Reviewed by Andy Venn
Someone has stolen the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit. This is a serious crime as far as SO27, the Metropolitan polices literary crimes dept, is concerned. Investigating this theft falls onto the shoulders of Thursday Next, Literatech.
So starts a story based in a world where time and fiction are seriously screwed up. England is now separate from wales and Scotland, the Crimean war rages on, although there is a belief that with the development of energy weapons there might be a victory for the English. But in the meantime Thursday must find Acheron Hades, the criminal mastermind who, it is believed, has stolen the manuscript.
Acheron hades, a man who can hide in plain sight. No one knows what he looks like, apart from Thursday. But Thursday has problems of her own. Her father is on the run from the timecops, and has been for several centuries. An ex-boyfriend returns and Thursday is cast into an emotional turmoil. And her aunt and uncle are kidnapped by Acheron and trapped inside a poem.
Will she be able to free them and return the Dickens script to it’s rightful place, catching Acheron while she’s at it? Read the book and find out.
I bought this book for my Kindle partly because it was cheap and partly because I like a laugh. Well, the laughs were there, not as deep or as long as anything by Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, but they were definitely there. There is a reliance on names for a quick laugh, Thursday Next for instance. It has been quite an easy read, not to deep and no complex plot to follow, which is good as I think that I might have got bored and put it down.
To a degree the writing style is similar to Toby Frost and his Space Captain Smith novels. But I had a feeling that it wasn’t aimed at a late forties granddad who had just finished a China Mieville novel, maybe if I was in my late teens this would have had more effect on me.To be honest, though, it was quite refreshing after a heavy book like that, a bit like cleansing the mental palette. It was, however, a fun read that gives a new slant on the steampunk genre.
As this was the first I may read another to see how the characters develop. I think it could be a fun series of books, if a little light and easy to read, if you know what I mean.
About Andy Venn
I’m Andy Venn, aka Giant68 due to being 6’8″ tall. I have been reading science fiction for 35 years since picking up the Lensman series. And fantasy since I pinched “Lost Worlds” by Clarke Ashton Smith from my uncle. I read both in, pretty much, equal measures. I write a blog occasionally, containing the whimsical, or bad tempered, meanderings of my mind at http://giant68.blogspot.com. Go and have a look, you’ll find out all about me, and Lord knows I need the followers! Or email me at email@example.com.