Nation: A review

This is one of few books recently by Terry Pratchett that’s not part of the Discworld series.

The usual amazing humour of Pratchett comes out straight away in this novel and it’s easy to fall in love with the quirky larger than life characters. The main character Mau, comes back from his manhood right of passage to find his village gone, thanks to a massive tidal wave, as such he doesn’t complete the usual rituals and is officially neither a man or a boy. He has to struggle with both this and being the only person left alive from his tribe, as well as many other things along the way.

To begin with I really enjoyed the book. The two main characters were cute and everything made sense but from about half way through there started to be more of a mention of spirits, religion and science related stuff and I just got the feeling that the author’s own opinions on these things came through a bit too strongly. It’s very hard to strike a balance between these subjects and not overbear one way or another and I just don’t feel it fully worked in this case.

I expected the tribal villagers to have some concept of spirits but I think it just went too far from the norm in that respect.

Plot wise I felt the ending was a little rushed and convenient. Unlike the Discworld books when there’s bad guys to fight there’s usually a fair amount of tension but for some reason I didn’t feel too tense reading this except for a few moments during one part of a fight.

Still pretty good but just not Pratchett’s best.

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