In this sixth book of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, Thursday is supposed to attend the Racy Novel Peace Talks, but she’s missing. Yup. Gone. Poof. Where and why is what we want to know. Written Thursday, a.k.a. Thursday5, or as I call her – T5, is the one who must sleuth it out for us while preventing the loss of her book series. It’s like looking for your mother while facing the loss of your kids. I won’t ask what you would do in that situation.
We find BookWorld is undergoing a major rebuilding. The opening chapter has T5 in her book with everyone grounded by something big happening at Text Grand Central. It’s common for characters to get stuck outside their books during a grounding, and she finds three from Crime and Punishment at her door. Queue the talking written version of Pickwick. Riot! However, you may feel the desire to punt the bird.
T5 gets her own understudy to cover her reading parts when she is directed by Commander Red Herring to investigate a novel accident in Aviation. On her way to meet Herring she befriends an automaton about to be attacked in Conspiracy – Mr. Sprockett, whom she hires. Subsequently, the two of them become embroiled in the somewhat suspicious death of Lola Vavoom.
From here, the story takes off with the two characters T5 and Sprockett, and we get a full romp around the rebuilt and mapped BookWorld. How do you scrub an ISBN? Did they get intentionally pushed into a mimefield? Is there a cover-up? What do the Great Gatsby’s lesser known siblings Mediocre and Loser actually do anyway?
T5 travels into the RealWorld to find the real Thursday. How does she handle Landen and the kids, and what do they know? What about Jenny? How does one add to the melodrama? Of course, bring Goliath into the story and continue with the cheese black market. At this point, you’re wondering, where is Thursday anyway? Well, we’ll have to get through the high-speed chase with the Men in Plaid and a squashed geologist before we get the answer.
Towards the end we find T5 taking a trip on the Metaphoric River aboard the steamer Metaphoric Queen. On board is the delegation for the Racy Novel Peace Talks. Will they make it? Do we find the real Thursday or does a disturbingly coy ploy dupe everyone? With this cast of characters, we’re aFforded a whole other level of entertainment which will provide the answers we seek.