Summary: The fire god became angry, and in his rage he unleashed a wave that destroyed the world. But Mau, a boy who’d journeyed away to become a man, survived. He returns to find everything he loved wiped from the earth, the wreckage of giant ship, and a little girl, Daphne, who may be the princess of England. “When much is taken, something is returned.”
My Thoughts: Nation is about change. First about the change of becoming an adult and learning that you have no choice but to exert your judgment and power on the world around you. But it’s also about change forced upon Mau and Daphne, and the other survivors who begin trickling to the island. It’s about upheaval, and keeping your history and culture without being a slave to the past and outmoded ideas, i.e., moving forward on your own terms. And it’s about actually going through those things. This isn’t some self-help book that says ‘people must do X.’ It’s a good story in which you will see yourself, and question whether or not you’d be willing to suckle milk from a wild pig in order to save a baby’s life.
The book is also fairly entertaining. I don’t think anything about the plot was exceptional, but Pratchet is a great writer, and it shows throughout the book. For example, all the characters are written with distinctive, memorable voices that you will remember after the book is done. When Mau has a desperate plan to save the day, you aren’t able to figure out what it is until it happens. You see the twists coming, but I wasn’t able to figure out what the twist was until it turned, and I usually have twists figured out 100 pages in advance. This is one of those book I considered giving 4 stars to, but it’s not as good as Anathem or Raw Shark Text, my past 4s, so I’m going to go with 3 stars. Still a good read, though.
About the Author: You’ve heard of Terry Pratchet. Discworld … Good Omens was a collaboration between him and Neil Gaiman that’s a legitimate 5-star read … He’s sold 55 million books and hopefully we’ll see another 50 million sold before he calls it a career.