I can finally review this trilogy since I finished it over the weekend. I’ve read and re-read Going Postal and Making Money for years, but somehow I never got around to Raising Steam. Moist was my real intro to Discworld and Terry Pratchett. Then I went back and red Guards! Guards! I’m working my way (slowly) through the Witches books.
But I hold a special place for Moist. He’s awful in a lot of ways. Like really a bad person who wants to be selfish and greedy. At least in the first two books. Now, he also has a strong internal set of morals and ethics – his own which no one else would ever agree with but…
So Going Postal is probably my favorite of the three. I thoroughly enjoy seeing Moist struggle with his desire to run away and his determination to do something interesting. The character is “forced” into his position but never loses agency or personality. In Making Money, he’s somewhat resigned to living “by the law” but still determined he’s a crook and crooked.
It’s Raising Steam that fell apart. Firstly, Moist was barely the protagonist. And none of the characters really felt like they had great agency. I feel like you can see Pratchett’s alzheimer’s throughout the book. Lord Vetinari isn’t tricksy or snide. He’s… human. He never felt “human” in the other books. It didn’t feel like he had that “I already knew that” suave demeanor.
In a book that revolved around the dwarves Captain Carrot wasn’t mentioned. Not even a “this is why he’s missing” side comment – nothin’ just…. missing. Adorabell felt like a trophy rather than a partner (or a person with her own agency). Goblins were used throughout as a deus ex machina. It’s a shame because there is an awesome core plot and Pratchett wrote awesome characters earlier in his career.
Overall, I would 100% recommend Going Postal and Making Money but not Raising Steam. Just skip that last book. Leave Moist on 2 books and be happy about his progress through them.