Discworld is looking for an apprentice.

Mort gets himself into a giant scrape involving the very fabric of reality, and antics ensue.

I enjoyed this the second time around, now that I had a better feel for Pratchett's sense of humor. I love the long footnotes, though I got sick of a few of them closer to the end of the book. I also like the characters a lot more; the first time I read it, I couldn't quite figure out how sympathetic I was supposed to feel and how much Pratchett was making fun of them. I think I rather like the gentle fun he pokes; I had originally read them with the vague idea that he wrote satire and not good story (this was pre-LJ).

My favorite character was Ysabell, even though she didn't get many pages; I am a sucker for overlooked girls who prove to be useful and down-to-earth.

I could tell from vague knowledge collected from LJ that Pratchett was bringing Mort to meet several established Discworld characters, but since I don't know any of them outside of Granny Weatherwax, it had very little impression on me.

So: I think I am going to try and read up on Pratchett, just to keep up with LJ, if nothing else. Also, he won me over in another book with SQUEAK! from the Death of rats.

I definitely like the Death books, so I think that is Soul Music and Hogsfather. Mely and Rachel both say to avoid Rincewind and to read the Guards books. Rec me! Also, let me know if I should read in any particular order!

Of the Discworld books, I have read: this book, The Amazing Maurice and The Color of Magic (was not terribly impressed by the last, but Mely says it is because it sucks).


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