(I have a gigantic backlog of reviews, so I’m going to try to bang out as many as possible over the next few days. Quality is not expected. Not that it ever is around here.)
There isn’t much left for me to say about Pratchett. Hogfather is another one of his Discworld books, and while it certainly wasn’t the worst of them that I’ve read, it didn’t come close to being my favorite. It’s routinely mentioned as one of his best, but I doubt it helped that I read it immediately after Small Gods, which was uh-mazing and will hopefully get a real review. The Hogfather is an alternate-universe Santa Claus who uses pigs instead of reindeer and who gets kidnapped, or exiled from reality, or something I can’t explain well but will make sense while you’re reading it. The book concerns the efforts of Death and Co. to rescue him, as well as the bad guys’ attempts to keep him whatever/wherever the hell he is.
There are a lot of funny moments, the plot made me want to keep reading to find out what the heck was going on, and the ending was great. I didn’t really care for the main character, Susan, though. I’m sure she’s a nice girl and a wonderful au pair, but she was saddled with an “I am obligated to do this even though I desperately do not want to” storyline, which made her kind of a killjoy. She also was surprisingly slow in some areas--despite her own relatively extensive experience with the odd and supernatural, no matter how many times she was reminded that the God of Hangovers had zero experience in the human world (long story), she kept being shocked when he asked questions about it. Keep up, Suze, he’s new here! Sheesh.
I was thrilled to read a story in which Death played a major role, though. He’s one of my favorite Pratchett characters, and up until now he’s only had pop-in roles. This story allowed his many dimensions to be shown-he’s funny, tragic, and charmingly awkward in his attempts to emulate humanness. Honestly, by the end of Hogfather you kind of want to give him a hug and lie to him it's all going to be OK.
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