Book Review – Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Hogfather

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 »

WWW Wednesday – June 16, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

Last night I stated reading Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which I managed to read 59 pages of. Reading quotas have been working out for me pretty well so far, as I set out to make sure I read at least 50 pages last night. So far, I think my suspicions were correct and that I will like this book the most in the trilogy of books it belongs to. So far, it feels a bit like cheating, though, because a few sections are just scenes from Alien and Aliens adapted into prose. They’re adapted well, mind you, so if they’re sparsely used I don’t think I’ll mind. They’re only just establishing the characters we’ll get to know at the Hadley’s Hope Colony, but it has been enjoyable so far. It has amusingly raised questions as to why anyone would want to make a colony there, and I wonder if that’ll be further addressed.


Recently Finished

HogfatherOver the weekend I finished reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel. This feels to be a rather momentous achievement, I wish I felt more inclined to bask in it a little. 20 books deep into a series is no small feat, even if it took me five years to get here. I really enjoyed this book—absolutely loved certain parts of it—but I can’t help but feel my experience was a little tainted by familiarity. This novel is among the most quoted of Pratchett’s work, and my own curiosity years ago had me looking up clips of the TV adaptation. I just wish I’d known less about it. Some other things in the execution held it back a little for me too, so while I loved it overall, I’m not completely enamoured with it. I should have a review up sometime later this week.


Reading Next

Slaughterhouse-FiveI’m hoping I can get River of Pain done soon, allowing me to squeeze in one more book in June. A novel that might just fit in perfectly is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I bought this book relatively recently and even added it to my yearly to-read list, but honestly, I can’t remember what precisely drew me to it. I know it’s an American classic, and it never hurts to read more classics, but I really can’t summon any relevant information about it in my memory. Well, I’ve got it anyway, so we’ll soon see how a fairly blind reading of it goes.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – June 9, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

I’m currently only 15% of the way through Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel, so the story is really only getting started. I am loving the setup so far, as I wasn’t completely aware that what Death and his granddaughter Susan will be dealing with is, essentially, the assassination of Santa Claus (named the Hogfather on the Disc). The assassin Mr. Teatime is spearheading the plot, and while it has yet to be executed upon, he’s so elegantly deranged I can only assume he will be successful, at least at first. He’s actually been the greater focus of the story so far, so I look forward to learning more of what Death and Susan specifically get up to. I’m weirdly familiar with this book, but in a vague way, so I don’t actually know a lot of what precisely goes down.


Recently Finished

Over the last week I’ve mostly been reading volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura, specifically finishing Vol. 28 and then making much shorter work of Vol. 29. I’m continuing to enjoy it a lot, though it feels a bit like its spinning its wheels at the moment. I had expected they would have made more progress trying to get to Puck’s homeland, but Vol. 28 was a lot of just fighting crocodiles and then a sea monster. The last few chapters of that volume did have some good character stuff with Schierke the witch, though, which bled into 29, where there was then some good stuff with Farnese. I’m realizing that lately Guts goes through stages of fighting and being hurt, with a lot of character focus going to his companions.


Reading Next

Alien River of PainI’m still going to read Berserk Vol. 30 before I even push hard toward finishing Hogfather, but I still have my next novel decided anyway. I need to get further along with my challenges, darn it. In keeping with reading a holiday(ish) book out of season, I’m going to read Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which tells of the events at the colony of Hadley’s Hope that the marines are deployed to in the film Aliens. I read the first two books in this trilogy around Halloween, but I’ve realized that I’ve set myself up to read so many horror books this year that I don’t want to read yet another Alien book during the spooky season this year.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – June 2, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

Berserk 28I’ve started reading more Berserk by Kentaro Miura, specifically Volume 28. So far, this volume has really reminded me of the warmth and tenderness Miura was able to inject into his work, despite all the darkness and violence that permeates the story. It was a simple moment where a normally stoic character breaks down despite herself, and our gruff and detached hero Guts is able to provide a modicum of comfort for her. I was thinking more about moments like these thanks to a tweet I read reflecting on Miura’s work in the wake of his passing, and it’s a good reminder of how important positivity is, even in stories full of struggle and despair.


Recently Finished

BacchanalOver the weekend I finished reading my ARC copy of Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry. I wanted to have the review up yesterday, but I wasn’t quite able to get it finished, and I really didn’t want to rush it out. Nevertheless, I should have it up soon. Overall, I quite liked this book. There were some notable hitches in the plot for me, but the setting and characters really won me over. It was a slow burn for a lot of the book, but I really liked the way it took its time getting Liza to understand the nature of her supernatural abilities. I was more than happy to spend lots of time with this otherworldly carnival too. I’ll have to keep an eye out for more of Henry’s work in the future.


