NOTE: This is the 6th Thursday Next novel. If you are new to this brilliant fantasy series, start with The Eyre Affair. This review is for readers that have been introduced to the series because it would take literally pages to explain what the hell is going on to newbies.
One of Our Thursday is Missing continues the story begun in First Among Sequels. The Bookworld is on the brink of war with skirmishes increasing between the Feminist and Racy genres. Speedy Muffler, the head of Racy, is purported to have a dirty bomb that could infect the surrounding genres with an uncontainable amount of explicit descriptions and lewd metaphors. Mere days before a crucial peace summit, Jurisfiction agent Thursday Next has gone missing and presumed dead. Now it’s up to the written Thursday Next to discover the truth behind the “real” Thursday’s disappearance and save the day.
For the first time the series is not written from the real Thursday’s perspective but from her written counterpart. This makes the 6th installment feel fresh while introducing some brilliant meta-commentary on the relationship between writer and their creations. The thing I’ve always loved about the Thursday Next series is how interactive the books are. Jasper Fforde is a book lover and his books are for the like minded. Clever jokes, puns, wordplay, and even brainteasers fill the book from beginning to end. Other than a quick jaunt into the real world the action this time is almost entirely confined to the Bookworld. We are there for every step of written Thursday’s investigation with the reader sharing Thursday’s bafflement trying to figure out what is really going on. While there are a great many mysteries, the one at the center of the novel, “Where is Thursday Next?” is the biggest one written Thursday has to solve. Without spoiling it, in true Thursday Next fashion, the answer to the puzzle is hidden in the themes of the novel itself. Personally I found the solution immensely satisfying, especially how it deconstructs every theory the reader has had throughout the novel while lampooning the genre in question.