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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review: Guards! Guards!

Guards! Guards! was the first book I checked out after becoming employed by the library.  A friend recommended a few books by the science-fiction author, but what I didn't know is that it's part of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.  This being the 8th book in the series, I was a little lost in the beginning when multiple characters starting interacting without much of an introduction.  However, the series is written in a way in which you need not start with the first book to enjoy and/or understand any particular novel (which I love!)

Excerpt from the wiki page:

"The story follows a plot by a secret brotherhood, the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, to overthrow the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork and install a puppet king, under the control of the Supreme Grand Master (Vetinari's secretary, Lupine Wonse). Using a stolen magic book, they summon a dragon to strike fear into the people of Ankh-Morpork.

Once a suitable state of terror and panic has been created, the Supreme Grand Master proposes to put forth an "heir" to the throne, who will slay the dragon and rid the city of tyranny. It is the task of the Night Watch – Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Corporal Nobbs, and new volunteer Carrot Ironfoundersson – to stop them, with some help from the Librarian of the Unseen University, an orangutan trying to get the stolen book back.

The Watch is in bad condition; they are regarded as a bunch of incompetents who just walk around ringing their bells, and this is mostly true. The arrival of Carrot changes this; Carrot has memorised the Laws and Ordinances of the Cities of Ankh and Morpork...Carrot's enthusiasm strikes a chord with Vimes; the Watch should prevent crime, not ignore it. Vimes begins investigating the dragon's appearances, which leads to an acquaintance with Sybil Ramkin, a breeder of swamp dragons."

So basically, we have this group of lazy cops who try not to disturb the organized crime of Ankh-Morpork, a tall ginger raised by dwarves (and therefore, has the morals and work ethic of a dwarf), a secretive brotherhood of dummies (but lead by an evil genius), and an empty throne.

I absolutely adore plots that aren't predictable.  Not to say there are any major twists or turns, but the next chapter was never obvious.  Pratchett is a hell of a writer, as well.  I was never bored with the plot, the syntax, or the characters.  If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a comedic novel.  And not one of those lame books that just has a light tone, but no real laughs.  I genuinely lol'd a few times while reading this.

Even if you're not a fan of sci-fi/fantasy, this book is a really fun read.  It was a bit hard to get into at the beginning, but after a few chapters, I couldn't put it down.  I still have quite a few books on my "to read" list, but I can't wait to get back into the Discworld series.

4/5 stars.

PS- Sir Terry Pratchett is a nerd to the core, thus, awesome.


  1. I'm reading Children of Dune now and it's so predictable with Paul Muad'dib's prophetic presence that Herbert just wants readers to take in his setting.

  2. I shelve Herbert, and my first thought upon seeing all his Dune-related books was that he just rode on the success of the original Dune. Literally ALL the Herbert books we have at my library are Dune.

  3. I just read the shannara book series, Terry Brooks, should be pretty similar to this. Maybe I should give these ones a look too. I love long series' of books.

  4. looking forward to the next update...

  5. Sounds awesome. I'll have to read it; I have a copy of that back at my parents' house. I picked up a pre-release (for promotion only, not for resale) of his Monstrous Regiment the other day. I hear it's a good one too.


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