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Book Reviews: Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett

Book Reviews: Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #40
Published by Doubleday Children's, Transworld on 7 November 2013
Format: eBook
To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it's soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work - as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital... but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don't always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse...

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi' t'flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he's going to stop it all going off the rails..

Karl Southern, 16, reviews


Raising Steam is Terry Pratchett’s best book to date, it charters the events of the startup of the railway in the Discworld. The book follows Moist Von Lipwig (Mr. Mildly Damp to the goblins) as he ‘volunteers’ to help make the railway possible, volunteer as in if he decided not to he would have ‘volunteered’ to stop breathing, and to get a train line running to Uberwald as soon as possible. This book also follows the politics surrounding both gender and race equality as Mr. Lipwig must persuade various people that goblins do in fact class as people and of course he must try to stop the dwarves from killing the train’s first royal user, the Low King.

This has to be one of my favorites in the series, mostly because of the conflicting personalities of Moist Von Limpwig (a liar and a conman who ‘volunteered’ to help the city instead) and Commander Vimes (the head of the City Watch, assigned to protect the Low King) as they are thrown in together to help the Low King reclaim his throne.

Terry Pratchett needs no introduction, being the author of the 40 book long Discworld series, this book matches all the others in both wit and adventure and is a brilliant read for anyone whether they want comedy, adventure, politics or just a plain good read. For those of you who are interested in reading more of Terry Pratchett’s works, the Discworld series starts with The Colour of Magic, although you can start with any book as the books very rarely require any previous knowledge of the series.


One Comment

  1. An interesting query was raised on Facebook:

    James Kilroy commented: “I’m part way through this. I’m enjoying it but do you feel the style has changed? I don’t know what it is but it doesn’t seem quite the same writing style.”

    Karl replied: “his writing style has changed, as well as his choice of topic. He seems to have moved towards ethical and moral issues.”

    It makes you consider the extent to which events in authors’ lives find their way – consciously or subconsciously – into their writing.

    If you’ve read ‘Raising Steam’, we’d love to hear your opinion.

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