I just finished First Among Sequels, the next Thursday Next book. When I say just finished I mean, like, 10 minutes ago. It wasn’t the best Thursday book and it took a few chapters for me to get into, but it ended up being loads of fun.

There is lots of plot, actually it’s mostly plot, with lots of plot twists and turns. Some of them I figured out ahead of time, some of the were complete surprises. There is lots of set up in this book so it takes some time to really get going. It’s all the up front set up that prompted me to say it’s not the best in the series. But it ends so well that the slow start is easily forgotten.

The book starts 14 years after Something Rotten. Thursday is 52. Her son Friday is a sullen teenager who refuses to join the ChronoGuard, the time travel police, like he is supposed to. Her daughter Tuesday is ten and a math genius. And then there is her third daughter Jenny who you’ll have to find out about for yourself. Thursday now spends her days installing floor coverings at Acme carpets, a company created when most of SpecOps was closed. Not much carpet actually gets installed though as Thursday is rather busy attending Jurisfiction meetings in the BookWorld.

And the BookWorld needs all the help it can get. Reader Rates are plummeting. The Council of Genres thinks that interactive books are the way to save the BookWorld. But Falling Reader Rates may have something to do with the surplus of stupidity in the real world. To top that off, Thursday has to deal with two new Jurisfiction cadets, Thursday1-4 and Thursday5. These Thursdays are the written Thursdays from the books and look just like the real Thursday. Only Thursday1-4’s books were written with lots of gratuitous sex and violence and the corresponding book Thursday acts accordingly. The real Thursday was disgusted with the first four books and asked that book five have a kinder, gentler more family oriented Thursday. As a consequence, Thursday5 is a touchy-feely you-don’t-have-to-hurt-me-we-can-work-this-out wimp and nothing at all like the real Thursday either. And her book, The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco was remaindered within six months of publication.

There are puns and jokes galore throughout the book and Fforde continues with his hilarious character names (Dr. Wirthlass is a prime example). The book even comes bundled with Special Features in which Fforde, talking about the title of the book says,

have been trying to use this title for a while, and it seems perfect to have it on this, the first book in the second batch of Thursday books. Indeed. TNs one to four were essentially ‘Thursday Volume one’. First Among Sequels is the first part of the next four-parter, which will continue with One of our Thursdays is Missing in 2009.

Yup. Waited for what seemed like forever for this Thursday Next book, read it less than a week and now I have to wait until 2009 for the next one. Sigh.

If you’ve read the first four Thursday books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. If you have not yet read the first Thursday book, The Eyre Affair, what have you been waiting for?