Book Review – Hogfather by Terry Pratchett


Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is the 20th novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series, and the fourth in the Death sub-series. Susan Sto Helit, the granddaughter of Death himself, has settled into a life of education, living with a wealthy family as their astute and capable governess. Sure, she occasionally has to bash in the heads of monsters the kids imagine live under their beds or in the basement, but such things are old hat for someone like Susan. She knows all too well how powerful imagination and superstition can be on the Discworld. Aside from such hiccups, everything is perfectly normal, just the way she wants them to be.

But things take a turn for the stranger on Hogswatch Eve, a time when a jolly fat man is meant to be about delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. He’s nowhere to be found, and in his place is Death, trying to fill the big man’s over-sized coat. With Death unwilling to inform Susan of what is going on, it’s up to her to learn the reason for her grandfather’s odd behaviour and uncover what has happened to the Hogfather. It’s a race against the clock as Hogswatch morning approaches. If she fails, the sun may never rise again.Read More »

Book Review – Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Soul Music

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett is the 16th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the third in the Death sub-series. After a tragic carriage accident kills his adopted daughter Ysabel and his son-in-law/former apprentice Mort, Death becomes distraught and bemoans his inability to forget anything, wishing to quell his grief. Death wanders off into the world, leaving his vocation unfulfilled. It is soon foisted upon his bewildered granddaughter Susan, who was kept away from him for the sake of living a normal life. She struggles with the duties of the vocation, however, feeling she ought to use it to make the world a fairer place. Meanwhile, a young musician named Imp has traveled from his distant home in the mountains to make a name for himself in the city of Ankh-Morpork. Unbeknownst to him, something powerful and ancient has set its sights on him, shifting reality to make his dreams comes true…on its own terms.Read More »

Book Review – Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Reaper Man

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett is the 11th novel in the comic fantasy Discworld series and the second book in the Death subseries. The Auditors of Reality, godlike beings that act as bureaucrats for the cosmos, have decreed that Death (the being) of the Discworld has developed too much of a personality, which they believe is improper for his position. As such, Death is suddenly issued a new timepiece counting down to his impending demise. Officially retired, with the populace left to sort out manifesting a new reaper to fill his shoes, Death decides to do what he’s never been able to before; spend Time. Meanwhile, the Wizards and other citizens of Ankh-Morpork must deal with the consequences of excessive life force filling the world during this transitional time when passage to the afterlife for all living things has been interrupted.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/07/19


WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

ReflectionsI’ve made a small amount of progress with Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones. I’m starting to notice information getting repeated, such as her being forbidden from reading “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” from The Wind in the Willows. It’s a collection of speeches and essays from over the course of her career, though, so I don’t fault it. The last three chapters I read actually delved deeper into writing advice and her approach to it. I’m happy to find yet another big-name author discouraging the creation of massive outlines for novels, in favour of a more flowing creativity, as the idea of crafting one myself sounds a bit agonizing.

SistersBrothersCoverI’ve been reading The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt as well, which I had actually hoped to finish by now, but life got a little in the way. Nevertheless, I’m enjoyed the book quite well. While very much a Western, it feels literary too. The story of these two brothers so far has been a strange odyssey of violence and quirky encounters. The one brother, Charlie, seems more deplorable, but at times Eli (the other brother and narrator) seems more unstable than he lets on. At just over halfway through, I’m excited to see where the story is heading.

Recently Finished

PrincessLeiaCoverOver the weekend I read Star Wars: Princess Leia, the Marvel Comics miniseries by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson. It takes place just after the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope, telling the story of Leia rallying together surviving Alderaanians from around the Galaxy in an effort to preserve the legacy of her destroyed world. It was a fun little side-story that wasn’t really needed, but gave another opportunity to see the iconic princess in action. There’s also a nice little moment of Force-sensitivity on her part that nods to her true heritage.

DeathCoverI also read Death by Neil Gaiman et al, the spin-off from The Sandman series also by Gaiman. The book collects various one-shot issues about the character Death, as well as the two previously separate miniseries about her. They tell wonderfully poignant and sentimental stories about life and death, as well as continuing to show the lives of some of the characters that appeared in The Sandman: A Game of You, a surprise that made it all the better.

Reading Next

TheOldManAndTheSeaCoverI’ve definitely got a lot of comic books lined up for reading, such as some digital volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy, a couple more Star Wars volumes, Paper Girls, and Incredible Hercules. Can’t really say which I will read next, but I want to get through all of these and more this summer.

Otherwise, on a trip to the bookstore the other week I got some classic novels, 3 for $10, one of which was The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Since it’s rather short I might knock that out sometime soon, so at least one of these books doesn’t gather dust after being impulsively purchased.

Book Review – Mort by Terry Pratchett


Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

Henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. It’s an offer Mort can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board, use of the company horse – and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s a dream job – until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…


Death as a character in the Discworld series is someone who has always grabbed my attention. This dry, knowledgeable, humorously frank, and surprisingly compassionate grim reaper hung out at the fringes of the first three books, having brief yet memorable appearances. Mort is the first novel among a number that focuses specifically on Death: his concerns, his job, and his realm. This was a book I was dying to reach, held back only by my desire to read Terry Pratchett’s massive series in order.Read More »