Sunday, January 3, 2010

Book Review: Shades of Grey

Whenever people ask me my favorite author, Jasper Fforde always springs to mind. His Thursday Next series is hilarious and imaginative and I’m even a fan of his Nursery Crime books. So when he has a new book out, it’s a big deal for me. Shades of Grey is the start of a radically new series. It’s so new that I still have difficulty describing it.

Okay so in the future, it’s really oppressive. Something has happened and colors are all goofy. Or people’s perceptions of colors are off, I’m still a bit unsure. Basically there’s a new class system dependent on the percentage of a certain color you can see. Those who can only see purple are higher ranked than those who can only see red and so on. Eddie Russet, who can see red very well, is content just going with the flow. Not questioning why they stopped making spoons or why the number 73 is outlawed. Until he meets a feisty Grey named Jane.

I’m usually not a fan of dystopian futures, but this one is definitely one I haven’t seen before. Fforde proves his imagination can kick my imagination’s ass every day of the week. Despite occasionally being confused about the world, I became surprisingly invested in the central characters. This really seems to be an evolution in Fforde’s character design. The back of the book says this will be a trilogy and it’s clear Fforde is being patient with the plotting. I predict this will end up being a really interesting set.

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