Terry Tuesday: Soul Music (#16)

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Welcome back to Terry Tuesday, I missed last Tuesday because I’ve been pretty sick – but feeling a bit better now so I’m able to get a review up!

This is another Death novel, and there are two plots that intermingle throughout the book. In the very beginning of the story, Death’s daughter dies and it sends him into a crisis. He knows that mortals die – that’s just the way things are and have always been. But, he’s suffering his first traumatic loss and goes AWOL, ditching his duties as a reaper. He begins to visit all of the Great Minds of the Discworld in search of Answers to Big Questions – but he comes up short. No one has anything of value to offer him, so he goes to join the military. He’s been told is the military is where people go to forget things, and he’s trying his hand at it. He’s hilariously bad at it and gets “punished” for it, buried up to his head in sand. His superiors are super angry that he seems to be enjoying it and asks for more time to think.

Since Death isn’t doing his job, the Universe forces his granddaughter Susan Sto Helit to take over his position. She’s pissed about it too. Up to this point she’s held down a respectable normal job being a governess at a school, keeping all the children in line and giving them an education of sorts. When the Death of Rats and Quoth the Raven show up to tell her of her new duties, she doesn’t want anything to do with Death or anyone associated with him. It takes a lot of convincing just to get her to accept that Death is really her grandfather. She was taken away from his influence early on by her parents and wasn’t told about her true past. She doesn’t think it’s possible that she can carry out the duties, but slowly she begins to realize that it isn’t much of a choice. She’s having a really hard time of it early on, getting herself into messes like cleaning up a battlefield of dead Vikings.

Meanwhile, there’s a young musician named Imp Celyn who goes to Ankh-Morpork to try and find fame. He goes to audition for a gig and runs into a dwarf and a troll also auditioning for a spot and together they try and form a band.  Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler actually takes over as band manager,( lol ), and things weren’t looking all that great until Imp stumbles upon a magic guitar. Every time he plays it the guitar takes over for him and out pours fantastic music every time. Band with Rocks In becomes a sensation, packing taverns to the brim and creating die-hard fans. Here is where the two stories merge. Susan has Imp’s hourglass, and his time has run out.

This is actually my least favorite of Death’s series. I never really connected much with the band members so it made half of the story lackluster for me, I liked Death’s journey of self-discovery and trying to understand the Universe … but the other story wasn’t really my cup of tea. It may have a big appeal to people who really like rock bands/music, however.



Favorite Quotes:

“It was sad music. But it waved its sadness like a battle flag. It said the universe had done all it could, but you were still alive.”

“We’re way bigger than cheeses.”

“In my experience, what every true artist wants, really wants, is to be paid.”

“Well, these guys believe that if you die in battle, some big fat singing horned women carry you off to a sort of giant feast hall where you gobble yourself silly for the rest of eternity,” said the rave. It belched genteeley. “Damn stupid idea, really.”
“But it just happened!”
“Still a daft idea.”

“But this didn’t feel like magic. It felt a lot older than that. It felt like music.”


  • Plot: 12.5/15
  • Characters: 12.5/15
  • World Building: 13.5/15
  • Writing: 13.5/15
  • Pacing: 12.5/15
  • Originality: 14/15
  • Personal Enjoyment:n 7.5/10

Final Score: 86/100

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