It does everything a sequel should do. It retains everything successful about its predecessor (lovable characters, outrageous comic set-pieces, clever religious references) whilst expanding the established universe with new characters, settings and set-ups. These new elements include Nerys' dysfunctional family, a dog that has all the answers, a paint-balling trip, a flaming sword and a road trip to Wales.
Pigeonwings is a lot more story-focussed than its predecessor. Clovenhoof was very sketch-based and episodic, with a subtle story arc that only came to the foreground in the final two chapters. However, Pigeonwings has two story arcs established from the beginning. The first concerns Ben's blossoming romance with Nerys' sister and the second focuses on an island of misfit monks. Both give the story drive and will keep you turning those pages until the inevitable moment when both plots collide.
Authors Heide Goody and Iain Grant are building a comic franchise with the potential of Discworld-style longevity. The first step towards that goal was side-lining their former protagonist, Clovenhoof, and allowing a new character, Archangel Michael, to take centre stage. This reverses the original formula - now we have an angel exiled to Earth instead of a demon - but, most importantly, it provides another character who can carry the franchise in case readers ever get bored of Clovenhoof.
(Although, fans will be delighted to know that Clovenhoof is far from absent. He cuts in and out of the story whenever it needs an injection of chaos, much like the shark in Jaws. His trip to a Women's Association meeting is particularly hilarious.)
The next novel in this franchise is rumoured to be titled Monks and will focus on the monks introduced in this novel. This is an even bolder move because Clovenhoof, Michael, Ben and Nerys are unlikely to feature at all. However, let's not forget that Pratchett ditched Rincewind for his third Discworld novel and it was still a huge success, establishing the witches who are now greatly-adored by fans.
And based on the comic talents of Goody and Grant, it appears that the Clovenhoof franchise will be just as strong without Clovenhoof. Bring on the monks.
Pigeonwings is available for Kindle for £2.99.