I have crash landed into the Discworld and I do not regret it!
Until this week, I had never read a Terry Pratchett novel. Somehow, this is shocking to some people. My friend forced Mort into my hands a few years ago and declared I must read it immediately… Unfortunately, it sat upon my shelf, staring bleakly into the abyss that is my TBR list. It sat there while other books came and went, hoping against hope for some attention, to be shown a little bit of love…
Well the time has come for Mort!
I was in the mood for something funny and quick during a stressful week of essay writing, so knowing what style Pratchett writes in, I figured that Mort would be the perfect book to pick up.
I hadn’t read Terry Pratchett before because the Discworld series confuses the hell out of me. I still don’t fully understand which book I’m meant to read next or how I’m meant to proceed with this series. Is there even a “right way” to do it?
Anyway, onto my actual review!
Mort is about a young guy called Mort who gets pushed into finding an apprenticeship by his dad, because he think’s he’s a little bit useless, quite frankly. He is finally employed by a strange man who seems a lot like a cloaked skeleton, probably because he is a cloaked skeleton. He is Death. No really, he’s the Grim Reaper and he wants an assistant. Obviously, shit starts getting real from this point forwards and hilarity ensues.
I liked the characters of Mort and Death. Who would have thought, another Death that I wouldn’t mind meeting?! He had me at “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I COULD MURDER A CURRY”
I found Death’s quest to discover what being human is like to be quite funny, particularly with his affinity to cats and random threats towards people. I wish he was in the book more, as I definitely preferred him to Mort.
Mort kind of reminded me of Ron Weasley… mostly because he’s read headed and gangly. His character isn’t much like Ron at all but I read him like he was. His character changed very quickly from bumbling to controlled, which I found really odd. I think it had something to do with the weird timeline and his job but I’m really not sure… He’s a good character, but not great. He had his moments, especially towards the end.
I had a bit of an issue with the characters of Ysbell and Keli. They weren’t exactly likeable and weren’t described very kindly, especially in regards to their bodies. I know Pratchett was trying to be funny, but I’m not the type to get a kick out of young girls being described as dumpy and ugly. Also, I was bothered by how Ysbell went from staring daggers at Mort to being his #1 fan… it just didn’t work properly.
Not after the last week, what with the Emma Watson saga, I’m not okay with such things. The body issue is pretty minor, but the characterisations bugged me as I couldn’t just ignore them. The males weren’t treated as harshly, even when they fucked up MAJORLY. Pratchett won back points by having Ysbell save the day TWICE though.
Quite frankly, I think I preferred this book when Pratchett was running off on a tangent about something or other. That’s where it became really hilarious. There’s a very funny bit about the history of pizza in the Discworld which had me trying to stifle giggles while waiting for a Medicare rebate, surrounded by bored office workers.
I did spend a fair bit of time just like WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING, but that was okay. I’m sure I’ll understand more as I delve into the series over time.
So with all things considered, I’ll give Mort 3.5 stars. It was fun, and while it has it’s flaws, I’ll definitely be dropping back into the Discworld series again!