I have to admit it, I didn’t really enjoy this book. It felt like a slog to read through it and this is the first Pratchett book that I have experienced that. Maybe the Sci-Fi threw me as I’m not a big fan of that genre on the whole, (though Eric Nylund’s Fall of Reach is one of my all time favourite books), but the plot felt hectic to the point where I often had no idea what was happening and there seemed to be a general lack of that famous Pratchett humour. I’d go so far as to say that the only bit that I enjoyed was the plot twist right at the end that I actually did find very good.
I was interested to note the seeds of Discworld in this early novel. Things like ‘Hogswatch Night’ and ‘Small Gods’ crop up early in the book and brought a knowing smile to my face. There was also quite the crossover with ‘The Carpet People’ in that both plots revolved around the multiple universe theory and the idea of a million-to-one chance being the norm.
There are redeeming features in that we are still shown Pratchett’s fascination with humanity and his focus on viewpoints. The idea of different races mirroring each other in order to see life from a different direction was insightful and the displayed longing for an origin or a god for the people was an acute mirror of reality.
5/10 gruesome deaths avoided by a hair