15th December 2018
Jasper Fforde’s new novel, seemingly a stand-alone tale, explores the question “What if humans hibernated?” through an exploration of a complex world from the point of view of a young novice who is enlisted to remain awake through the winter to help look after society during the frozen months.
There’s a lot of reminiscences of Fforde’s previous novels - the dystopia is milder than in Shades of Grey, and the fantasy milder than in the Dragonslayer series, but all have a common feel and this makes the narrative a comfortable one to slip into.
The characters are fascinating and compelling, with some very novel ideas added into the mix. The world is incredibly rich and I love how much thought Fforde has clearly put into exploring how a society might have evolved differently given a seemingly small change in its starting conditions.
Shades of Grey remains my favourite Fforde novel, but this makes its way into second place. I don’t know why everyone isn’t reading it.