Maskerade, by Terry Pratchett

taranana's review against another edition

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“Maskerade“ by Terry Pratchett [2/5]

Before I write the main part of my review I should probably tell you two things.
1. About my relationship to Pratchett's book.
2. About my expectations.

1. I have not read many books by Pratchett (I think besides Maskerade it is probably only The Colour of Magic I have read). But I watched everything related to the Discworld. So I knew the humour and knew I would have some problems with it (as I don't find it very funny most of the time, everything related to Death is great though). So I knew this would probably not a 5 star read for me.

2. This book was recommended to me by some friends on the internet. They know I love Webber's Phantom musical and love Leroux's original novel. So I expected this to be a parody of either Webber's or Leroux's work. I thought it would be not far off from one of these stories. Well. This is probably the biggest problem I have with this novel: my expectations were not meet. Not at all.

So, now on to the review:

Setting fitting references

As you might have guessed from 2. I am a huge fan of musical theatre (and I like theatre and opera too). I really love everything in this book that references plays, operas and pieces of musical theatre. There are e.g. references to Les Miserable or Cats. And Death
Spoilerwears the dress of the Red Death at the end of the book when he comes for the murderer
. I really like how they are all incorporated in the story and it feels very natural.
The setting is also very good. I like Ankh-Morpork's opera house and I think Pratchett did a good job capturing some parts of the atmosphere backstage how it is shown in most modern media (a bit of chaotic but lovely). I would love to visit.

Characters...some familiar some not so much

First things first.
Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are amazing characters and I like them very much. They are entertaining and amusing characters and their dialogues and interactions with the other characters in this novel are amazing. Especially Granny Weatherwax's character is amazing as she seems to be a stern and strict old lady but also a badass witch who does not need her magic for everything (I am not sure how much the witches actually do in this series but this book does not seem to find their magical abilities that important). I would probably try another of the novels with them.
The other characters would have been fine for me I guess if I had not expected something very different as stated above.
I had hoped for characters who are a bit more like their musical/novel counterparts and this annoyed me especially in the case of Christine and the character that seems to be a very different opera ghost than Erik in the original novel or the musical is.
I am very annoyed with how the opera ghost is not even disfigured. And well...His character is also changed drastically
Spoileras there is not one but two ghosts in this novel and the evil one of them has way more similarities to Erik than the good one
. I am not a fan of this type of parody. I like it much more when the main character traits remain but are ridiculed.

And the same

My problem with the plot is roughly the same as with the characters. I expected something very different. I expected it to be much more like the Musical or original novel but with someone framing the opera ghost for the murders because he is not very nice in every other way. Well...
The plot is nice and it surprised me a few times which I did not expect and that is really good.

In the end this book was not for me

If I had less expectations I would have liked this probably way more. I think it is a solid book, don't get me wrong. But it is not what I expected and wanted it to be.

octavia_cade's review against another edition

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In which Magrat gets replaced by a girl with very good hair and the ability to shatter glass at 100 paces. I've always liked Agnes, if only because she's an excuse for another Witches novel, but I've never quite thought she was as distinctive as her predecessor. Magrat might have been a wet hen, but she was absolutely different from both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, whereas Agnes is clearly going to turn out a witch in the Granny mould, I reckon.

Still, this is a fun outing and the double act of Nanny and Granny is as sharp and delightful as ever. I did think the book got a little muddled at the end, and the referential gags went on a little too long for my taste, but when you've got something as good as a Witches novel these are small complaints.

surelyinthefountain's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This is my second Witches novel, after Carpe Jugulum, so I am a little out of order here. I actually enjoyed it a bit more. I think I'm starting to understand that the Witches novels seem like they're more about character hijinks through a familiar story and less about wowing you with plot. I don't really mind that -- I'm generally most interested in character interaction as a reader. I guess I just feel this novel is a little more successful at balancing the different elements than Carpe Jugulum did, never letting a joke outstay its welcome.

lizziestudieshistory's review against another edition

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It's always good to be back with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg! This one isn't my favourite of Pratchett's Witches novels but it's as entertaining as ever

cheezvshcrvst's review against another edition

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Even a weaker Discworld novel reads better and has more grins, laughs, and knowing-nods for you to unconsciously respond with than just about any other book you could hope to enjoy. I can’t review this book except to tell you I was reading it on the subway on my way to work for two weeks and one of those mornings I was snickering quite loudly when I realized two homeless fellows (one at each end of the train car I was in the middle of) were already insensibly cackling on that car and that everyone near me was trying to diagonal themselves away from me without getting too near the unfortunate homeless sirs. Couple that with the multitude of very human moments of genuine affection and wisdom in these pages and you’ve got my review: another hilarious Pratchett novel you can’t miss without disappointing yourself.

hadawada's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


emilee_paper_elytra's review against another edition

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A laugh out loud, lighthearted lambasting of the operatic world!! The witches romp through more classical culture, causing mayhem and tidying things up. I must admit I haven't read Hugo's Phantom of the Opera, but I have watched a performance, and this drew heavily on the plot. There are also nods to other broadway mainstays.

rachellyeah's review

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


Would have been five stars if not for the fatphobia and body shaming.

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spectacledbear's review against another edition

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An Opera House. A mysterious Ghost who wears a white mask. A murderer who kills without warning or reason. Neurotic ballerinas. Ambitious sopranos. Gluttonous tenors. And two witches (and a cat) from Lancre.

I know who my money's on....

bdplume's review against another edition

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This was definitely not one of my favorite Pratchett books...but I'd still say I've never read a bad one. The man has a gift for storytelling that folks often forget about because of his other gift, of humor.