This is the seventh Thursday Next book. The series is split into 2 series though it's not all that clear (to me) the difference between the two except for the fact that I sort of like the first series better. BUT I STILL LIKE SERIES TWO. And I liked this book. Because Thursday Next is the best character.
The books aren't going to make all the much sense to you if you haven't read the others in the series. It's a strange and wonderful world set in an alternate timeline with extinct-animal cloning, visits to Book World, mind worms, evil corporations, and bad ass librarians. There are a lot of references to the past books and you're going to be lost if you haven't gone through them. Which I highly recommend you do because see above re: Thursday Next and best character.
This time around Thursday is recovering from injuries sustained during her adventures in One of Our Thursdays is Missing. Thursday is getting older and listen, it's harder to bounce back from these things when you're in your 50s versus your 20s. SpecOps is being reinstated, but instead of going back to the Literary Detectives, Thursday is being given the "safer" job of head librarian.
Trouble always seems to follow Thursday around, and this time it's major budget cuts for the library, Goliath trying to come back after their previous troubles now that the National Stupidity Index is dangerously low, Jack Schitt looking for revenge, Aorins's mind worm causing problems for the whole Next family, and the Global Standard Deity has scheduled a smiting for Swindon that is going to do a LOT of damage unless Tuesday (Thursday's math genius daughter) can figure out how to get the anti-smite shield to work. The usual for a Thursday novel, really.
One of Fforde's skills is his ability to juggle so many different plots without things getting muddled AND coming up with resolutions to all of the plots that actually make sense. Well, make sense within the Thursday Next world.
I'm not really sure what to say about the book and only some of that is because it's been so long since I finished it. It wasn't my favorite Thursday Next book, but as I said in the beginning of this post, I like part one of this series better than part two overall, so this isn't too surprising. I love that Fforde has not only continued with Thursday but let her age. She still kicks ass but things are definitely different than when the series began, as they should be. And, of course, I love Fforde's sense of humor.
"It's kind of like the old me taking over, and I promised myself that this was how I would act if I ever saw you.""I have the same thing, but with Tom Stoppard," I said."You'd kill Tom Stoppard?""Not at all. I promised myself many years ago that I would throw myself at his feet and scream 'I'm not worthy!' if I ever met him, so now if we're ever at the same party or something, I have to be at pains to avoid him. It would be undignified, you see - for him and for me."I'm going to read Thursday novels till Fforde decides he's done reading them. And then I will mourn, even if these later novels aren't quite as much fun as the earlier ones (The Well of Lost Plots 4eva!). And yeah, you should probably give them a try as well.
Title quote from page 29
Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died A Lot. Penguin, 2012.