First Among Sequels
Married with three children, Thursday Next now works for a Acme Carpets as a sales person and carpet layer. Or does she? Actually, when her Special Ops division was disbanded in the early 1990's, they went undercover and use Acme Carpets as their cover. Not only is Thursday still a Special Ops agent, but she still works in Jurisfiction as well. She spends most of her days in BookWorld. She also has spent all these years hiding the true facts from her husband, Landon Parke-Laine.
Their son, Friday, is 16. He is lazy and aimless. He sleeps late, rarely leaves his room, and can't be seen through his hair. He and his friends are going to start a band - maybe. Thursday and Landon are concerned because they had seen grown-up Friday in their past. He became/becomes one of the most important Chrono Guards (time travel agent) of all. Yet he should have already started his training. Now it appears that time will end in just a few days if something isn't done.
Meanwhile there is turmoil in BookWorld. Book readership is falling alarmingly. The human Thursday is training a cadet - Thursday Next from the fifth (and out of print) novel.Thursday is the only human agent in BookWorld - the rest are all fiction characters who have stepped out of their books. When the human Thursday is almost killed by the Minataur, the cadet Thursday's career looks to be short lived.
Someone is trying to sabotage and imprison Thursday in BookWorld. Between that and the possible end of time in the real world, Thursday is kept busy once again. Plus she still has to be wife and mother and carpet layer. It's never dull in her life.
If you haven't read any of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, go back and read The Eyre Affair before reading First Among Sequels. It would also be better if you read the other two in the series, but not as necessary for this novel. The biggest problem reading this without the others is that Special Ops and Chrono Guard are well laid out in the first book of the series. The recaps in subsequent novels give a picture, but to fully appreciate them, you should read the first one.
That said, the second half of First Among Sequels matches up to the fun and pleasure of the first novels. The first quarter is slow, then it starts picking up. Thursday is still being shown as a duller personality in the first few chapters but her true self comes out, especially after she smuggles cheese. The book also drags as she shows her cadet around some of the background workings of BookWorld.
After that, though, the book picks up and takes off. Since it's been 14 years since the last novel in the series, characters have changed in the real world. Uncle Mycroft has died. It seems he still has an important secret that may yet save the world. If only his ghost can remember what it is...
The puns are all over the place, as expected, and I heard myself chuckle out loud over them. Fforde keeps his tongue firmly planted in his cheek throughout this fun book.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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