May 30, 2011

Book Reviews @ The Temple

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett– Soo… can you believe I’ve never read any Pratchett? I listened to this, of course, but I find that to be a fantastic choice. The book is so snarky and british, it can only be read by a british voice. If I had read it, I would have been using a british accent in my head. The book is quite funny, quite fun, though it falls into two distinct halves for me. The first half I think is utterly fantastic. Laugh out loud (literally) funny in multiple places (the circle suddenly closed.  The circle suddenly expanded.  HA!), a genuinely interesting world and set of characters – and this with 27 years of intervening fiction to steal the ideas. I was really enjoying it. Then, after they escaped the Wyrmberg, things went tits up. All of a sudden the book just says “they went and did a bunch of stuff.” For serious. And then I feel like I’m in media res, and I have no idea what’s up. It loses its charm and I lost the story. Frankly I think the story gets too big too quickly. This is a problem in a lot of fantasy (both, oddly, in written fiction and in D&D campaigns, I find) – things become grand too easily. Third level characters (or their equivalent random joes in fiction) do not quickly become involved in celestial battles. It was still fun, but I just thought it got out of control. There’s a whole lot (like 30!) of books in the series, I’ll keep going until I get bored, I’m hopeful it will get back to its charm.

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett – Ok, second Discworld book. More of the same of the first. Maybe a little bit less funny. The plot was just as convoluted, which isn’t a good thing. Kind of hard to follow, on audio. It was fine and entertaining and amusing. Just overly complicated.

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett – And here’s another. This one had a good idea. In this world only men can be wizards, only women can be witches. Then a girl is born a wizard, whoops! It’s a cute idea, the grandmother character (a witch) is entertaining. But it never really comes together all that well. It’s not bad, it certainly has it’s funny moments. Something about these books aren’t blowing me away. But I keep listening, as they are very easy listening. So it’s not like they are so bad I can’t stand it, they aren’t really bad at all, just not all that good.

Mort by Terry Pratchett – This was a bit of an uptick, at least for a while. It’s the story of a young boy, not really good at much, who becomes Death’s apprentice. Another cute idea, and the first half is pretty fun. What’s good about the books, the silly irreverance and general perspective, is certainly evident through the first half. But, inevitably, the book becomes more concerned with the details of its plot than the lightness of its spirit, and becomes kind of boring.

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