Jasper Fforde has one crazy wild imagination!
This book got off to a slow start for me, probably because you're not so instantly familiar with the world he's created as with the Eyre Affair books, where the literature he draws from creates an instant reference point for the reader. Instead, with this book you are left to figure it out for yourself, and there is plenty to figure out! Any time you think you have just about understood the world they're in he throws in something completely wild like it's totally normal - megafauna, the postcode system, queuing, and the startling absence of spoons - and you are left to yourself to puzzle out how it all fits together.
Despite a slow start, once Eddie Russett actually gets to East Carmine the story starts to pick up, and by about a third of the way through the book I couldn't put it down. The relationship between Eddie and Jane (a cute little nod back to the Eyre Affair) is slightly unbelievable at first - Jane is so supremely obnoxious, but somehow by the end you are rooting for her and Eddie despite the major obstacles that crop up.
The ending of the book will be a little frustrating for readers who like stories to be neatly wrapped up by the end... but it leaves the story perfectly positioned to draw you in to the sequel. I for one can't wait to see where Jasper Fforde is going to take this!