The Reality Bug

Onwards! This time around, Pendragon has come to the territory of Veelox, dealing with a virtual reality addiction crisis. It’s a topic that comes up over and over again in science fiction and even in real world media coverage, warning that as virtual reality gets better and better, it will be harder and harder for people to leave, leading to society decaying. Regardless of what you think about the idea of such a thing happening in the real world, it’s an interesting enough take to build the story on.

Characterwise, Aja is actually one of the more interesting travelers we’ve been introduced to. She’s so confident in herself at first that she nearly refuses Bobby’s help, but as could be expected, things go sideways. She seems to learn from her mistakes and finally admits that perhaps she can’t save the world all by herself.


Wintersmith

The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind.

Tiffany returns, this time slightly older and in just a bit more trouble than before. This time around, she accidentally danced with the Wintersmith (the very embodiment of winter) and, as one thing leads to another, the Wintersmith beings to fall in love, trying to become human along the way.


A Hat Full of Sky

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

A Hat Full of Sky takes The Wee Free Men and grows from there, following Tiffany Aching as she actually starts to learn a bit more witching, while at the same time having to deal with some of the fall out from her actions in The Wee Free Men.


The Wee Free Men

Open your eyes and then open your eyes again.

The Wee Free Men is a wonderful book. It’s the Witches again, done YA this time around. It follows the story of Tiffany Aching–young witch to be–as she begins to discovers her powers and finds that the world may be just a bit more complicated than she (or the adults around her) thinks it is.


Small Gods

The turtle moves.

Small Gods is a bit odd in the greater Discworld universe, being one of only a handful of one-off stories (Pyramids and Amazing Maurice are the other two if you count the Industrial Revolution subseries as a series) and being relatively early in the reading order. So with the exception of offhand references (such as to the Great God Om), it’s one of the books you could easily read anywhere in your reading order.


The Never War

“You want to know why we’re the ones responsible?” Gunny asked.

I looked up into a pair of wise eyes that had seen far more than mine.


Raising Steam

In Going Postal, Moist von Lipwig rebuilt the post office. In Making Money, he took on the banks. Now? Steam engines are coming to the Discworld!

On one hand, it’s interesting to see more and more technology come to the Discworld, especially watching it blend with the magic that’s already there. You have goblins running the clacks (telegraphs) and now the trains and a engine that might just be alive. On top of that, we’re dealing with some of the fall out of the recent (bookwise) war between the Trolls and the Dwarves.


The Lost City of Faar

In the continuing stories of Bobby Pendragon, this time around he has to save the ocean Territory of Cloral. It’s a fascinating world, where at some point in the long past, the world flooded such that everyone now lives in floating cities. They have all sorts of neat water based technology and what seems like a pretty peaceful, fun loving society. Of course things are about to go wrong.

Plotwise, things seem mostly straightforward. There’s a lost city (Farr; which of course turns out to be real ), pirates, and an ‘accidental’ plague (oh! the horrors of GMO foods!). Nothing super surprising, but still enough tension to pull you through the book.


Making Money

It was sad, like those businessmen who came to work in serious clothes but wore colorful ties in a mad, desperate attempt to show there was a free spirit in there somewhere.

In Going Postal, ‘former’ conman Moist von Lipwig rebuilt Ankh-Morpork post from the ground up… but now he’s bored. Everything is running as it should; there’s nothing left to fix. So when Vetinari offers him the chance to do the same to the bank… of course he runs the other way. One thing leads to another though and eventually the Moist ends up with a new dog who just so happens to own the majority share in the bank. Good times.


The Merchant of Death

I know I’ve read The Merchant of Death / the Pendragon books before, but it’s been long enough that I couldn’t even say for sure when. It might have even been back when I was the same age as the eponymous protagonist Bobby Pendragon rather than more than twice that. I think I enjoyed it quite a bit though, so worth giving it a chance to reread.

On the plus side, the main characters were well enough done for the most part. They all felt distinct and for the most part felt real. The main counterpoints to that is the ‘big bad’ of the book Saint Dane–you can almost hear the mustache twirling and mwahahaing–and the ‘little* bad’–an overweight caricature of the ‘corrupt queen’, constantly eating and laughing at the slaughter