Thursday Next is back. And this time it's personal… Officially, Literary Detective Thursday Next is off the case. Once a key figure in the BookWorld police force, she is concentrating on her duties as a wife and mother. Or so her husband thinks… Unofficially, Thursday is working as hard as ever - and in this world of dangerously short attention spans, there's no rest for the literate.
Can Thursday stop Pride and Prejudice being turned into a vote-em-off reality book? Who killed Sherlock Holmes? And will Thursday get her teenage son out of bed in time for him to save the world?
This is the fifth novel in the Thursday Next series and if you haven’t read from the start, please go and pick up a copy of The Eyre Affair. There may be spoilers ahead for the first 4 books, but as each book links up and feeds back information regarding past books you will need to know what happened in the preceding novels to understand what is happening in this one.
First Among Sequels starts 14 years after the end of Something Rotten and Thursday is living a normal, domestic life with her previously eradicated husband Landen and three children, Friday, Tuesday and Jenny. Of course this being Thursday Next, her life is nowhere near as normal as she pretends. This is what makes these novels so great; you never know what could happen next as there are so many plot ideas thrumming through this series. It is really interesting to see the layers slowly unfold and intertwine as you read.
The simplest part of this book is Thursday juggling her family responsibilities with her jobs, as she is still working as a Jurisfication Agent under the cover of her day job, where she now works for Acme Carpets rather than Special Ops. With a 14 year jump a lot of things have changed about Swindon and yet all of my favourite characters still appear, as well as a lot of new faces. After the events in Something Rotten, Thursday had become even more of a celebrity, with her own books fantastically retelling her life story, which makes these books even more meta. Thursday is now chaperoning Thursday1-4 and Thursday5 in the book world in the hopes that one of them can become a full Jurisfication Agent. Will she be able to control these Thursdays who seem to be so different from her or will she realise that she has more in common with them both than she could ever imagine?
More questions and answers are waiting for you in this great book, the Thursday Next novels are going from strength to strength without any sign of flagging - they just get more intriguing as the series continues. Where this series will end I have no idea and look forward to being continually surprised, but at the same time I hope that there are many more books to look forward to reading in the coming years (I don’t ask for much).
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next: Book 5)
416 pages (Hodder)
Review by Michelle Herbert
Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on Sterling banknotes, and is cousin of the author, Katie Ffor [...]
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