Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
published by Corgi (2003)
Rating - 3.5 out of 5
Genre - Fantasy, Comedy
Series - book 27 of Discworld novels
"Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a hard boiled egg!
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he's back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightening struck. Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There's a problem: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future. A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, battles, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution."
The twenty-seventh Discworld novel takes place during the events of Thief of Time (the twenty-sixth in the series). Commander Vimes is transported back in time along with mass murderer Carcer during the storm where the lightening strikes the clockmakers shop and effectively stops time. The History Monks led by Lu-Tzu and Qu turn up to help Vimes get back to his own time where his son is being born.
Back in the past Vimes has to mentor his younger self and keep history from changing too much. Riots are breaking out as revolutionaries try to take down Lord Winder the current Patrician. For Vimes and the Night Watch to win the battle, he must sacrifice his future including his wife and child. He has The Unmentionables on his trail who Carcer has teamed up with along with it seems almost everyone in the city (Vimes is so good at ruffling feathers!), and this proves to be another race against time to try and get back to his future.
This was a really fun book and was interesting having it running in parallel to Thief of Time. Pratchett again steps away from his usual outlines and tries something a little different, whilst still retaining the security of much loved and well developed characters. During the book you get to see Cut-my-own-throat Dibbler get started selling his infamous pies, Nobby Nobbs joining the city Watch and Fred Colon get promoted to Sergant among other little tie-ins. The most interesting of these was seeing Vetinari as a younger man studying at the Assassin's Guild. Hopefully Pratchett will one day write a book with him as the main character