This was almost five stars for me, and might very well get bumped up on eventual re-read, but for now it’s holding steady at 4.5 stars, rounded down. It didn’t quite reach the level of profound delightment that I need in order to give a Discworld book five stars.
Mostly what I feel right now as I type this review is sad that this was my last brand new City Watch book, which has been my favorite of the Discworld sub-series. And I am very fast approaching having no new Discworld books at all. If I make it through my planned TBR this year, I will only have two left to read in 2024. This is upsetting. When Terry Pratchett died in 2015 I comforted myself with the thought that he had so many published books, they were practically endless. I know that I have quite a few of his other published non-Discworld books still to look forward to, and there’s always re-reading, but it’s still making me very sad and also making me feel old. At least I feel like with this book, we’re leaving Vimesy and his crew in a good place.
Look, I’m not even going to attempt to talk about the plot here because it’s bonkers. We’ve got Nobby Nobbs and Fred Colon on art theft duty, we’ve got a vampire joining the watch, we’ve got trolls vs. dwarfs, we’ve got Vimes trying to keep the city from blowing up under all of them all while making sure to be home every night at exactly 6 PM to read the same book to his young son, also Sam. All the ingredients that make up a successful City Watch books are there, and it delivers.