Review by mwisse (2003-03-10)
The third(!) Discworld book to be published in 2001, the other two being The Thief of Time and The Last Hero. Like the latter, Amazing Maurice is outside the main sequence of Discworld novels and it is in fact intended for a younger audience. The book is based on a throwaway remark in Reaper MAN about "Mr so-called Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents!", who rid Ankh Morpork of a rat plague that wasn't as natural as it first seemed...
Amazing Maurice is intended for a younger audience but thisdoesn't mean the quality is less, not at all. Some concessions have been made to make the book easier to read: less footnotes, somewhat less puns, though on the whole I've always found any Discworld book can be read by older children. It seems to me as if there's far more humour in this book then there was in the last few real Discworld books; certainly I giggled and laught more. Also refreshing is that none of the old, familiar characters are present this time. There's a cameo by death, but that's all.
The plot is typically Pratchett, full of expected unexpected twists as well as unexpected unexpected twists. The characters are none of them entirely twodimensional, though sometimes painted in broad strokes and a few actually grow during the story.
Amazing Maurice is an intelligent, talking cat and his Educated Rodents are likewise not only educated, but also intelligent. The rats got that way from eating scraps fromt he Unseen University, Maurice's transformation isn't explained at first. Together with a stupid looking kid (called Nigel) they traveled from city to city, creating rat plagues and then getting rid of them for a small fee...
Now they've come to Bad Blitzen but here there already *is* a rat plague and the local ratcatching guild seems to have taken control of the town. Of course, Things Aren't What They Seem and together with the Mayor's hyper imaginative daughter, Malicia, Maurice, the rats and Keith solve the mystery and rescue the town.
(Taken from my booklog at http://www.cloggie.org/books/)
Review by humby (2003-03-07)
Amazing Maurice is a targeted at a younger audience than most of Pratchett's other novels. He loses none of his wit, however, and the book is just as much fun for older readers (Even if we do have to read it to the children or hide it between the pages of "War and Peace" to maintain our credibility). A must buy for Pratchett fans of all ages, and highly recommended to anyone else.