The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde is one that I find a lot of enjoyment in with its mad cap action, book jumping, dastardly villains, inventions and satire. I especially enjoy the interaction with all the different Book World characters that have no business knowing each other.
While I think my favorite in the series remains The Well of Lost Plots, I found this to be a great addition to the series. The Book World had an upgrade so there is now geography between the books. While this has led to a reduction in direct book jumping, it does make for some very interesting scenes in the adventure, including an almost disastrous episode in a mimefield (Yes, mimefield not minefield–Mimes are dangerous).
This book follows the written Thursday Next, the A-8 character who plays Thursday in her series of books. The written Thursday is far more huggy, more peaceful than the one in the real world. She has to deal with a fractious book cast, which is terrorized by a cantankerous dodo. While trying to train and rein an understudy who is terrified by multiple readers, the written Thursday is also trying to figure out the whereabouts of the real Thursday after a red-haired character declares her missing.
Aided by Sprockett, a robot butler she saved from a stoning in Conspriacy, Thursday struggles to solve an accident case where part of a book crashed to ground. A bed setting survived the fall, but the scene debris has all had its isbns destroyed. Thursday’s been told to wrap up the case quickly, to not make a big splash with the case. she find she can’t let it alone.
Throw in the dangerously suspicious Men in Plaid, a brewing multi-genre war, a book mutiny, and a trip into the Real World, One of Our Thursdays is Missing is a great romp through literary fantasy. Written Thursday is pressed to her limits when tossed into meeting Landen and the real Thursday’s kids while trying to figure out where the real Thursday could be. On written Thursday’s side is her uncanny resemblance to the real Thursday. More troubling is that she has the real Next Jurisfiction badge instead of the fake she’s always carried.
For those uninitiated to the series, this would not be the best book to start with as there are references throughout to the previous books, mostly in the form of written Thursday wanting her books to be more like the events in real Thursday’s life. For fans of the series, there is a brief appearance by SpecOp agent Spike Stoker. There is sadly no Mycroft and only the fictional equivalent of Thursday’s father.
My copy of One of Our Thursdays is Missing was a gift from a good friend.