Jennifer's Reviews > Nation

Nation by Terry Pratchett
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Oct 25, 13

bookshelves: fiction, read-in-2009, sci-fi, young-adult, wishlist
Read in March, 2009

I've read many of Pratchett's other books and have liked most of them. This book is quite different from his usual style and the humor is subtle rather than over-the-top. This book also deals with much broader and more serious issues than normal Pratchett fair. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the author has created an enthralling story that is filled with excellent characterization, pacing, plotting and his usual rich descriptions. Pratchett loves words and describing things in a way that is both perfect and unexpected. I had a hard time putting this book down and it's definitely found a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

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Even though I knew it was impossible, based on the time period, character and situation, I still really, really wanted Mau and Daphne to get together in the end. It's a bit heart breaking that they didn't. I have to hand it to Pratchett, however. He compensated for the likely outrage of readers at that little detail by adding in the final three characters of the grandfather and girl and boy of the nation. The girl's disappointment that Mau and Daphne did not get married mirrored my own and gave it an outlet.

Even further than that however, the girl proposes an acceptable alternative, that after they have died Daphne and Mau become dolphins and they are finally together in that form. If the author had merely stated that is what happened it might have come off as hokey or contrived, but allowing the young girl to express that wish makes it seem possible and lets her speak for the readers again. This was very masterfully done. I had to laugh when I realized just how I was being manuevered and yet I adored this book and was satisfied with the ending. It fit the story, there were no easy outs. Pratchett stayed true to his characters and that is one of the best compliments I can give. Too often authors sacrifice plausibility for that gotta-have happy ending and it cheapens the story overall. I was so happy Pratchett avoided that.
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