Stargate Archives

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett


Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14)Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the grand tour of the Discworld Nanny, Granny and Magrat return to Lancre to find the King Verence as is his right arranged the marriage service to Magrat. The mild hiccup is that despite Magrat worrying he might not have waited for her return she is independent enough to take exception to not being part of the process and makes a stand when it really isn't in her best interests. So it is a bad time for the appearance of crop circles and the weakening of the barrier between universes which allows the Elves to invade this realm and alas only the Witches amongst humans remember how brutal that race were, none of this fairy tale nursery rhyme nonsense, Elves kill and torture for sport.
Naturally the major incursion occurs on the day of the marriage when Lancre is full of visitors for the wedding and some of them turn out to be quite useful especially The Librarian, Casanunda (the world's second greatest lover) and Mustrum Ridcully the current Archchancellor of the Unseen University (who once had a thing with Granny). Together this ragtag band of "warriors" do battle with the Elves while Nanny and Casanunda visit the Elf King and Granny faces the Elf Queen who she rejected when she last came a calling. The tipping point however is Magrat who is inspired by the portrait and armour of Queen Ynci the Short-Tempered a former Queen of Lancre generates enough self confidence and self esteem to kick the ass of any Elf she comes across, this is her home and Verence is going to be her husband and no one, no one is going to stop that.
Lords And Ladies is one of the highlights of the earlier Discworld novels as we've seen that Terry has pretty much fine tuned the major characters of the Ramtops and Lancre in particular as well working his story within a multiverse which can make or break a novel. The Witches as usual are great in their own particular ways but the blending of new and recurring characters in this story is what works really well. There is drama and suspense and naturally humour both driven by characters and situations which provides the reader with everything they need or want from a Discworld novel.

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Sunday, 17 July 2022

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett


Small Gods (Discworld, #13)Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was only the second time I've read Small Gods, first time around oh so many years ago I simply didn't like it very much and made the decision it was just not my style of story despite being set well and truly in the Discworld. I am however glad I'm doing this full reread of the series because I got a lot more pleasure out of the novel the second time around, not sure if it's level of expectation or maybe I'm just different, either way the story of the Great God Om and Brutha his only true believer is both complex, compelling and depressing given how Terry's writing often draws upon the real world. As we learn a God on the Discworld draws power from their believers but is often the case the religious framework becomes more "real" in the lives of the people than the God themselves, in other words they still worship the God but they believe in the Priests who stand in front of them dictating every aspect of their lives and in the case of Omnia their deaths. Thus Om is revealed to Brutha in the form of a Tortoise and together they have to survive not only the "heathen" nations that surround Omnia but the very Priests who serve Om and are patiently awaiting the arrival of the latest Prophet. However the fix is in, the current head of the Quisition a priest named Vorbis has plans and is not above sacrificing his own people for the greater truth but he does not hear the voice of his god only Brutha does and well existential crisis bigtime as Brutha deals with the reality of the world he and his people live in and his ultimate destiny to bring about change and rebirth if he survives of course.
Small Gods in all honesty did surprise me, a much more satisfying read then I was expecting and nice to recognise a few of the secondary characters and situations that appear in other novels. This certainly won't be the last time I pick this novel off the shelf.

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Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett


Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12)Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Naturally it's the Discworld where a Fairy Godmother named Desiderata Hollow passes on and gives her charge to a Fairy Godmother in training (Magrat Garlick) and tasks her to journey to the far away city of Genua and make sure a young woman does not marry the prince. As it turns out Granny and Nanny are not going to be left behind so the three witches venture forth and many a cafe and inn will remember their passing through. Of course in this story there has to be a wicked witch but often who is which witch is determined on your point of view but for now Lady Lilith de Tempscire is our "bad guy" and she is prepared to handle this upstart fairy godmother, her companions and the voodoo witch Mrs Gogol because Lilith wants nothing more than a happy ending...
Witches Abroad is fun, the experiences and actions of the three fish out of water hits close to home given the fair trope of English going abroad but we are seeing lots of the Discworld and its people especially Genua a city known for dance, music and a live and let live attitude now under the thumb of the Witch/Fairy Godmother Lilith who is very opinionated, knows who she is and extremely competent (remind you of anyone?). The battle for the future of one girl and by extension the city is fought with pumpkins, wands, voodoo gods, gumbo and Greebo who gets to be a dude, definitely a dude, meeooww!

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Heavy Metal by Joshua Dalzelle


Heavy Metal (Terran Scout Fleet Book 4)Heavy Metal by Joshua Dalzelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heavy Metal is the fourth novel in the Terran Scout Fleet series which was spun off from the Omega Force series and in this story we have Scout Team Obsidian once again led by Jacob Brown searching the galaxy for some stolen Earth technology. The pressure is on with Politicians and Military expecting a miracle from Obsidian who know that they will be hung out to dry if things go wrong, the morality of his job has been worrying Jacob for some time and it seems to be getting worse with each mission. Things take a turn when news reports indicate the stolen "mech" code name Atlas has been seen in action on a planet deep in civil unrest, as multiple interested parties converge on the planet Obsidian have their work cut out for me first to retrieve the mech or destroy it.
Heavy Metal is fast paced action adventure with our usual bunch of miscreants known as Scout Team Obsidian, an entertaining story set apart from the Omega Force series with no crossovers this time which allows Jacob and his men to grow a little through good and bad choices. A good and welcome addition to the series.

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Sunday, 3 July 2022

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett


Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2) (Hardcover)Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To some the personification of Death on the Discworld is a welcome sight when their lives come to an end, to others he is a terror who should be avoided at all costs and to those who maintain the universe he has become to big for his boots and needs to be replaced. So it comes to pass a Timer for Death is created and his time is running out, grabbing his horse he rides forth, he has time to spend. Death ends up at a run down farm owned by a Miss Flitworth (Renata) who takes him on as a farmhand and she gets her moneys worth. Death now known as Bill Door makes friends with the locals (being bad at things in a funny way works wonders) but with no Death to usher the dead onwards dangerous levels of life force builds up along with the mysterious appearance around Ankh-Morpork of pretty snow globes and then the very useful wire framed four wheeled trolleys appear. The wizards and dead but not dead former wizard Windle Poons investigate and we are introduced to some great characters on the way whose adventures ultimately leads to an epic battle which reflects social economic issues in the real world. Reaper Man is a entertaining and very welcome story for Death, the Wizards work well as like many elements of the Discworld smaller doses tends to be better and the new characters merge well into what we now know as the Discworld, it seems to me Terry is very close to to a world where he can add and subtract whatever and wherever he needs to make his story telling develop.
Highly recommended and a novel that isn't dependent upon reading other Discworld novels to get the most out of it.

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