Book Review: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Steam engines are coming to Discworld, and everyone wants to have a piece of them, some with a whack. Everyone being Vetinari, spellbound Drumknott (choo choo!), Harry King (the funder), Moist von Lipwig (monitor of the railway), Vimes in pursuit of wrongdoers, Adora Belle von Lipwig (Dearheart), dwarfs, and the rest of them. The central plot revolves around political turmoil with fundamentalist dwarfs who see the steam engine destructive to their rights and lives. They resort to terrorist attacks and even put the Low King’s life in danger.

The plot is brilliant, and so is Pratchett’s socio-political analyzes and critique. This book is about the rise of new technology and its influence over society and what reactions will follow. Also, this continues the theme from Snuff, speaking about immigration and goblins’ right to full citizenship. There is a lot more to ponder and follow, like the relationship between Adora and Moist, or the Drumknott’s passion. This said, unfortunately, the book’s execution is not what it should be. My main problem is the change of language and words used compared to the earlier books. It felt unfamiliar and clunky. Another thing was that the characters I have grown to love were wrong. Their personalities and actions were all over the place. They were not the same. Those two factors made it hard to have the usual experience when reading a Discworld novel. Maybe it is because, over the past year, I have been reading all the books in order, and the difference was ever so visible that I found it difficult to immerse into the book. One thing is sure. This is not a good place to start reading the series. This should be left last.

It is hard to say goodbye to this series I have loved and cherished so long. There is only one more book to go, and Raising Steam already left me sorrowful. I wish you were still here, Sir Terry Pratchett. Your words make the world a better place. 

Thank you for reading, say choo choo, and have a great day ❤

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