Reading Next

HogfatherBetween personal reads that I didn’t list and getting ARCs done, I’ve gone off the rails a little as far as my reading challenges are concerned. So, I’m going to get back on track and start reading a few of those soon. To stay on top of my desire to read a Discworld book every quarter, I’m going to start reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett next. It’s the penultimate Death novel, which makes me sad, but it’s also one I’ve seen most referenced, so I’m excited to finally check it out for myself. Feels a bit odd to read a Christmas-y book in June, but I shan’t put it off.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

Feet of Clay

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett is the 19th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the third novel in the City Watch sub-series. There’s murder afoot, as the bodies of a priest and a baker have been found bludgeoned in their respective homes. Headed by Commander Vimes, Captain Carrot, werewolf Corporal Angua, and their new forensics expert Cheery Littlebottom, the City Watch is on the case. Despite the talents each bring to the case, however, it seems no other living thing was present for either murder, though a lot of clay was.

Golems are made of clay, but they’re just things that do as they’re told, not alive, and murder goes against the sacred scrolls that make them function. With the case only getting foggier, the Patrician of the city, Lord Vetinari, suddenly falls victim of poison from an unknown source, weakening him but not killing him outright. Vimes and the Watch’s policing skills are put to the test as they must uncover not only whodunit, but howdunit.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – April 7, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

Norse MythologyI started reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman last week and I’m a little over a third of the way through it at the moment. My only frame of reference for Norse mythology has been popular culture so far, but it turned out to be a decent primer. In the past I’ve had trouble with mythology books because I have no frame of reference for names and terms, which makes it harder for me to remember things. For the most part this hasn’t been the case with this book, plus Gaiman writes in a really accessible way. It still feels like I’m reading myths, which don’t flow quite like standard prose, but I’m enjoying it all the same. I had no idea our sources on Norse myths are so scant either, with most not even being from a time when the beliefs were practiced.

Where Have You Gone Without MeI also started reading Where Have You Gone Without Me? by Peter Bonventre, an eARC I received a little while ago. I’m a little behind on starting it, since it came out at the end of March, but wanted to make sure I read through it all the same. I’m only about 30 pages in so far, during which I’ve had a range of reactions to it. At first I was feeling a little iffy, but I think that had to do with the fact that I don’t read a lot crime thrillers. There have been a few recurring technical errors as well, but I’ll chock that up to it being an advance copy. By the end of my last reading session, it had grown on me a lot more. I’m still waiting for the story to hook me, though, but it’s very early on in the book so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.


Recently Finished

Feet of ClayLast Wednesday I succeeded in finishing Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett by the end of the day, in keeping with my personal challenge to read at least one Discworld novel every quarter of the year. I should have a review up within the week. This was a good novel, and I appreciated how different it felt from other Discworld books, but I couldn’t help feeling that there were facets of it that I enjoyed more than the whole of it put together, if that makes sense. I feel like I’m still collating my feelings on the book, even a week later. The mystery at play was a little too convoluted for me, but I really liked some of the ideas explored along the way, such as the questions of how life is defined when confronted with some truths about golems, which at first seem animate but not truly alive.


Reading Next

I’m not really sure what I’ll be reading next, especially with two books on the go right now. I should probably just shift focus towards some comics until I’ve got those two finished. I’ve been neglecting them again anyway, so I’ll probably go back to the Star Wars well.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – March 31, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

Feet of ClayI’m just over halfway through Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, the 19th Discworld novel. As is usually the case with me, I wanted to be done with the book by now, but clearly that’s not the case. I might be blitzing through the rest of it today so I can have it done before April. I do think I have the time today, but we’ll see if I can manage it. Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying this book, which feels rather distinct from the many other Discworld novels that have come before it. It still has its comedic edge, but it’s taking itself a lot more seriously than other plotlines have. I’m really intrigued by the way he’s introducing golems into the world too, which function more or less like robots and seem to be gaining sentience, with all of the ethical dilemmas that come along with that.


Recently Finished

I haven’t finished anything else this week, as my focus was meant to be on Feet of Clay. Progress on it over the weekend was stunted by exhaustion, if I’m honest, and I have nobody to blame but myself for that.


Reading Next

Norse MythologyEyeballing my to-read list for the year, I have just this moment decided I’m going to read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman next, which I expect will be a unique offering from the author considering he is adapting folklore and mythology, rather than crafting a novel all on its own. That’s what I presume, anyway. It’s been well over a year since I’ve read any Gaiman too, so it’ll be nice to get back into some of his writing again. I’ll probably try catching up on more Star Wars comics soon too, but with my Goodreads challenge nicely on track I’m not in a hurry to rush through comics at the moment.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – March 24, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

Feet of ClayI finally started reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, the 19th Discworld novel, after goodness knows how long talking about starting it. This book already feels different from the usual fare, though it does actually seem to be following in step with Maskerade so far. Specifically because it has all the trappings of a murder mystery. With the City Watch more directly involved as lead characters, however, I’m sure this book will be a much different beast. Tonally it is still funny, but surprisingly a little more serious too, which I can appreciate. Either way, it’s great to be back among the City Watch and see how they’ve expanded since the events of Men at Arms. The plot is still unfolding and I can’t wait to see what’s afoot.


