Here, the blend of the witches, the vampires (SMART, for once...I must say, it was a pleasure to meet this breed), the Watch, all together really made for an enjoyable experience. To see threads from other novels is always half the fun of reading Discworld, for me...to see threads from "Masquerade", without it being "Masquerade, 2" absolutely made it, in my books.
Don't get me wrong. "Carpe Jugulum" isn't "Thief of Time". But that doesn't make it shoddy by any means.^^
If you enjoy watching those old horror b-movies...well, the book reminds a touch of the feeling of laughing at the cardboard tombstones in "Plan 9 From Outer Space"...great satire.
But that's Prachett. This man just doesn't WRITE bad books.
But, after having it for months, I've finally started to read it. Wow, I'm glad that I did!
Let's be honest. The plot is really secondary to the characters. And that is where PTerry shines. He gives us characters with motivations and passions, likes and fears, and he lets the humor flow from that, rather than forcing a plot point to make the humor come out. PTerry's humor is never forced.
However, as many have pointed out, this plot is a re-hasing of Lords and Ladies. Without a doubt, Lords and Ladies is my favorite. So when this plot also takes place in Lancre with an outside force of supernatural beings assaulting the kingdom, it felt like I was coming back to a well-eorn fable. I knew the plot, and I could concentrate on reading about the characters.
And we learn so much about the characters this time. Nanny Ogg and Agnes get some great treatment this time around (which they lacked in previous books), and even Granny Weatherwax gets some new twists. The characters are delicious.
Why a four star rating instead of a five, then? Because PTerry wasn't as inventive this time. In Lords and Ladies, we see Elves in a different way. Cliches are broken, mangled, played with, and twisted. But the Vampires (vampyrs, as they prefer) are somewhat mundane. One of them is even named Vlad, for Pete's sake! PTerry certainly did give us a new take on some of the traits of the Vampires, but they didn't get the much-needed overhaul that the Elves got previously.
Otherwise, an entertaining, highly-readable, highly-quotable book (as Discworld books tend to be). But it's still the younger, less successful brother compared to Lords and Ladies.
The quick story is that the king has invited vampires into his kingdom - an invitation they quickly accept so they can take it all over. Of course, they have to contend with Granny Weatherwax and initially she appears to be a push-over...
The vampire portions are really well done and I enjoyed them a lot. It was easy to see their motivations and empathise with them (despite their dark nature.) The witches behavior was much more haphazard and odd - none of them appear to be strong characters (except Granny, of course) and instead appear to just stumble into everything. While it's true that is a large part of Rincewind's appeal but I guess I don't expect it everywhere in the Discworld. Oh well, it is a funny book with some of the best humor he's written - I just wish the other parts were just as solid as the comedy.
Although the Pictsies are amusing, what really makes this novel is the family of vampires who want to lead a normal life. Particularly amusing is the Count's teenage daughter, Lacci (short for Lacrimosa), who does the most un-vampiric things, like staying up until noon, wearing brightly-colored clothes, and asking her friends to call her Gertrude.
You can never go wrong with a Discworld novel, and this one in particular is amazingly funny!
Quite frankly it often came over more like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
than vintage Pratchett. Read more