First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series. These books are ones that always take me a little while to get into but I consistently end up enjoying. Like its predecessors, First Among Sequels is an entertaining read full of adventure, quirky humor, and word play.
This story takes us quite a few years into the future (giving us a 50-year-old female protagonist which is not really that common if you think about it). Thursday still has her dual role at SpecOps and Jurisfiction and has added a third at Acme Carpets as yet another cover. She is also involved in the illegal cheese market and a mother to 3 children (reading this made me tired).
When I first started reading this book, I felt that too many things were going on at once. She is parenting a lazy teenager, being visited by ghosts, training new Jurisfiction cadets, purchasing illegal goods from Wales, and much more. But once the story took off I relaxed and enjoyed it. I always like the stories that take place in the Book World best and this one was no exception.
One of the things that I love about this series is that reading is as popular in Thursday’s world as television is in ours. However, in First Among Sequels, television has taken over and people are no longer reading. I didn’t want her reality to become our reality. I like the idea of a parallel universe where people care more about who Shakespeare really was than who the next American Idol will be. But I must always remember that things are not always what they seem and there is an explanation (even if it is completely thought out) as to why things are the way they are in Fforde’s books.
I don’t want to discuss the plot any further because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have yet to read the first four books. If you are reading this post, I assume you love reading. And these books are meant for those who love reading. The first book in the series is The Eyre Affair and I highly recommend checking it out (it’s currently 50% off at The Book Depository).
Now that I am caught up on the Thursday Next series, I must start Fforde’s Nursery Crimes series.