Page count: 400 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Date begun: March 28th, 2011
Date finished: April 1st, 2011
This is the sixth book in the Thursday Next series, and I can absolutely assure you that it makes little to no sense if you haven't read several of the others in the series. The first book in the series, The Eyre Affair, is excellent, so go start there if you're interested. Also, may contain spoilers for previous books etc. etc.
There's a war brewing in the Book World, and Thursday Next, the famous heroine and literary detective who is needed to manage the peace talks, appears to have gone missing. No one seems to know where she is, and the life of her fictional counterpart is starting to take odd and unexpected turns as a result.
Yes, that's a super short summary of the book, but I'm really at a loss to even begin to explain the intricacies of the plot of this book. Jasper Fforde's literary universe is a very complex one, both with his alternate version of reality, where the real Thursday Next lives, and the one he explores more closely in this one, the Book World. Simply put, every time someone in the real world reads a book, the fictional counterparts in the Book World act that story out. When the reader puts the book back down, they can go on with their normal lives. The fictional Thursday starts out being very little like her real-life counterpart - she's calm, sedate, a bit boring, and a bit of a tree hugger. As increasingly more complicated puzzles and challenges get thrown her way, she starts realizing that she has the potential to change and be so much more.
The previous novel in the series, First Among Sequels, took me ages to get into, and I didn't really feel that it got good until shortly before the end. In this one, Fforde suddenly explores an entirely different aspect of his world, and very different characters, and it just didn't grab me much. Several people have given this book a very enthusiastic review, so I had high hopes for it. It did not live up to my expectations, and at this rate, I'm not going to be in a hurry to read any more books in the series either.