This second installment in the “Thursday Next” series is as fun and funny as the first, and I was delighted to read about Thursday’s continued adventures. In this one, there’s a found Shakespeare play, a lost husband, and several near-death experiences, as well as time travel, travel into various books, and an all-too-brief reappearance of Spike, Swindon’s SpecOps agent dealing with vampires, werewolves, and the undead in general. And in this one, Thursday learns about the world of Jurisfiction: agents focused on protecting literary integrity, much like her own LiteraTec SpecOps division, but from within books rather than outside them. There’s a lot of great detail to do with that side of the plot: Miss Havisham and the Cheshire Cat make appearances, and footnotes figure as a means of communication; Thursday even has an appointment in a Kafka work. There’s great detail in general, actually: at one point Thursday’s at an art exhibition and sees “a model of a matchstick made entirely out of bits of the houses of Parliament” (236), which totally cracks me up. Also: I love Thursday’s whole family, especially her dad but also her uncle and brother and grandma—the latter of whom is 108 years old and at one point explains that she “got mixed up with some oddness” when she was young and “can’t shuffle off this mortal coil” until she’s “read the ten most boring classics” (134)—the only problem being that she can’t figure out which ones they are.

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