This is the third book in the Thursday Next series. Currently there are five books in this series with the sixth book, "One of Our Thursdays is Missing", due out in March 2011. This was a great addition to the series and was as witty, entertaining, and crazy as all of the previous books have been. Fforde is an incredibly creative writer that creates an intricate plot, bizarre characters, and a book full of ironic humor. I actually listened to this on audio book which I highly recommend. I enjoyed listening to this on audio book even more than reading it (which I had done with the previous two books), the audio production is extremely well done.
In this book Thursday has decided to take a breather from being chased by Spec Ops and Goliath Corporation; she is going to take a year off and live in the world of literature...literally. Specifically she has decided to find Refuge in a horrible book that is in the Well of Lost Plots. Naturally everything gets more complicated from there. Thursday finds that the book she is living in is up for demolition, that she has been apprenticed to Miss Havisham from Great Expectation for Jurisfiction training, someone may be out to kill her, her memories are infested with Acheron's sister who is trying to make her forget her eradicated husband Landon, and she will be living with two generic characters who have yet to form any personalities. As events comes to a head, Next will find that the very fate of all books may be in her hands.
This was another great installment in this series. You meet a lot of wonderful new and quirky characters; you learn a ton more about Thursday and the time she spent in the war...it gives you a lot more incite into her character. The pace of the plot is relentless and you never know what crazy book related thing Thursday will be dealing with next. Whether it is Grammacites (Monsters that alter text) or a Spalling Viruse (an extremely contagious virus that misspells everything); everything you run into is interesting, unexpected, and exciting.
This whole book is spent in the literature world and mainly deals with Thursday's training as a Jurisfiction agent. The plot points where Thursday is trying to find her husband Landon do get advanced a bit too, but are not the main focus of this novel.
I just loved this book and have no complaints. It was smart, funny, creative, well-written, full of action, and impossible to put down. As with previous books the main story points in this book were wrapped up nicely, but there are some over-arcing story points that continue to be advanced yet remain unresolved.
Overall my new favorite book in this series. I can't wait to see what the future books have in store for Thursday. I recommend reading this book if you like books with humor, action, and unexpected quirkiness. At points this series reminds a bit of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, but mostly this is one of those series that you have to just read because it is kind of hard to explain.
I am sorry to say that this one failed my three strike rule, meaning that I gave it three try's and it struck it out. I think that the idea of the lost plots was clever but that interfered in the story. It just never engaged me because it seemed that it was always bragging about what a clever idea it was. I don't mind concept fiction but it does need to get beyond the idea to engage a reader. Which is unfortunate because I really was excited to get into it.