Night Watch, unsurprisingly, is a Watch book. In particular it’s a Vimes book. It’s very much a Vimes book in fact. Whilst chasing a murderous thief Vimes gets caught up in a magical storm which sends him back in time. He gets to experience a period in the history of the City of Ankh-Morpork from his youth. A time when rebellion is fomenting in the streets and the Watch must protect the public from, well, the public.
A lot of the enjoyment of this book lies on whether or not you enjoy the character of Sam Vimes. Fortunately I do. Here he is at his most Vimes-y. He’s alone in the city but quickly becomes part of, then effectively runs, a Watch house and plays a major role in the ongoing historical events. His sense of command of the situation, his common sense and level-headedness in general, along with the fact that he clearly cares about people, all go to make you like Vimes in this book. There are also younger versions of a few familiar faces from the Ankh-Morpork based books, which is fun.
It is quite a serious book. The jokes don’t flow as quick and fast as they do in other Discworld novels and there’s some grim business takes place. But that didn’t particularly put me off.
However I did fail to see the greatness of this book (and I’m sure it is my failure rather than the book’s). For me it was merely good. Very good perhaps but not great. Still well worth a read though