Once again, a novel (the fifth in the series) about Thursday Next, living in an alternative universe England, and working both with fiction in the real world and fiction in the Book World. I first read the book in March 2011, and enjoyed my reading of the book a second time.
It is now 2002; the Special Ops departments have been disbanded, and Landon and Thursday’s son Friday is now a sullen sixteen year old. Their middle child is a girl named Tuesday, a math wiz (she wandered into a sixth form classroom, saw an equation on the blackboard, and solved it; it turned out to be Fermat’s Last Theorem) and the youngest is their daughter Jenny, who is fairly elusive. Landon is a novelist, working from home, and Thursday is working for Acme Carpets, which is actually a cover for a variety of reformed Special Ops departments, which is itself a cover for her JurisFiction duties. It is a matter of great concern in JurisFiction that Read Rates in the Outland (aka the Real World) are steadily dropping; it is also a matter of concern to Landon and Thursday that their son Friday would rather slouch, sleep in, and jam with The Wankers instead of joining Chronoguard. This is also of concern to the Chronoguard, as Friday at some future point will invent time travel, without which in a few day’s time the whole Chronoguard, and the world in general, will shut down. Thursday is also not happy that several books about her adventures have been published, with scant input from her; the Thursday of the first four books wears black, shoots at anything that moves, and generally sleeps with anyone she has not shot. When the real Thursday Next complained, the Thursday of the fifth book was created to show her compassionate side; that Thursday hugs trees, eats organic foods, and is in general sweetly dopey. Naturally, the first four books continued to sell well, and the fifth book got remaindered after six months. It turns out that both Thursday1-4 and Thursday5 are now trying to become JurisFiction agents, with Thursday (the Outland one) being their mentor and trainer.
I have left out a few plot points (such as Aornis Hades, her nemesis, her Uncle Mycroft, the resurgence of Goliath, and cheese smuggling from Wales), but that is enough to tell those reading this Book Review that this is yet another marvelous Thursday Next book.