Recently Finished

to-be-taught-if-fortunateOver the weekend I finished reading through To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, which I posted a full review for yesterday. I liked this book a lot, especially the way the significance of their scientific discoveries were outlined and made relatable to our understanding of life on Earth. I wish there was even more narrative time spent in active study, in fact. They were on some of these planets for several years, and while I’m sure by necessity that involved a lot of monotonous work, I would love more details of planetary exploration in a grounded narrative like this one. One section subjected them to a biome that made them utterly miserable too, and I was compelled by how worn out they became. Give me all the nitty-gritty.

My Last Summer with CassI also read through My Last Summer With Cass by Mark Crilley, the author/illustrator’s latest graphic novel, which just came out last week. It’s about the friendship of two young artists and childhood friends Megan and Cassandra, the former spending three week’s of the summer at the latter’s home in New York City. Both are talented artists, one more restrained and anxious about appeasing her parents, the other uninhibited, bold, and a little wild. I don’t want to get too much more into the story, as I want to review it within the week and it’s a fairly light and quick read, but I will say that I really enjoyed it. Crilley is a fantastic illustrator, but I found I especially loved the art in this book. The mix of sketchier lines and colouring really worked for me.


Reading Next

I’m at a bit of an impasse again, as I don’t rightly know what I want to read next. There are a few titles swimming around in my head, but nothing that I’ve fully committed to yet. One way or another, I’ll be sure to let you know when I do make up my mind.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – March 17, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

to-be-taught-if-fortunateOver the weekend I started reading To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, finally making up my mind on what I’d be starting next. I only read it on and off throughout the day on Sunday and I’m already 40% of the way through, so I expect this really won’t be a long read at all, I just haven’t picked it up again over the last couple of days. So far it’s an enjoyably optimistic view on the future of space travel, presenting a more grounded science fiction than the author’s Wayfarers series. As the narrative frame suggests, it’s not all elation over scientific discovery, and there’s already a poignant quality with regards to the reality of space travel, so I’m really curious to see how things go wrong.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Resistance CEOver the weekend I also finished reading Star Wars: Age of Resistance, the collector’s edition magazine about the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films. I’d really like to know who wrote and edited this, because the quality of the writing continued to be a little spotty towards the end, specifically regarding awkward syntax and errors in design and grammar. It wasn’t filthy with them, but there were enough that it stuck out. It did include some excellent high quality stills from each film, nice concept art, and appreciable insight from the actors and other people involved in the production, so it was still a more positive reading experience overall.


Reading Next

Feet of ClayFor sure, for sure I’m going to start reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett soon. I was much better about finishing these Discworld books in their respective quarter of the year in 2020, this being a little down to the wire. There’s also an ARC I’m looking to start reading too, though I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it before the release at the end of the month. It seems I’ve slowed down on reading comics as well, which I should turn around too. There’s still so many of those to catch up on.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – March 3, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

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

The Song of AchillesOver the weekend I started reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I’m sitting at 13% of the way through it at the moment, so it’s still fairly early on. I’ve really missed reading Miller’s writing, which gives these old tales a modern feeling without compromising on the actual content of the myths she’s drawing from. I’m enjoying Patroclus as a perspective character, a pitiable youth unloved by his own family who struggles to live up to what is expected of royal sons and is haunted by past mistakes. I’m enjoying seeing him grow as a person as he becomes closer with Achilles. Knowing how formidable of a fighter he becomes at Troy, I look forward to seeing what precisely spurs him into becoming a great warrior in his own right.


Recently Finished

Berserk 27Since last week I read through volumes 26 and 27 of Berserk by Kentaro Miura,. It’s always a little hard to comment on volumes of manga, as they usually flow into each other as one continuous story, rather than having their own self-contained stories connected to a larger narrative. What felt like the biggest deal across these two volumes was Guts finally donning the berserker armor, which allows him to push himself beyond human limits against his inhuman enemies by dulling his sense of pain. It’s one of the most compelling examples of an ability cutting both ways I’ve seen, as it allows him to fight with more ferocity than ever before, but utterly wreaks havoc on his body.


Reading Next

Feet of ClayConsidering my reading pace as of late, I think I need to start Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett soon, which is the next book in the Discworld series that I need to read. As I did last year, I want to read one Discworld book every quarter of the year and there’s only one month left in Q1. I’m thinking I will try to squeeze in To be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers too, as it was a toss up between that book and Song of Achilles. It’s relatively short, so I would like to catch up a little on my reading lists by getting it finished. With no new Berserk volumes to read at the moment, I’m going to have to commit to a new slew of comics to get through. It’ll probably be some leftover Star Wars books, so I can actually catch up on all of those.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.