Skip to main content


Confession Time

Confession #1: I have confessed this before. I'm not a Dickens fan. I LOVE A Tale of Two Cities. It is one of my all time favorite books. Everything else he wrote? Not so much. I have never been able to make it all the way through Oliver Twist.

Confession #2: Until Dodger I had never read anything by Terry Pratchett. I would ask why some of you never told me to. But you did. Repeatedly. 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger.
Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl--not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

Dodger is a character written for me to love:
And he cried real tears, which was quite easy to do, and it shocked him inside, and he wondered if there was anything in the boy called Dodger that was totally himself, pure and simple, not just a whole packet of Dodgers. Indeed, he hoped in his soul that Simplicity would embrace the decent Dodger and put him on something approaching the straight and narrow, provided it was not all that straight and not all that narrow.
Yes, he appealed to all of my love for heroes who are truly honorable but flirt with the darker side of life. And manage to keep their sense of humor alive while doing it. I also adored Pratchett's portrayal of Charles Dickens. These two characters together-watching them interact-make this a fascinating read from start to finish. 

Charles Dickens is not the only famous name to pop up in this tale. Dodger also encounters Sweeney Todd-the Demon Barber himself-Benjamin Disraeli, and Sir Robert Peel. Less well known personages of Victorian London make an appearance as well. The novel is considered a historical fantasy because Pratchett manipulated some facts such as dates. He also gave Dickens a large role and a personality to go with it. This might be a problem for me in the hands of a lesser author but Pratchett got the tone and feel of the Victorian era so well, and that matters to me far more. 

In many ways the plot felt like a Victorian version of Bruce Alexander's Fielding series, including its wordiness and sometimes unnecessary detail. I liked this far more though because Dodger is such an interesting and engaging character. One that will have any reader cheering for him to win the day and anything else he can get his hands on.   


Betsy said…
Can't wait to read it! Sounds great!!
Brandy said…
I think you will enjoy it.
Christina said…
I love Terry Pratchett! So glad to hear that this one's as awesome as his other books. He's the funniest. :)
Brandy said…
Not having read anything else of his I don't know that it is as good. I know a couple people who felt it needed more editing. There was a lot of detail but it didn't bother me. I just loved Dodger as a character so much.
Heidi said…
Wordiness and unnecessary detail are a bit of a trait for Pratchett. I always WANT to like his books more than I do, but I'm very excited to give this one a go and see if I like it more--I think I will. I actually JUST read another book (The Cheshire Cheese Cat) in which Dickons is a character. And luckily for me, I DO like Dickons. =)
Brandy said…
I just know a couple friends who felt the wordiness and detail were more excessive than his other.

I loved The Cheshire Cheese Cat too. Apparently for me to like Dickens he needs to be a character in a book. (Or writing about the French Revolution.) :)

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Jinx's Fire

I have been a big fan of Jinx and company from the very first book, which felt like such a perfect Brandy book. The conclusion of Sage Blackwood's trilogy, Jinx's Fire , finished the story beautifully and is definitely my favorite of the three. Spoilers for first two books abound. Read those first: Jinx Jinx's Magic The Urwald is in danger from more than one direction and has no hope of defending itself if there is not unity amongst the people. Jinx, Sophie, Elfwyn, Wendell, and a dedicated group of others are working to make this happen as quickly as they can. Time is running out. At the same time, they are still dealing with the threat of the Bonemaster from within, and the Urwald's magic is fading. Where is it going? Can it be restored? And where has the Bonemaster put Simon? Jinx is the only one who can find the answers to these questions, and harnass the Urwald's power to save them all, but only if he is willing. Jinx has some serious attitude in this

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein