This story follows a boy named Dodger who survives in London as a tosher, searching for lost valuables or coinage in the depths of the sewers. On a dark, rainy night, he happenstances upon two men beating a girl with beautiful blonde hair and he rescues her. Dodger then bulls through the rest of the story becoming a hero in down-to-earth and witty scenes and dialogue, all the while attempting to save the girl's life again.
I liked this book, I really did. But it wasn't amazing.
I liked it for the characters. Dodger and Simplicity are so wonderfully written, especially with his mannerisms and attitude and thinking (as it is mostly third person limited, but sometimes strays into third person omniscient). The setting is so Dickens-esque and quite beautiful to read. It is a really lovely story.
It wasn't amazing because midway through the story I realized it became more about spotting the references and allusions rather than the story, and that was annoying. While it was fun at first, almost every new character of scene alluded to past literature or a real person. All of that crammed into this story actually detracted from the story's strength and made it drag on. It also wasn't amazing because I felt as if I knew how it would end. In the middle it became a matter of getting through the pages and words to see the happy ending - there were no twists or tricks. Just scene after scene of allusions and references. While this isn't necessarily bad, because it is quite fun to find them and Pratchett makes things so witty, there are just too many.
I don't know if I would read it again, but I always appreciate Terry Pratchett's writing. Three stars because I enjoyed it and it was more than just okay - definitely not more because it dragged in the middle. Recommended for anyone who already reads Pratchett (of course) and people who like Dickens and London in that era.