Title: Night Watch
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 480
Now, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a Discworld fan, considering the number of Terry Pratchett reviews that I’ve already written, and I’ve also mentioned multiple times that the City Watch books are my favourite miniseries within the series. Vimes is one of my favourite characters, as is Vetinari – both of them appear here, so it’s automatically going to get a high score from me.
That said, there are plenty of other things to mark this book out as one that’s particularly worthy of attention. The plot itself is one of Pratchett’s more ambitious, but it works – I usually try not to give too much away with my reviews, and I’ll try to do the same here, but it’s notable enough that I want to give you a brief synopsis.
Basically, just when Sam Vimes is starting to get used to a life in which he has (comparatively) everything, he finds himself transported backwards through time to when he was first getting started out on the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork, and, of course, there are people out to get him.
Because of that, this book is a milestone in the Discworld’s evolution, and it’s interesting to get a glimpse into the youth of Sir Samuel Vimes, and the surroundings in which the beloved character came from. Personally, I think that it was clever of Pratchett to do this, because he’s not really experimented with time travel too much and so it’s a pretty unique read from that perspective.
One of the strengths of the Discworld is the breadth of topics which were covered, enabling Sir Pratchett to build a world of such complexity that even J. R. R. Tolkien would’ve felt threatened, were he still alive. Unfortunately, with the Discworld novels, that can also ocassionally make them feel stilted, because it feels as though every conceivable topic that could have been covered has been covered.
That’s not so here – this book is like a breath of fresh air, to use a cliche, and it’s truly a unique Discworld novel. I’m not saying that any of the books are ‘filler‘, but there are certainly certain books which stand out more than others, at least for me. The interesting thing is that different people have different favourites, and whilst I can’t stop raving about Night Watch, other readers will tell you that it was so so. Hell, I even know someone who says that Moist Von Lipwig is their favourite character, which is madness.
It helps if you’ve read other books from the City Watch and Discworld series, but it’s not a necessity – in fact, if this is your first ever Discworld novel then I’m pretty sure you’ll find yourself coming back for more. So what are you waiting for? Go and read it!