179. Night Watch – Terry Pratchett
paperback / library / read Oct. 1, 2012 / Amazon
My first proper City Watch book and I’m now hooked. Why didn’t anyone TELL me this subseries was so good?! It’s a mystery, it’s a sci-fi-within-a-fantasy story, it’d make a really great TV show if you’re into that sort of thing, and now I’m picturing Daniel Craig as Vimes, which is weird. Okay, so: this one is actually, like, book number 3 or something in the City Watch series but I think I did okay figuring out what was what. Vimes is a somewhat rougher character than you may find in other Discworld books, which is kind of neat, and he gives off a real Dirty Harry vibe. In this book he travels back in time/to an alternate timeline1 and lives through a very important/traumatic/life-defining experience again, only from a different viewpoint than he did the first time around. Confused? Just read the book; it’ll make more sense then.
Maybe I would have benefited from having read the earlier City Watch book(s) before this one because I’d be more familiar with the characters and how the Watch works and whatnot, and possibly starting with a book where the lead character time travels back into his own past to mess with stuff is a bit like starting a movie with your lead character dying and then regenerating into a new one 15 minutes in, but I worked through it okay! And the writing in this book was so good that it was practically impossible I WOULDN’T like it, slight confusion aside.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend STARTING with this book if you’ve never read a City Watch book before (or even a Discworld book), but if you’re already a fan of one of the other then this book should definitely go on your TBR list.
180. Thud! – Terry Pratchett
hardcover / library / read Oct. 1-3, 2012 / Amazon
This City Watch book is about strategic games! And trolls! And other things that I can’t remember now because I read like four of these books all in a row and individual plot points have since become blended together in my mind.
181. Snuff – Terry Pratchett
hardcover / library / read Oct. 3-5, 2012 / Amazon
However, both books were VERY enjoyable to read and I’m very sad that they’re the last of the available City Watch books in my closest library branch. This one’s about goblins! And slaves. And it’s pretty depressing compared to a lot of other Discworld books. (I think I read somewhere that Pterry’s newer books have tended towards the darker side of things? Seems to be true, although the humor is still there, of course.)
One of the nice things about the Watch books is that they all have an overarching theme (or themes): acceptance of that which is different from you, and of accepting your differences without also accepting being a second-class citizen (or third-class or whatever). There’s lots of stuff about immigration in these books, about what makes a person a person, about how the diversification of a city or community is scary but necessary, and so on. Great stuff!
- wibbly wobbly timey wimey idk ↩