Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Vacation Notice and Review: Always Remember to Tip Your Ninja

Lords and Ladies was the last book I read and reviewed for the British Books Challenge this month. I'm leaving for a two-and-a-bit weeks vacation early on Friday. There will be almost no internet access, and, anyway, I had planned to read my way through the four Eragon novels while away. Since they don't count towards the challenge and I - as already mentioned - won't have much internet, there will be no updates on goodreads or reviews here.

See you in August!

Always Remember to Tip Your Ninja: And Other Maxims for the Clinically Absurd
Jeremy C. Shipp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Always Remember to Tip Your Ninja is a collection of more or less funny slogans. It was entertaining enough for three quick lunch breaks, but I'm happy I got it for free. I have to say I never buy books without a story to them, though, so it might be just me.

Some of the "maxims" were really funny, others were quite dumb, and some I simply didn't understand.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Review: Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lords and Ladies is the second discworld novel originally published in 1992. Overall, it's the 14th book, and the fourth from the witches storyline.

The first thing that surprised me here was that it does, in a way, stand on it's own, but there is a review of former books, especially Witches Abroad, the previous witches novel. Lords and Ladies picks up the story of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick at their arrival in Lancre, when Magrat is informed that she will be married to King Verence II. soon. She doesn't really mind, but is of course very upset because she has apparently no choice in the matter; even the wedding dress has already been ordered without consulting her. Still, that is nothing to an argument she has with Granny Weatherwax, prompting her to give up witching and move into the castle even before the wedding.
It's only Granny and Nanny Ogg, then, who discover that someone had been dabbling with magic at the Dancers, an old stone circle protecting Lancre from Fairyland, which isn't at all as people think it is. They try to prevent the worst, but in the end, elves come through, taking over the kingdom. To really own the land, though, the Queen of the Elves has to marry the king, and Magrat won't have any of that... Neither would the other two witches, of course, but both are distracted by, well, men.

To me, Lords and Ladies was special because I've already read the much younger Tiffany Aching series, which starts with another invasion of the elves. It is very different from this one, but I remember that it was mentioned somewhere that Granny Weatherwax once got rid of the Queen, but wouldn't say how. Now I know.
Another thing that sets this novel apart from the other witches novels is the behaviour of Granny Weatherwax. She is uncertain, confused and a bit weak, absolutely not her usual self. And she has been planning ahead, manipulating people... To be honest, she reminded me a lot of Dumbledore (you know, Harry Potter). It was interesting to watch/read, and what made it even better were hints at her past.

Important guest roles this time were: Ridcully, current Archchancellor of Unseen University, together with the Bursar, the Librarian and Ponder Stibbons, Reader in Invisible Writings. Then there was Casanunda, the second greatest lover in the world and Nanny Ogg's flirt from Witches Abroad. On a side note, Mr. Ixolite the Banshee (from Reaper Man) is also mentioned.
Who is totally missing this time, though, is Death.

View all my reviews on goodreads.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 6 July 2012

Review: Small Gods

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thirteen is my favourite number. Small Gods is the thirteenth discworld novel, but not my favourite, despite being very good. It was published in 1992.

Imagine being a small god, out in the desert... You need believers, to become strong, to get out of there. You find someone, a shepherd, and he spreads believe in you, starts a religion that makes you strong. Strong enough to fight other gods.
But, you don't care for people. They are only good for believing. Giving you power is their only purpose.
And then, one day, you come down to earth as a mighty bull, to trample some unbelievers... Only you're not a mighty bull but a small tortoise with no power at all. What would you do?

It takes the Great God Om three years in the desert before he gets to Omnia, his country. Since shape forms personality, he has almost forgotten who he is, but here is faith, believe to remind him of his identity. It also explains why he's a tortoise: the Great God Om has only one believer left, a novice with a strange mind and slow thoughts. He needs him; he has to stay alive, has to continue believing, maybe convince others...
The religion around the Great God Om is still going strong, but people believe more in the Church and the Quisition than they believe in their God. This is the way all gods go, eventually. Om puts up a fight, and, who knows, maybe having been a small tortoise for a while will change him...
And then, there is the last paragraph. Suddenly you hope that there are more people like Brutha, even here, somewhere.

Small Gods is a satire on religion. It is also a satire on politics, philosophy and warfare. It is a quite accurate description of people, as well.
Guest stars this time are Death, the Death of Rats and the Librarian. Is there any discworld novel at all which doesn't feature Death?

View all my reviews on goodreads
Enhanced by Zemanta