My darling boyfriend has been nagging me for nearly 3 years to pick up a Terry Pratchett book, & after a friend got me a Waterstones voucher for Christmas I decided I would do just that – out of the selection Waterstones had in store that day I decided that Mort was the one for me & it turned out that it really, really was.
Mort is a tongue-in-cheek take on the Grim Reaper’s story, even though it’s main character is a young boy called Mortimer – also known, ironically, as Mort. After a failed job-fair Mort is hired as Death’s apprentice, & so starts a story of silliness, adventure, incredible world-building & generally, just a bloody good story.
So, as you can tell by my intro up top, this is the first Terry Pratchett book I’ve ever read – shock horror, I know – & before picking this book up all I knew about Terry’s work was that it was made up of a very long list of books (although I had no idea how long the list actually was) & that he’s loved by many… I think this kind of intimidated me which is why I avoided his work up until recently. But, now I’m just sad that I didn’t start sooner on the Discworld books & as my boyfriend’s mum has offered to lend me which ever book I wish, I know I’ll be reading more of Pratchett’s work.
Lets get on with the actual review though – I’m going to start with the world-building, for two reasons… the first being that world-building is usually the thing that makes or breaks a book for me, but secondly because the Discworld series is made up of a ridiculous amount of books, meaning the world-building is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered before. Mort is only the fourth book in the Discworld series, but even at this early stage Pratchett had obviously put some great ideas together to make this incredible unique universe (although it does have it’s similarities with our own).
I loved how the Discworld universe takes old views (i.e. the world being flat) & spins them on their head so that they’re true (or almost); I also love that it takes things from our world that are perfectly ordinary, & makes them incredibly exciting. I also love how god-damn random the whole thing is too! You’ll be reading quite an emotional scene, & Pratchett will just throw some weird comment in about the world that you can’t help but snort at – yes, I said snort. I genuinely have butterflies right now, just because I’m thinking about how excited I am to learn more about Pratchett’s Discworld universe – the idea of having so many books set in the same world fills me with so much joy!
Oftentimes books with good world-building have flat characters, but I didn’t feel like that was the case with Mort – the book or the character. Although this book isn’t overflowing with character development, the characters are all written really well & I loved Pratchett’s interpretation of the Grim Reaper – he was exactly how I would imagine him to be & I also loved that when someone dies they go wherever they believed they would… this is actually how I’ve always hoped the real “after-life” works, so it was amazing to see this in a book.
Mort, our actual main character, was a lot of fun too – his personality is probably the only one that really morphs during the story, & it was done quite subtly when you consider that there’s only 316 pages in the book. I also really liked Ysabell (I also love her name); I love that she was strong & feisty, & that her character led the plot at times when Mort wasn’t strong enough to do so. The other female in the book is Keli, & I liked her too (although not as much as Ysabell) – she was also strong, but in a different way to Ysabell, & instead of leading the story she was what the plot revolved around for a large chunk of the book; despite the fact that I think she would have much preferred to have led the story.
Finally, the plot itself was engaging & drew me in from the very start – there’s no doubt that Pratchett was a very talented man & I know this book is only the start of my adventure into the Discworld & it’s universe. A big part of me is very sad that Mort’s story is over, because I loved the plot so, so much & I’m sad I have to say goodbye to Death too (what a strange sentence that was) but I’m so excited to see what other wonders Pratchett created.
I doubt I even had to convince you to buy a Terry Pratchett book because I’m one of the few who hasn’t read one before, nevertheless you can grab a copy using the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | WordPress
Find the emoji-key here.