Book Review: One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Mar
30
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
One of Our Thursdays is Missing One of Our Thursdays is Missing by
Series: Thursday Next #6
Published by in 2011
Genres:
Pages: 362
Source:
Goodreads

Jasper Fforde's exuberant return to the fantastical BookWorld opens during a time of great unrest. All-out Genre war is rumbling, and the BookWorld desperately needs a heroine like Thursday Next. But with the real Thursday apparently retired to the Realworld, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday.

The Council wants her to pretend to be the real Thursday and travel as a peacekeeping emissary to the warring factions. A trip up the mighty Metaphoric River beckons-a trip that will reveal a fiendish plot that threatens the very fabric of the BookWorld itself.

My Review:

I have anxiously been awaiting this book ever since I finished TN5 First Among Sequels. Of course, I had to wait quite a while, so that Shade of Grey could come out first, so I was really excited when I saw my library had the book on pre-order – I was first in line on that wait list!

Unfortunately, it had been so long since I read First Among Sequels, that I couldn’t quite remember what happened to make me so excited. I like to re-read the most recent novel before starting the new one any time I have a series like this that is still publishing, just to remind myself what happened, but I just didn’t have time this time, and now I wish that I had. Probably because of this, and because of the insane amount of work I’ve been doing for my project recently, I had a really slow time reading this. It’s not that the story was bad or anything, in fact I found it very interesting. But I just didn’t get that “I cannot put this down even though it’s 5 am and I have to be up again at 7″ feeling like I did for the first 5 books.


The premise of the book is interesting enough – the real Thursday has gone missing and the written Thursday decides it’s her job to find the real one. Shenanigans ensue and when you get to the end, some part of you will probably be going “wait… what happened there?” I certainly didn’t see the ending coming. 

**SPOILERS**
I also thought his characterization of the written Thursday was very well done. Though she had some doubt, I knew all along that she wasn’t the real Thursday, because she didn’t feel like the real Thursday. Real Thursday would have had to undergo some serious hypnosis to make her act so very different from the Thursday I know and love. A part of me wonders if that’s why I had such trouble getting interested in the book – I wanted another book about the real Thursday, and written Thursday just doesn’t read the same.
 
**END SPOILERS**
In the end, I’d give it 3 of 5 stars, just because I had some trouble with it. I still loved it, mind. I’m just not as much a fan as I was of the beginning.




You know you’re too busy when an entire week goes by with 5 reviews on the table and not one of them gets published. Sorry about that. But, I’m going to make an effort. Really I am!

Book number: 23/26 (I’m reviewing them together cause they’re books 1 and 2 of the same series).
Pages: lots… um, probably at least 400 each
By: Jasper Fforde (yes there are two F’s in a row, if you take one out you won’t find it.)

Summary: (from the back cover of The Eyre Affair)

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend.

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr. Big. Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Review:

These are both rereads for me, and they both were read in pretty much one sitting. Remember when I told you about the Book Vault a couple posts ago? I found both of these there, for like, cheaper than I have ever expected to pay a book (including when I first started getting gift cards for Christmas, and could regularly get two on a $10 gift card. Those were the days *sigh*). I spent the rest of the day rereading The Eyre Affair and it was just as good as I remembered it to be.

I feel I should explain further than the summary. The summary makes it seem too normal. This is the world every book lover has ever dreamed of – books have taken center stage (literary forgery is punishable under the death penalty) and there’s even a branch of police are devoted to their protection and authentication. Of course, it’s not all fun and games – the Crimean War (yes it’s real, though it lasted for like 2 minutes in relation to most of what we talk about in history) has continued to the present day with mandatory draft for all young adults, and there are evil villains that would put even the worst criminals in our world to shame. Oh, and Thursday’s Uncle Mycroft (yes, there is a reason he has the same name as Sherlock’s brother) has invented a machine that lets you get inside a book. Frankly if that’s not an advertisement in itself, I don’t know what is.

