Night Watch (Discworld)

Terry Pratchett


It’s been ages since I read any Discworld, but it seems appropriate that I came back to it with a time travel story involving a rebellion and barricades. [1]

It’s an interesting mix of serious and silly, sometimes both at once, often treating serious things as comedy and vice versa. The situation is messy, with good cops, bad cops, really bad cops, time cops monks, and a rebellion that today’s Sam Vimes knows won’t accomplish what it hopes to, even if it nominally succeeds. There’s plenty of comedy in Vimes mentoring his younger self and trying to clean up the “old” watch just enough to keep history on track, how the ordinary citizens handle the rebellion [2], and yet it can still manage to punch you in the gut when you finally find out what the lilac sprigs in the present are all about.

Night Watch is in the middle of the City Watch series, but it takes enough time to establish the now that while I still spent a good chunk of the book wondering who I was supposed to already recognize, I had a good sense of what had changed over the years and the future Vimes is fighting to protect – and how hard it is to put it aside so he can focus on the job in front of him.

Definitely recommended even if you haven’t read the other Watch books!