The last of the Discworld books: I've started reading it.
I'd seen remarks to the effect that it wasn't very good, and that Sir PTerry had maybe not been all that involved with the actual writing of it - a surmise that I'm finding highly likely.
The characters are there... but the style is all wrong. It's written in they style of a children's book, for children who haven't read the last few books and need each character carefully introduced.
The story, so far, seems plausible in a Discworld context, but things are happening much too early; the Patrician is getting involved at least one book too soon - after all, how long was the Clacks running before he felt the need to revive the Post Office? And why would there be an ancient Epebian prophecy about steam, and why would the Patrician worry about it anyway?
The troll lawyer is just plain wrong: name, composition, context, manner of speech, everything.
So, yeah: I'm thinking rough outline, turned into a novel by a not-very-good ghostwriter who hadn't actually read the other novels in the main series. Fanfic would be better: a fan would take the trouble to get the details right.
Update: I'm about a third of the way through. It's slow going. The style isn't getting any better.
I looked back at the Amazon reviews, and I find it difficult to believe that one of the reviewers got 80 pages in before realizing it wasn't a genuine Pratchett. For me, the style was jarring right from the beginning, and within the first few pages I'd figured out that it wasn't just an opening bobble but a completely different writing style.
Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci had sketched the concept for one last painting, and his eleven-year-old niece had completed it. In glitter pen.
And this got many five-star reviews? Did any of those reviewers actually read it? Never mind having read any of the real Discworld series; just considered on its own, how could this mess possibly rate five stars?
More: This is painful. Whoever actually wrote it had no feel at all for the Discworld nor its familiar denizens. The naming conventions are wrong (no troll should be named Thunderbolt unless he's made of meteorite, and Aeron isn't a dwarf name, it's a furniture name). The characters...
Well, let's just say the author seems to inhabit an academic environment in which everyone has Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Really, Harry King getting all weepy? Everyone emoting all over the place? Faugh.
Further, the story is excessively dialog-driven. This might be OK, except that the author totally sucks at writing dialog. In most of the real Discworld books, I can hear the characters speaking. In this mess? No. People just don't talk like that. Not even in movies. These characters don't jump off the page, they sort of drip off it. And the less said about the attempts at writing dialect the better.