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Dodger - Paul Kidby, Terry Pratchett This would probably be three and a half stars. I've said this before about PTerry but I think it's especially true with Dodger, I cannot understand why he's created a fantastic, detailed discworld, filled it with amazingly 3 dimensional, funny-as-f*%k characters and then goes and writes what's essentially a discworld novel without the fantastic setting and the amazingly 3 dimensional and wonderful characters!!?? It makes no sense to do that.

This novel is simply crying out for hillarious, well-rounded characters with a wonderful and interesting back-history... you know, like the ones you see in discworld. It's also crying out for a detailed and interesting setting... you know, like the ones you see in discworld. So what does PTerry do to acheive this? That's right, he sets it in a city that is basically just there because it needs to be set somewhere instead of being an integral part of the story and then fills it with 'meh' type characters. This is especially pertinent with this novel because it's trying to actually be a semi-historical fantasy, but it could have so easily been done(and so much better) in Anhk-Morpork. And of course, taking it out of Anhk-Morpork immediately dispenses with a lifetime of amazingly well-rounded characters that everyone already loves to death. But he chooses not to do that at all. Does that sound like something that makes any sense at all to you? 'Cos it makes absolutely no sense to me.

After having ranted about PTerry's seeming lack of love for his own world, the novel isn't that bad, it's just not nearly as good as it undoubtedly would have been if he'd set it in discworld and used all those aforementioned characters to interact with Dodger and co. YOu see, the only character that even comes close to feeling real here is Dodger himself, and that's basically because he's a young Moist Von Lipwig, the rest of the cast are two dimensional and very throw-away.

The story is pretty much non-existant and seems to be there simply so PTerry can move his two dimensional characters around a setting that nobody really cares about.

So, I'm just left with a feeling of resigned despair now, and the very nagging question, Why did he write this book? It's just a poor cousin of discworld.

In summary, it's a fun piece of throw-away nonesense that's neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. Read it or don't, put it on your bookshelf or throw it on the fire; it matters not one wit with this one. It is fun though, in the end. It's just nothing special and not a patch on his discworld stuff.