Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair [#1]

  It’s becoming more difficult to describe a book than to read one. And don’t even get me started on the horrors of choosing the next one. But first things first. At last I finished the month-long, apparently, book-club book by Jasper Fforde (yes, two f’s) “The Eyre Affair“. And now I wonder if words “alternative reality” suit it correctly. Like Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud, just without magic. With vampires, tho. Little of them, but leaving a mark. Or a dent. Most of the things, yet, that make it different than actual reality are all the SpecOps and the things they cover. From supernatural being control, to time change guards, to hell knows who. Reminded me a little of Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter, so it’s one big thumbs up for using that and not making it any worse.
It all starts with super-villain Hades stealing an old original manuscript of some book, pardon me for lacking the memory for details, devil be with them. No one knows neither why nor how. There’s no ransom requests, no contacts. And cameras didn’t capture him either, no finger prints and even the glass that covered the manuscript is still in spot, if a little bit… out of shape.
Thursday Next is our main hero, a fantastic woman with whom I not always agree, but who am I to judge. She reminds me a little of Temperance Brennan from the books, just that this one’s in an alternative reality. And there she is, dropping us onto a one hell of a slide for a story with little take-a-breath breaks, right after the very first actual meeting with Hades that left her battered in hospital. She is told she shot some granny and did all sorts of crazy things. They also tell her that Hades is dead, burned in a car accident. But can you believe that sort of nonsense, when you saw bullets flatten and fall down off the man’s body? When you saw him change appearance, when cameras don’t capture him, hell, how can you believe a man with no shadow is dead just like that? And to put a cherry on top, the moment everyone leaves her be – a bright colored sports car materializes in her hospital room, with her behind the wheel, telling HER to take the job in Swindon.
It’s a handful, this book. In a good way too. And while it is meant for already older crowd of readers, I dare say I would’ve loved it madly when my age was still in singular digits form. All those difference Special Forces! Time jumping and travel, entering a book, altering a book! A comic in a book, I dare say. I’ll give it 4 out of 5, for while good, it had some irritating flaws in it anyway. But, here me out before burning me on a stake. I do intend to pick up the rest of the books in this serie, right? Right.

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