The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde
3 stars - a four star premise with a somewhat two star execution
ALR Green - cameo by a delightful dodo
It's a cool idea. Literature as the most highly valued thing around. Devotees of various authors forming not only clubs, but entire political movements. Original manuscripts guarded as the most important items on the planet. Now throw in a little time travel, layers and layers of special operations police, and a bad guy who wants to rewrite history by entering books and changing things up and you've got some interesting stuff.
Thursday Next is on the Special Literary Operations task force and her mission is to find and destroy an evil dude who can take on the guise of others, talk people into surrendering their souls, and is in cahoots with the nasty Goliath Corporation. Uh oh. Unfortunately, Thursday's clever Uncle Mycroft has invented a machine which can insert people into books and allow them to change the outcome. Worse still, he can insert people into fanciful writings which hypothesize weapons not yet created and allow them to return with the weapons in hand. After Uncle Mycroft's wife, Polly, is trapped in a Wordsworth poem, his machine becomes the ransom to get her safely back. Then, of course there is Thursday's dad. He's a time traveler who pops in and out of her life by bringing time to a standstill for a few minutes before he is once again away.
Unfortunately, while the seamlessness of all the literature, time travel, special ops, genetically engineered pets and whatnot is top notch, the characters are, sadly, rather bland and uninteresting. So, yes, I did read the entire book, but I don't think I'll read any further in the series. Too bad.