December 13, 2012
Concerning Character: Jennifer Strange is an intriguing individual—born a foundling, now the de facto head of a magical talent agency for aging sorcerers afraid of obsolescence in the face of technology. However, for my taste, the book didn't give me quite enough depth of character—despite being written in first person, I felt like I didn't have a very strong sense of the narrator. She acted, she reacted, but her emotions and even her thoughts about her own self and her past were a bit of a mystery. Nevertheless, it's quite a fun, fast-paced read, and being the first in a series, presumably we'll get to know Jennifer a bit more over the course of future books. Oh. And I love the Quarkbeast. That is all.
Recommended for Fans Of...: Not unlike Monday's review, if you like books about orphans or foundlings who have a great destiny to fulfill, particularly if those books have a slightly off-kilter sense of humor (like the books of Terry Pratchett, perhaps) then you'll want to check this one out.
Themes & Things: This book's pretty much got all the themes a good adventure should—friendship and betrayal, mysterious doings and shocking revelations, and lots of rushing about from one catastrophe to the next. And because it takes place in a sort of alternate present, it's got plenty of fun and unique elements that make it stand out from your average fantasy. For instance, Jennifer may live in a world with magic, but they've also got TV. So when something like, oh, a prophecy of the last remaining dragon's death gets broadcast on every psychic wavelength, rest assured that it's going to mean a big media circus, too. Very wry and funny, with a nice twist at the end.
Review Copy Source: Library.
You can find The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde online, or at an independent bookstore near you!