This was a good time, but I wasn’t ever able to lose myself in it. Seems fitting for a book I put on my Must Read list in 2011, and then didn’t get to for nine years. Jasper Fforde is always at worst just a good time for me, but sometimes his stuff ascends to the brilliant level; this just wasn’t that for me.
This book, to my surprise, doesn’t even follow Thursday, but the written Thursday, formerly known as Thursday5, who failed her Jurisfiction training, and is now playing Thursday in the Bookworld. Almost the whole book takes place in the Bookworld. The real Thursday seems to have gone missing, and Jurisfiction has secretly asked written Thursday to look into it. Also, she is assigned to investigate the crashing of a book (they float sometimes, don’t worry about it) and make sure there was nothing nefarious about it (there is). And lastly, there is a Genre War brewing between Women’s Fiction and Racy Novel, and Thursday (the real one) was supposed to broker the peace talks. On top of all this, written Thursday is dealing with insurrection in her series, and a potential love interest who just won’t leave her alone.
If you liked the previous Thursday Next novels, you will like this one. I missed the real Thursday, but I appreciated the new perspective written Thursday brought to her life and to Bookworld (her scenes with Landen and the kids were very poignant) and SPOILERS the parts where she visits the real world were by far the most emotionally interesting in the book END SPOILERS. The mystery was suitably clever, but I wasn’t particularly engaged with it. I also found myself really bothered this time around by the entire notion of the Bookworld. It’s always bugged me a little that giving fictional characters so much agency basically negates the role of an author, which is something that I find personally bothersome, but it really got to me this time. So all the cleverness related to the Bookworld (he has soooo much detailed worldbuilding, and most of it is jokes also) just didn’t hit me as hard as it could.
The stuff with the mimes was great, though.
Jasper, where is Nursery Crime #3?