If you are a regular reader of this blog you have probably noticed that I really enjoy a good series. One of the problems with reviewing books from a series is that there tends to be a lot of backstory that is hard to explain while trying to not reveal too much about the book (or other books) that you might choose to read in the future. So once again I am reviewing a book in the middle of a series — The Last Continent from the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett.
That being said, one of the things I love about the entire Discworld Series is the fact that there is no real need to read it in any order. The Last Continent could just as easily be the first book you read if you desired. In this book, one of the main characters, Rincewind, is in the Discworld’s version of Australia, called EcksEcksEcks (XXX). Things you need to know about the Discworld is that it is a disc, not a globe – the world is flat. EcksEcksEcks is at the edge of the world, and thus people can go to this country, but because of the current they don’t have a way to leave. Rincewind, due to a time paradox, is forced to save this continent by making it rain. He has already done this in the past (which is the future for him).
In reality though, the plot is not important. The reason I enjoy Terry Pratchett is that every book is full of satire. The Discworld is our world with magic and religious myths, and it helps point out flaws in our own logic, moral codes, and stereotypes. This really is my kind of book – there is character development and a story, but the story is not as important as the satire and the message (which is simply that we all need to take a look at ourselves and laugh).
This is not everyone’s kind of book or series, though. While some of the books have an actual plot that can easily be followed, in many of them the plot is not that important. In The Last Continent the story takes part in the past, present, and future (all are happening at the same time). It is hard to follow the different story arcs and some of them have no real point to the overall plot – they are just entertaining for those who have read other books from the series. All in all, I enjoy this series, and this author, however I realize it is not for everyone. If you like a good laugh and some good satire this might be a book or series for you.