First Among Sequels
Jasper Fforde

The latest Thursday Next novel and again a book for book and story lovers. A brief introduction: Thursday Next is a literary detective in an alternative reality where books are the single most popular form of entertainment. And in this alternative reality the line between the real world and a fictional world inside books is blurry. That probably sounds confusing. I’ll try to clear it up: In this work of fiction an alternative reality is presented, in that alternative reality there is a world within works of fiction. The line between the fictional real world and the fictional fictional world is blurred. All clear now? No? Better read the books then, starting with The Eyre Affair; you’ll love them if you love books.

This, the fifth book, is quite an independent story; as opposed to the preceding three - really a single story. The break between books has also been good for the world of the story. Fforde seems to have spent a lot of time cementing down how the world works. There is none of the drift and none of the continuity problems that the previous books started to show. And of course, for fans of the series there are plenty of cute little jokes. Fforde must remove dozens of these in draft as he always manages to resist the temptation to turn to gimmicks.

As an aside, once you read this book, go read about The Long Now Foundation the 10,000 Year Clock. Don’t worry, I haven’t given anything away. In fact, go read those now even if you don’t plan on reading the book. The review’s nearly over.

If you were a little disappointed by Lost in a Good Book or Well of Lost Plots then cast those fears aside. Thursday’s back, and she’s back on track.