Fantasy, Humour

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

During my revisit to Terry Pratchett’s books, I sometimes come away with the feeling that I have read a particular volume before. This felt completely new to me. I have met Death’s granddaughter later as an adult in other books, and this was my first time seeing her as a child and coming to terms with her past. That aspect of the story was quite fascinating, more emotional than funny, however.
If you are unfamiliar with Discworld and the complex nature of interactions within, this may not be the right place to start. Most of the time, since it was how I read many of them the first time around (pre-Goodreads), I would agree that this is a series that can be dipped in and out of. Like some of the more convoluted theories in the books, it is equally fun to see that you notice a point that might happen in the future as much as it is to identify a plotline you have already previously explored.
The title describes the entire book with just two words. We have an aspiring musician who plays an odd instrument and wants to play on the streets of Ankh-Mopork. The legalities of the guilds prevent him from doing so, that is until he finds like-minded non-humans (including the Music itself). A band is formed, and instead of rock music, it is called the ‘Music with the rocks in it’ (make what you will on the play of words, that is always the highlight of reading a book by this author).
The trials of playing Music that has a mind and plan of its own (quite literally) is what the entire book is about. Death has a crisis of his own and wanders off from doing his duty. His granddaughter is handed the helm, but her attachment to the lead player in the band mind cause more trouble than the rest of her jaunt put together.
The ending took quite an imaginative turn. I did not pay attention to the cover as much as I should have. If I had, I would have seen the sudden shift in imagery.
Overall, it is a solid read. It is slightly lower in humour levels and racier in hidden commentary, especially since rock bands are the central focus. The emotions are more prevalent here – there is more retrospection and ambition in this than in the other funnier ones I have reviewed earlier.
I would not recommend skipping this in your journey through the Discworld because the significant events here are referenced a couple of times later, and it would not make much sense if you never know what happened when Music came to Ankh-Mopork.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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