Terry Pratchett takes a step back from the Discworld for his first major non-Discworld book in quite some time.
Nation takes place in an alternate universe that is similar in many ways to ours (though sadly I don’t think we have any tree-dwelling octopi).
The book takes place sometime in the 19th century. It centers around two thirteen-year-olds, Mau and Daphne. He’s a young islander and she’s a Society girl from England. They meet after a giant wave devastates his island and causes her ship to crash there. The two form a bond and start building their own little nation together as other people begin to arrive.
This is very different from the usual Pratchett works. Normally he writes laugh-out-loud, thought-provoking comedy, and while there is quite a bit of that in this book, it’s certainly less pronounced than in the Discworld novels.
What’s very fascinating for someone like me is watching Mau’s deconversion from his people’s faith to someone more rational and scientificly based. He still admires his people’s customs and society, but by the end of the story, doesn’t seem to have their beliefs in the supernatural.
I found this a very satisfying read, and I’m looking forward to buying a copy once it comes out, which since I already own an advance reading copy, is saying something.
Very highly recommended, pre-order today!