My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Have to admit I might be a tad generous in the stars. This book feels like a valedictory, a tragicomic ending to one of the most enjoyable series ever written. Steam trains on Discworld work, I’m happy to report, but I’m not sure how dwarfs would feel about being equated with Islamic extremists. Seems a bit rude, to the dwarfs.
A lot of the good old boys are back (the ramrod-straight copper who only looks the other way when it’s convenient, the adrenalin-charged scoundrel Pratchett seems so fond of, the mucky capitalist, the tyrant who really has to be allowed to kill once in awhile just to keep him happy). Their wives get mentioned but other than the Muck-Meister’s prissily proper Victorian Age type, they don’t play much of a role.
True as well, some of Pratchett’s good old girls are completely absent (Lady Death Susan, the three witches). The tyrant’s lady friend, a vegetarian vampire of some sort, makes an appearance, as do a few of the Watch and wizardly favourites but Rincewind only gets a mention. No soccer playing orcs this time but plenty of golems, albeit mostly for plot resolution purposes.
The flippant tone is there for the most part but somehow the always eagerly anticipated, laugh-out-loud moments got left behind in just about every other book in the series. Nevertheless it is a Discworld novel and there’s no place quite like Discworld. I wanted more but I got enough, so I’m recommending it.