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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels

First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde

Um... I don't even know what to say about this one.  Trying to talk about any of the Next novels is hard, but this one has just got too many things going on.  It's not bad, but I didn't like it.  It got better towards the end, but it felt like Fforde was writing this like it was the last one until the last 1/3.  I also got the impression that he was making future book-writing easier on himself:

 

Destroying the ChronoGuard has to make future plotting easier; some of the time paradoxes that are in these 5 books hurt to read about - I can't imagine creating them.

(show spoiler)

 

But while a few big issues are tied up in bows (see spoiler above - or don't if you haven't read this yet), there were a LOT of things left unanswered, like the Holmes and Brennen issues and what has he done to Pickwick!!!  

 

So I didn't like Pickwick's lack of page time and when he was in scenes he was marginalised.  I didn't like the time jump either - I get why Fforde might have done it, but I imagine Thursday as a bit of an action/adventure heroine, and it's rather hard to maintain that image when Thursday is in her 50's trying not to notice her greying hair.  I'm not saying I didn't get there in the end, (I'm in Thursday's demographic myself and I'd like to think I could keep on adventuring) but Fforde made me work harder for it than seems reasonable.  Aornis Hades' manipulation of Thursday added to my struggle to get behind this story. I also didn't like the multiple Thursday Nexts; they were just over-the-top caricatures.  

 

So really, there was a lot I didn't like.  But I did love the bookworld scenes, and whenever there was any interaction with the book characters, I had a lot of fun.  The final scenes in the Bookworld were excellent too - I really enjoyed reading about TN's time spent on that ship.  I also love how he segued into the next book's plot (and it made me laugh).

 

So not really a useful review, really - the book is just such a departure in so many ways from the previous 4 books.  I'm still looking forward to the next one but not as much as I looked forward to the earlier books.