Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review: Nation by Terry Pratchett

ISBN: 978-0061433016
Publisher: Harper Collins
Hardcover: 384 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
First Line: Imo set out one day to catch some fish, but there was no sea.
One Word Review: Clever

Publisher's Description:

The sea has taken everything.
Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne—a girl from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.
Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives—all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. . . .
Terry Pratchett is an immensely talented author. There is no denying it. Though, his Discworld fans may be a bit out of sorts with Pratchett's latest novel - it doesn't have the dry wit one finds so prevalent within his wildly popular series. I'll admit I started this book with the expectations of a riotous read. Around 60 pages in I started to wonder just what Pratchett was thinking. An alternate historical that is far more introspective than funny, it was not what I was expecting at all. And, yet, it was unmistakeably Pratchett in many ways - clever and biting, with well-developed characters and setting. With Nation, though, there seems to be more of a message. It might not be a message everyone wants to read, and I imagine there will be those who dislike it for that reason. The central theme seems to be an animosity towards organized religion, and there will likely be those who are offended by it. Though it was witty, I'd have liked to see more of Pratchett's charming humor throughout the book. It was a bit slow through the middle, and I believe a little levity would have helped it along for me. Overall, though, it was a very well-written book and one that I would recommend.

Book Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

But Nation on Amazon.


Anonymous said...

I've never read any of Pratchett's work. Nation is on my wish list since I've read so many good things about it.

Pam T said...

Good review.

I thought the book was pretty funny. In fact, I garnered some quizzical stares at the pool while reading it. The scene with the pig still makes me chuckle. Reading it the first time, I was the one squealing (with laughter). Thus the stares :)

I have no idea though why they marketed the book as YA. Its not like there's anything not-adult about it.

Traci said...

It's not that I thought it was unfunny - there were definitely parts that were funny-ish, especially in the beginning when Mau and Daphne were finding their way. But in comparisson to his other books, it just wasn't as funny.

I totally agree about the YA thing. He certainly doesn't 'talk down' to his audience as some YA authors do.

sharonanne said...

I just won this book. I've never read any of Pratchett's books. This one looks pretty good. I need something more humorous after reading about cats dying and mafia crime.