5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Mind the Gap?,
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This review is from: Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld series) (Kindle Edition)
This book feels like that. A bridge between the strength of Snuff and hopefully whatever is coming next. The goblins are being integrated as a sapient species and that seems to be the spine of this book with even the railway proving subsidiary.
The dwarfs are having to run to catch up before they are sidelined by the new, more current, small race of Disc-folk. They seem to have stagnated since the time of the Koom Valley accord which strikes a very odd note given that everybody else, especially the trolls have taken their place in the more modern Disc society and that Rhys, the low king was always portrayed as the modern face of dwarfdom.
Even Vetinari is being modernised, taking a central role away from his office in a way not seen since Night Watch (when he didn't actually have an office). And Drumknott is quite frankly unbelievable in his new persona.
The book has a bit of a roll-call feel to it with many minor characters from previous novels given at least a mention. I mean Queen Keli? But in amongst the throng is the biggest gap of the whole book. Carrot is not mentioned once (though Angua gets a small look-in). While it has been apparent for some time that Pratchett feels constrained by the character of Carrot, especially since the coming of Moist von Lipwig, who is almost the 'anti-Carrot', took the whole story of the Disc down a very different route to what had gone before. This is especially notable in that Vimes gets to interact with Moist in this book in a previously unexplored way. But still, leaving Carrot completely out is a crude omission which shows a previously unseen lack of care for narrative continuity.
There is definitely a padded feel to this book; actually an over-padded feel if I'm really honest. A pretty slight core story in the context of the whole series, bulked up by nothing very much.
I get the feeling that it might actually be all change after this rather than mind the gap but I hope not because where would winter be without the familiarity of the Disc to keep fantasy fans happy?