Monday, 20 January 2014

Book Review- Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Title: Monstrous Regiment
  Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #31
Published: 1 October 2004 by Corgi
Length: 496 pages
Source: library 
Other info: There are MANY books in the Discworld series.  The lovely Megan has reviewed Monstrous Regiment for  Death Books and Tea before. 
Summary :It began as a sudden strange fancy…
Polly Perks had to become a boy in a hurry. Cutting off her hair and wearing trousers was easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape took more time…
And now she’s enlisted in the army, and is searching for her lost brother.
But there’s a war on. There’s always a war on. And Polly and her fellow recruits are suddenly in the thick of it, without any training, and the enemy is hunting them.
All they have ontheir side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well… they have the Secret. And as they take the war to the heart of the enemy, they have to use all the resources of… the Monstrous Regiment.

Review: Polly Perk's brother is missing somewhere in the army. Polly wants to find him.  Cutting off her hair and and joining the army,  this is the story of Polly and her new comrades fighting a losing war, and  doing a lot more than is expected of normal soldiers.
This is my first Discworld novel, excluding Maruice and his Rodents, which I read ages ago and barely remember. I've been told you can read these in any order though, and seeing as I have a paper on gender and stereotypes in YA (this can count as YA, right?), I thought i'd start with this.
I really liked Polly. She's smart and resourceful, and funny. The regiment is filled with a lot of crazy characters, like a vampire who drinks a  lot of coffee and an Igor, bits of humans stitched together who conveniently handy with a needle on the battlefield. I liked the odd collection and  all the variety this meant.
I found bits of this hard to follow and understand, which may have been as it's my first Discworld and I didn't get parts of the mythology that readers of the series would, or may be because at times  I lost interest. This isn't helped by the lack of breaks in the text which make me think “why” and skim to get to a convenient stopping place quickly. 
I liked the huge parodying going on here. First there's the title, which comes from an old thing “””” which is essentially complaining about women in the army, ie our main character. Then there's the trial thing near the end which shows up ridiculousness of certain rules and how people ignore technical rules and cherry-pick ones they want for their own cause-thank you Clogston.
The ending shows how much Polly and co have changed things, and a tidy end to their storyline.  The whole end reveal was quite predictable considering the way the rest of it had gone though.

Overall:  Strength 3.5, just more a 4, to a fun fantasy adventure.

1 comment:

  1. This was one of my fave Discworld reads, even if I adore so many of the books in the universe of the Discworld. I'd recommend you continue reading many more of those!


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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