Thursday Next lives in an alternate 1980's Great Britain, where time travel happens, cloned pets are all the rage, and the police state takes literature quite seriously. Thursday is an officer in the LiteraTec devision of SpecOps, in charge of finding forgeries and stolen manuscripts. Her job suddenly gets a lot more interesting when somebody starts killing off characters from some of the greatest novels of all time. With her rogue time-traveling father, a devious man from the all-powerful Goliath corporation, a mad inventor, and Mr. Edward Rochester, Thursday will have to enter the world of one of the greatest novels of all time in order to rescue the one and only Jane Eyre.
Fabulous world building, but bland writing. I loved Thursday's bizarre Great Britain, will all its quirks (pet dodos, a national obsession with Shakespeare's plays) and oddities. But I had a hard time sticking with it because Fforde's writing style didn't really appeal to me. So in the end I enjoyed the book but I wasn't in love with it.
It was weird - it sort of echoed Jane Eyre, but was different. Parts of it were quite confusing. Honestly I still haven't decided whether I liked it or not, but it was interesting and it was at times exciting.
Some of the characters had potential, but none of them were really ever fleshed out. As a result, I never really connected with or cared about any of them. Even the villain was unexciting, in addition to being near-ominpotent (his powers made no sense at all.)
As mentioned above, I never really got much of a sense as Thursday as a character - or as a narrator. Her "voice" was bland at best. And the writing style in general just did not appeal to me; it was very static, if that makes sense, not dynamic at all.
End Result: three stars. A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.