Mort is a typical teenager, which means that he has more joints than he should, absolutely no idea about what he wants to do and he’s basically embarassed 24/7. Since nobody really knows what to do with him, Mort gladly accepts when Death offers him an apprenticeship. But when he falls in love with a princess destined to die and Death seems to tire of his job, things start to go awry.
The book is nice, but not much more. I liked Mort as a character and I just love Death, but it just seemed really obvious where the book was going and Pratchett’s writing wasn’t great, either.
Reading Pratchett in not chronological order makes for an interesting experience [and it also should make it clear to anyone that writing is something that can be learned]. I mean, comparing Mort to later Discworld novels (like Night Watch for example), it’s obvious how much Pratchett grew as a writer in the past 20 years. The beginnings are there in Mort, but it just doesn’t work as well.
I have to admit that it makes reading the earlier books now (after having read Night Watch, which is like waaaaay up on my favourite books list in general and I’m still waiting for another Pratchett to get me in quite that way) a little disappointing. I know that there is 15 years of writerly experience between those two books but being able to rationalize it doesn’t really help.
Anyway, I still liked Mort and I’m looking forward to reading more (actual) Death.
Have some quotes!
“You’re dead,” he said. Keli waited. She couldn’t think of any suitable reply. “I’m not” lacked a certain style, while “Is it serious?” seemed somehow too frivolous.
“Sodomy non sapiens,” said Albert under his breath.
“What does that mean?”
“Means I’m buggered if I know.”
“There’s some things I shall miss,” she said. “But it gets thin, you know. Life, I’m referring to. You can’t trust your own body any more and it’s time to move on. I reckon it’s about time I tried something else.”
Btw, deadra, would you bring me Reaper Man next? Thanks.