17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
not quite what I was expecting!, 1 Feb 2003
I've always been a fan of Terry Pratchett, mostly because his books are always entertaining and thought-provoking. However, this one was a bit of a surprise!
I found it a bit hard to get into - it took a lot longer than his usual two or three pages to grab my attention, mostly because I didn't quite understand what was happening, and once I got into the book, I found the storyline to be quite a bit 'darker' than Mr. Pratchetts familiar style.
What I really enjoyed was the characterisation of the rats. It's obvious to most fans how the author feels about cats as they appear quite often in his books, but the rats were funny, likeable and humane. I had my heart in my mouth, hoping that Sardines, the tap-dancing rat would make it to the end of the book. They were so realistic, I often forgot I was reading about rats at all! I also think that Malicia is an excellent character, and I hope she is brought back (for a spin-off?)in the future.
I'm not sure I agree with the 8's + age rating, because as I said earlier, I found it very dark, and quite graphic in its description of old-style rat-catching methods, and the dog pits. I would only give it to a very 'mature'young reader, or perhaps use it to discuss the way animals are treated with a group of children.
Certain parts of it would need quite a lot of explanation to 'young' 8-yr-olds, I think, and could be quite distressing to kids with a sensitive nature.
On the whole though, a fab book, with some really juicy characters, and a gripping plotline. A really good stand-alone book for those new to The Discworld, and a nice trip for those of us already familiar to Terry Pratchett.