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    Review of THUD! by Terry Pratchett


    HarperCollins, September 2005

    The dwarves and trolls are gearing up for another rematch of the long-ago battle of Koom Valley, but this time, the rumbles of the conflict spread to the much-integrated city of Ankh-Morpork. When a dwarf is killed, the dwarves try to keep matters under wraps, but Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch gets word. With a little prodding from the city's leader, Vimes sets out to solve the murder, end the multi-thousand-year-old conflict between dwarves and trolls, and further integrate the watch with the addition of a vampire--all without ever, ever missing his nightly ritual of reading to his young son.

    Ankh-Morpork dwarves are still dwarves, of course, but they look to real dwarves, those who have lived so deep in the mines that they've never seen daylight, for guidance. A sudden infusion of these dark dwarves has helped send the city into ferment, but why the sudden influx? Vimes needs to learn what's changed. Meanwhile, werewolf Sergeant Angua tries to deal with the sexy vampire who's been added to the Watch roster, her sometimes dog-like affection for Captain Carrot, and the inexplicable reality of a beautiful woman who thinks that Nobby is a catch.

    The delayed reaction of the pragmatic city-dwarves to the extremist dark-dwarves, and the promises of Mr. Shine (him diamond) indicate that not all dwarves and trolls support the headlong plunge toward another war, but it's hard to slow the momentum toward prejudice and war--as Vimes is quick to discover.

    Author Terry Pratchett (see more reviews of novels by Pratchett) combines humor, action, and just the hint of a biting social commentary in another installation of his delicious 'Night Watch' sub-series within Discworld. THUD! is carefully constructed, with plenty of clues and plants laid early for later development. The standard Night Watch cast is back, all with their deviant personalities and back-stories. Pratchett's footnotes are definitely must-read.

    If you're a Night Watch fan, as I am, you'll find THUD! a must-read.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/30/05

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