Synopsis (from Amazon)
It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?
All is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, eager to prove herself worthy of her illustrious namesake.
The fictional Thursday is soon hot on the trail of her factual alter-ego, and quickly stumbles upon a plot so fiendish that it threatens the very BookWorld itself.
For the purposes of this review Thursday refers to the real life Thursday Next, Thursday refers to the written Thursday Next.
I found One of our Thursdays is Missing quite different from the other books in the Thursday Next series, not least because you could tell it was written Thursday who was speaking. Although the tone was similar the way in which Thursday approached things was markedly different to that of Thursday. Partly because of this I found the One of Our Thursdays is Missing was a little slow to start, however I did also find this about First Among Sequels so it may just be the pattern the series is taking, certainly in both there was more that needed to be explained,
Having said that having Thursday speaking made a big difference which somewhat slowed down the plot I did like the new Thursday. She was much more pondering and less action focussed than Thursday and it felt like she was discovering things along with the reader rather than leaving them puzzling. I suppose that could be a bad thing but at points she left little tantalising details which suggested that she knew more, I liked that because it made her seem more like a written person, like she was trying to make a narrative, and it kept me interested to find out what she knew.
There were a lot of things I did love about this book. I loved how where before there had been references to novels now there were references to writing, I especially liked when the characters got lost because of lack of references to who was speaking! I loved Thursday, she was like a softer version of Thursday and it was nice to have a little change, even if it meant the book was more pondering. I loved learning a bit more about the book world, about the politics, about how in joined up and how different areas interacted with each other, supported by the rather intriguing map at the beginning and the quotes from Bradshaw’s Guide to the Bookworld. There was less about the real world too, I always preferred the Bookworld side of the storyline so I liked that. Plus where the real world was included in the story I found it really interesting to see it from a fiction point of view.
Again the end seems to lead on to another Thursday Next novel which makes it seem more series like than it once was. In ways I don’t like that, it somehow makes Thursday Next seem more commercial, but I won’t complain about there being more to come!
As a side note the acknowledgements are well worth the read (I was on the bus when I finished, it’s not usually a section I read). There is a section about what happened while Fforde was writing One of Our Thursdays is Missing which is rather entertaining and makes me like him even more (and no, not just because he’s a fellow mac user!)