Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Plot:
The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley have spent a lot of time on earth, doing their respective duties and have got pretty comfortable here. So when the news reaches them that the Antichrist is about to be born and the apocalypse is drawing closer, they are not really happy about it. But Crowley sets things in motion, as they are supposed to be set in motion, though coincidence seems to have a hand in it as well. But it has all been predicted by Agnes Nutter, a witch who died a while back, but still has an heir in Anathema Device who keeps up the family tradition. While the Horsemen of the Apocalypse start to gather, it turns out that the boy everybody thought was the Antichrist was actually switched at birth and nobody really knows where the Antichrist really is.

Good Omens is exactly what you imagine a book written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to be like. That is well-written, clever and a whole lot of fun.

good-omens

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Thief of Time (Terry Pratchett)

Thief of Time is the third Discword novel about Susan Sto Helit (or the fifth Death novel, depends on how you count) by Terry Pratchett. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
Jeremy is the best clock maker there ever was. Which is why he gets approached by the mysterious Lady LeJean to build the perfect clock. What he doesn’t know is that if he actually achieves it, he will manage to capture Time and stop time, leading to the end of the world. So Death, who is a fan of the humans, asks his granddaughter Susan Sto Helit to help with the situation, while the History Monks as well, in the form of Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang, try to prevent the worst.

I really enjoyed Thief of Time. It’s well-paced and fun. Plus, I loved the History Monks. Perfectly entertaining.

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Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is the second Discworld book about Susan Sto Helit. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
The guild of assassins gets a special assignment: their next target it the Hogfather, right before Hogswatchnight. The guild director hands the task over to Mr. Teatime who is on it with the perfect mix of relentlessness and crazy. Death who notices that things are going wrong, decides to take over for the Hogfather. And then Susan – who has taken on a rather quite job of being a governess and would like to keep it that way – also gets involved to save the Hogfather since his death has ramifications nobody could have predicted.

After Soul Music was pretty lukewarm for me, Hogfather again reminded me why I’m still reading the Discworld novels. It’s funny and intelligent. I loved it.

[Vaguely spoilery.]

 

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Soul Music (Terry Pratchett)

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett is the first Discworld book about Susan Sto Helit. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
Death has one of his episodes again and left his post, which means that his granddaughter Susan has to take over his job without really knowing what she’s doing. In the meantime the young musician Imp Y Celin comes to Ankh Morpork. When he meets up with the dwarf Glod and the troll Cliff, they start playing a new kind of music – Music with Rocks In. And with that they start events much bigger than they thought at first.

Soul Music was a good, entertaining read. But I mostly just don’t connect with Pratchett in the right way, and this book is no exception.

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Equal Rites (Terry Pratchett)

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett is the first Discworld book about the Witches. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
Drum Billet is a wizard who knows that he is about to die. So he travels to a small town where the 8th son of an 8th son is about to be born to pass on his powers. Unfortunatel, neither Drum nor the father listen to the protests of Granny Weatherwax, resident witch and midwife and before she can stop them, the world’s first female wizard is created. Unfortunately nobody really knows what to do with little Esk, since female wizards not only didn’t exist before, but are quite unthinkable – according to lore. So, Granny Weatherwax tries to take Esk’s education upon herself.

Equal Rites is nice but it didn’t blow me away. As usual when Pratchett approaches feminism, it’s well-meaning but it doesn’t really work out.

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Reaper Man (Terry Pratchett)

Reaper Man is the second book in the Death Series of Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
The Auditors of Reality think that Death has become too much of a personality t0 continue doing his job, so they sent him away. Unfortunately, they didn’t think about what would happen to the rest of the Discworld when that happens. So while Death uses his skills with a scythe to harvest Mrs. Flitworth’s corn, Windle Poons, recently deceased wizards, fights for his right to actually be dead. But that’s not the only strange thing that happens in the Discworld.

Reaper Man was nice. It just kinda runs its course and its enjoyable, but it’s probably not one of the books that will stick around in my head.

[SPOILERS]

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Mort (Terry Pratchett)

Mort is the first book in the Death Series of Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. [My reviews of the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
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.

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Thud! (Terry Pratchett)

Thud! is the seventh of the Discworld novels about the City Watch by Terry Pratchett [reviews of the others here].

Plot:
The anniversary of the legendary Battle of Koom Valley is approaching, where famously the dwarves ambushed the trolls and the trolls ambushed the dwarves and things in Ankh-Morpork are brewing since it’s the place where dwarves and trolls live closest together. When a dwarf is found dead, with a troll club nearby, Sam Vimes suddenly has his hands full, trying to avert a racial disaster.

As in all Pratchett books, there were some really awesome bits. But put altogether, Thud! was quite a let-down after Night Watch. It was the first time, I think, that I was not surprised by a Pratchett plot and the whole vampire vs. werewolf thingy got a little tired.

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Monstrous Regiment (Terry Pratchett)

Monstrous Regiment is a stand alone Discworld novel (with a few guest appearances by the City Watch) by Terry Pratchett. [My reviews for the other Discworld novels here.]

Plot:
As usual, there is a war in Borogravia. Polly, a young girl, decides to join the army to look for her brother Paul, who joined up a while ago. So, Polly becomes Oliver and leaves her home. Under the lead of Sergeant Jackrum, Oliver and the other new recruits learn the ropes of warfare and discover the truth behind an increasingly desperate war.

I did not like Monstrous Regiment. There were two major problems I had with it: the tone didn’t feel right and the whole approach to the gender thing was one-dimensional at best.

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