Friday, October 21, 2011

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and I go way back. I was just a young college kid looking for something to read when I saw a flyer at the library recommending science fiction titles, and the rest is history. Over the years, I've read a good portion of the books. The ones featuring Commander Samuel Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork City Watch are definitely my favorites. Therefore, I was excited to read the newest book, Snuff.

We start with Lady Sybil and the Patrician Lord Vetinari forcing Vimes to take a vacation in the country. Just dragging the Commander away from the city and his duties should be the hardest part. The country is nothing but relaxation, fishing, spending time with Young Sam, and enjoying the family estate. They never expected...murder.

(I always wanted to write something like that.)

Vimes discovers the mutilated body of a goblin woman. Discworld contains populations of humans, trolls, dwarfs, and vampires, among other species. Times have been changing in Ankh-Morpork, as other species have been given more rights. The Watch now contains members of every species. Goblins, unfortunately, are still treated as vermin. Nobody would demand justice for the slaughter of vermin, nobody except Sam Vimes. Vimes is a believer in justice for all, and that small crimes lead to big crimes. Whoever mercilessly killed that goblin will probably do far worse, and it's up to the Commander to stop him.

Snuff wasn't quite as plot-filled as other Discworld novels. I'm used to having a couple different plots going on and then tying into each other, but this book just had Vimes in the country and then a plot with one of the officers falling ill back in the city. Still, I enjoyed the story. I love Sam Vimes as a character, how he is still uncomfortable with being a wealthy Lord and basically the second most powerful man in the city, and all the darkness that he has to suppress so that he doesn't become the murderer himself. I love the manservant Willikins, how he can go from proper butler to hardcore gangster in the blink of an eye. I love a story that involves making people rethink their prejudices, and in conclusion, I love anytime Lord Vetinari gets involved, even though it was for a very brief time here.

A few years back, I learned that Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. This was very shocking to me, as my grandmother suffered from the disease before her death. I'm glad to see that he is still writing, and that the quality of his books isn't effected. I sincerely hope that Terry Pratchett gets to continue his series for years to come.

My copies of Snuff came from Netgalley and from an Advanced Copy sent to my bookstore. The book is now available for purchase.

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