In the first part of Thief of Time, I DONâ€™T KNOW WHATâ€™S GOING ON. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Well, Iâ€™m confused.
Wen the Eternally Surprised
I feel like that should be my name. Itâ€™s literally what I do for a living, yâ€™all. ETERNALLY SURPRISED FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT.
Anyway, oh lord, am I lost. I cannot avoid saying this, but I canâ€™t figure out what time this first scene takes place within. Modern time? Is it a flashback? Initially, I was ready to write it off as relatively unimportant. It felt like Pratchett just set up a joke at the beginning about the nature of time, but then thereâ€™s this:
Clodpool hesitated. There was something about his master. There was a glow in his eyes and, when he moved, there were strange silvery-blue lights in the air, like reflections from liquid mirrors.
Okay, what is that? And who is the â€œsheâ€ that Wen refers to? Does he really possess some sort of power, or am I right in thinking this is just the set-up for a punchline? I DONâ€™T KNOW.
Is this a Death book? A Witches book? Do they just make appearances? Is this all about a new character, Jeremy Clockson? I DONâ€™T KNOW? I also donâ€™t understand the buttered toast thing, since the only reference Iâ€™m aware is that whole thing about buttered toast landing upside-down if you drop it. (So we should put them on the back of cats to test TRUE PHYSICS.)
Pratchett makes a big deal at the start of this about knowing the whole story, and itâ€™s how Death makes his entrance into the book. Even if you set the toast bit aside (itâ€™s really hard for me to visualize physical descriptions), the only real thing we get a confirmation of is the those damn Auditors are back. Something has gained their attention, and we all know from the last time that thatâ€™s not a good thing. Yet itâ€™s upon that reveal that Death asks to see one of his memories (which he stores away, since he has so very many of them), and Iâ€™M BACK TO BEING CONFUSED AGAIN. At the end of the scene, I wondered if Death himself had visited Nanny Ogg to ask for her services as a midwife, but the hooded character doesnâ€™t speak in all-caps. Thereâ€™s this, too:
Then she took something out of her bag, which was now a good deal emptier and, brandy glass in her hand, sat down to look at it.
â€œWell,â€ she said at last, â€œthat wasâ€¦ very unusualâ€¦â€
Does this have anything to do the whole Five Horsemen thing? IS THIS A GOOD OMENS CROSSOVER. Okay, probably not, as Iâ€™m sure I would have heard something back when I read that book. Oh godâ€¦ is the teddy bear mug reference meant to hint that SUSAN will be in this book?
I have nothing but questions.
Honestly, weâ€™re given a lot of information at the start of Thief of Time, so thatâ€™s mostly what this review is. Iâ€™m used to Pratchett being deliberately vague about the intent or aim of his books in the beginning of them, but this felt like a whole new level of confusing. At least I understand the very basic mechanics of watch-making, and at least Jeremyâ€™s job has a direct relevance to the title. (Iâ€™M SMART.) But then thereâ€™s Lady Myria LeJean, for who money is no object. All she wants is the worldâ€™s most accurate watch, and she wants Jeremy to build it. Thereâ€™s a lot of back-and-forth between them about what is and isnâ€™t possible, but itâ€™s clear that Lady LeJean knew that if she spoke Jeremyâ€™s language, she could convince him to work on the impossible.
Because what she describes is impossible, right? Timing a clock to the universeâ€™s tiniest mode of passing time? The â€œtick of the universeâ€ as itâ€™s described in the text. (Which Pratchett appears to be including in the book, too.) But the big question is left unaddressed: WHY? Why does Lady LaJean need this?
I know absolutely nothing, yâ€™all.
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