Review: A Hat Full Of Sky

So it has come to my attention that I missed out on a post. Apologies, to anyone keeping track. I have a legitimate excuse!

Yes folks, I’m going to blame it on NaNoWriMo. Truly, this annual event has engulfed my mind and almost all of my time outside of Where They Think I Am Working. As for my progress itself, well, the bad news is that I fell behind (mostly on account of familial visitations on the weekends). But the good news is that I’m catching back up. A minimum of 2,000 words per day should put me back within the “finishing it in time” zone, but I intend to more than that to put myself ahead.

This is a public announcement, deserving of public shame should I not follow up with my promise!

Now then, on the review.

~~~

I’m fairly new to Terry Pratchet, and my experience of Discworld comes predominently from only one book, a film, and some brief exposure to an animated cartoon series. A Hat Full of Sky came to me as a sort of whim, I honestly thought to myself: “You know, I haven’t read anything like that since Interesting Times, I think I’m about due.”

I was not disappointed. Terry Pratchet’s writing style alone is worthy of praise, and only afterward did I find out that AHFOS was supposedly written with young readers in mind. Normally I don’t like Young Adult much, but seeing as I didn’t even notice, I don’t really care.

I’m not sure how to describe this except as genuine fun. The setting and plot is usually quite believable, the characters are hysterical, and the fantastical setting lends itself to madness. I look forward to my next T.P. book, of which you’ll hear about around here, most likely.

But AHFOS also took a surprisingly sharp turn from whimsical fun to the deep and rather philosophical. In the story, we discover a creature relevant to the plot known as a hiver, and according to the Discworld wiki, it is a sort of misunderstood parasite. Here’s a quote since the wiki can put it in better words than yours truly:

~[“A strange organism in many ways. They are like bodiless minds, but incapable of thought. Normally, they cannot be seen. They can be faintly heard, with a sound like a swarm of flies, and animals can certainly sense them. They are parasitic; they take over the mind and body of other creatures. Hivers normally target powerful creatures, like tigers, and when attacking Humans, aim for powerful ones such as Wizards and monarchs. The people and things a hiver consumes begin to become incredibly powerful, eventually dying insane. The reason why they do this seems to be because they’re afraid of the whole universe. They are completely and utterly aware of everything around them, knowing every single blade of grass, seeing all the colours in a tree. They envy humans because, in comparison, we are nearly blind, with the amazing talent known as ‘boredom’.”]~

The hiver is without doubt better experienced in the context of the story, but I found the concept of this creature fascinating. Ideas, and better yet creatures based on these ideas, regarding consciousness and otherwise bending the rules of what we perceive as consciousness really are made of the stuff that makes me want to sit back and think. Do not get me geeked out about Evangelion.

Just felt like sharing hivers with people.

Happy writing, dear readers!

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