Friday, September 23, 2016

My Kind of World-Building

Well, vacation is over, just a speck in the distant past, but the book reviews remain ahead. One book I am still in middle of (priorities change when vacation ends... really just it worked out like that), but one I finished on vacation, just did not take the opportunity to review while I could. And now, now the memory is fading, the impression not as vivid as it once was, the details are hazy... Oh well, reviews must be done. SO

Continuing my list of favored authors, I picked up Jasper Fforde's latest (yes, his latest - he does take a while to write books :)), the next installment of the Thursday Next books.  Thursday is recovering from an assassination attempt and thus not quite on her game, so that's one fun element lost. But eh, that's not what I read these books for.  What do I read them for? Ah, the cleverness, of course! The books remind me of Terry Pratchett's in that the world they portray is not an arbitrarily imagined future, but a careful satire of our own, where the slightly illogical is transformed into the obviously ridiculous.  The Toast Marketing Board, law enforcement agencies dedicated to books, time travel, and creatures with unauthorized DNA, and (in this book), a stupidity surplus the government keeps an eye on.  All very tongue-in-cheek of course.  The tone is absurd yet subtle, and I enjoy the silly parallels between this world and ours.  Beyond that, there is a cleverness in the plots themselves, somewhat complex threads that all come together nice and neatly at the end.  And all with a light touch and ne'er a whiff of undue tension.

So yeah, that's why I read those books, and I'd say this one lived up to promise in that way.  Anything specific? Well, it didn't take place in the BookWorld, unlike some of the recent ones, which I think was somewhat of a loss, but that's ok.  As I said, I didn't particular enjoy the older, creakier Thursday who seemed somewhat behind Goliath most of the time.  And though  threads were resolved in the end, I thought some felt either anti-climatic or somewhat unfinished (the last one deliberately, as the next book will continue developing those).  But yeah, totally clever, totally funny, totally light fun, as anticipated.

Verdict: 4/5