It's a darned good thing that Thursday Next isn't showing any signs of wanting to slow down, because her life seems to get more and more complicated with each eagerly awaited installment of this brilliant series.
First of all, the Special Operations Network has been disbanded, but that minor detail hasn't stopped Thursday and her colleagues from doing what they do best. Under the cover of a flourishing carpeting company, business continues as usual, except now it's strictly hush-hush. Thursday is also secretly working at Jurisfiction, and a large portion of this book deals with her exploits in the BookWorld.
In the real world, Thursday hasn't yet told her husband that she does more than sell carpets. Her son Friday is a typical rebellious teenager, who flat out refuses to join the ChronoGuard, plays rock guitar and never, ever appears before lunchtime, his sister Tuesday is a math genius, and the other sibling Jenny promises to be the most normal of the lot.
Between training un-trainable apprentices, wheeling and dealing with the Cheese mafia, sorting out the Moral Dilemma, finding the missing comedy from the Thomas Hardy novels and vanquishing demons, time is running out for Thursday to figure out how to save the world, with or without the help of lazy Friday. Add the Minotaur, Aornis Hades, Goliath's latest project, and ghostly visitations from her Uncle Mycroft, and you get an idea of the roller coaster ride that is "First Among Sequels".
The unkindest cut of all however, is the plan to remake classic works into interactive novels, similar in principle to the dreaded Reality TV. It's all up to Thursday Next, and if she fails, you'll soon be glued to your television watching a Bennet sister getting voted out of Pride and Prejudice.
A final warning to fans of this series - after reading this you may suffer acute withdrawal symptoms while waiting for the next installment.
Rated: 4.5 stars