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The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett

Review by Louis

In general I agree with what the people who have reviewed it at Amazon had to say. Good book, as always, some of Pratchett's usual genius, but.... It was disappointing as a novel. He has got to the stage where he can get away with this sort of thing, but not indefinitely. It's like when a musician decides they have a decent fan base and go for a 'concept' album. Like a whole live album, a rarities album, or a covers album. So, Terry Pratchett decided to do an Illustrated Novel. Admittedly it isn't his first such exercise or anything but it is the first time he has published new, Discworld, material in this way.

Don't get me wrong, the book is good. The plot is still quite original and sufficiently interesting, the characters are as always a joy to read about. There are some absolutely wonderful comic scenes. The illustrations are absolutely _brilliant_. Some of the characters are not quite as I pictured them but the majority are very close indeed. Especially Lord Vetinari, who I must say is my favourite Discworld character of all. As well as that we get to see some more involvement from a few characters who are not usually given as much time as they possibly should be. Leonard of Quirm being the main example I think.

Unfortunately, and now comes the _but_ (one t thankyouverymuch!), the novel as a whole is very short. This means that the story isn't really done justice and the whole thing feels very rushed. You get the feeling the characters are being skimmed over too. Very little depth is given in either the story or the character portrayal it seems. Compared to the usual I guess.

So, still a good book, and a must for Pratchett fans. The story is good, if rushed and a little superficial, as well as having the feeling that it is treading too much familiar ground. The illustrations are a joy really, and complement the story very well. Anyone who has never read a Discworld book should steer well clear of this one until they have read some of the earlier stuff. Even more so than usual. There isn't enough background given to pick it up like there usually tends to be in the other books.

Probably 3 or 4 amulets I reckon.


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