Jasper Fforde has that slightly snide, snarky tone of writing that I happen to love. It’s as if he’s making fun of everyone and everything, even though he doesn’t really mean it in a mean way. He finds way to point out all those little things that when you take a second look you realize that they don’t make sense. It’s all about thinking in a different way, and learning to see other options, and I love that.

Of course, it always helps when the “point” is set so beautifully. Thursday is so wonderfully spunky, you can’t help but love her. The secondary characters are all just as well crafted – I have this funny feeling that you could as Fforde a question about the personal habits of any one of the secondaries and he wouldn’t even have to think about the answer, that’s how real they feel. Bowden is lovably docile and timid (think Jon Arbuckle from Garfield), Spike is jumpy like he’s hyped up on caffeine constantly but still has his moments, and Jack Schitt is the company CEO/strongarm all over! (and no, I didn’t just swear, that really is his name – names are important in this series, so pay attention as you read).

I suppose most people would consider this a really fluffy read, compared to his most recent novel Shades of Grey which is a dystopian novel with an important moral that is threaded throughout the plot. For me personally, though, this series speaks better to me, appealing to my love of reading and my sense of humour, while reminding me of all kinds of issues that are important: How do you deal with the fact that a decision you made affected someone you loved, and not in a good way? When what you believe is right and what is the law conflict, what do you do? When should you ask permission, and when should you just ask forgiveness?

Anyway, I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone (over the age of… probably 12 or 13).

WARNING: This novel contains unannounced Time-travel. If you do not like time travel or if, as one of my friends puts it, “makes my head hurt cause I can’t make it make sense” then don’t read it – or at least read it forewarned.

Upcoming reviews (as soon as I have time I promise):
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

And a Media review of the most recent series of Merlin





Book Review: Shades of Grey

Aug
27
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book Review
Shades of Grey Shades of Grey by
Series: Shades of Grey #1
Published by in 2009
Genres:
Pages: 400
Source:
Goodreads

As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. From the underground feedpipes that keep the municipal park green to the healing hues viewed to cure illness to a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception, society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see. Young Eddie Russett has no ambition to be anything other than a loyal drone of the Collective. With his better-than-average red perception, he could well marry Constance Oxblood and inherit the string works; he may even have enough red perception to make prefect. For Eddie, life looks colorful. Life looks good. But everything changes when he moves with his father, a respected swatchman, to East Carmine. There, he falls in love with a Grey named Jane who opens his eyes to the painful truth behind his seemingly perfect, rigidly controlled...

Review:

Finally I can give a review that’s not just listing good things! I feel like I’ve been a broken record, just finding the good stuff in the books I read.

Before I get into the stuff I didn’t like, let me just say that Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite authors. I love both his Thursday Next series and Nursery Crime series. When I heard he was writing a new novel I was really excited. Besides, the premise sounds so interesting! A dystopia based on what colors you can see? Isn’t that clever? My main problem with the novel wasn’t that it didn’t live up to my expectations – it was that it left me confused. I spent nearly the first half of the book trying to figure out what was going on, and the second half trying to catch up on everything I managed to miss while trying to figure out the first half. I didn’t like that. With someone as clever as Fforde writing, I expect some deeper meaning. Even the fluffy satires that he usually writes are written for more than just entertainment. This time I spent so much time just sorting through the plot points and rules and regulations of the colourtocracy that I never managed to even scratch that surface.

That said, I think the novel really is quite clever. Once I began to understand the colourtocracy and all its seemingly arbitrary rules, I was amazed. The mind that created this society must be absolutely genius. I would love to just meet Fforde once and sit down and have a conversation with him. I’m sure it would be fascinating. And you can tell this wasn’t just a “oh wouldn’t this be cool!” kind of idea. He must have sat for hours just working out the details.

I think in the end, the jury is still out on whether or not I like the book. I’d like to read it again. I think a second reading will give me a different perspective, and perhaps a different opinion. But for now, I’ll say if you decide to read this book, prepare to be confused.





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