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December 5, 2012

Book Review - The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is a rather unique author. His tales are usually quite outlandishly funny and creative, be it his Thursday Next series of books (where characters can go in and out of novels, interacting with the characters in them and possibly messing up how they read) or his Nursery Crimes books with Detective Jack Spratt. I never fail to laugh at his books, even when some of the jokes fall flat (not many of them do).

His stories definitely fall into the "absurd" category, so you may have to check one out to see if it's to your taste. I, however, love them.

It's wonderful when authors try something new, though, and Fforde has done so with The Last Dragonslayer.

Don't get me wrong. It's still a hilariously funny story with a storyline that always walks the edge of making you roll your eyes but never quite ends up doing so. But it's actually a young adult book with a 15-year-old protagonist who's not precocious. She's had to do a lot of growing up in her 15 years, so she does feel older than she actually is, though she's sometimes reminded rather harshly that she is still quite young.

It's a fantastic book with a lot of hilarious commentary on modern society, such as the 24-hour news cycle and sensationalism, as well as the endorsement culture where companies try very hard to cash in on somebody's sudden celebrity.

My review of the book has now posted on Curled Up With a Good Book.

From the review:
"The Last Dragonslayer takes place in a world where magic is fairly commonplace—or at least it used to be. Modern technology seems to be worming its way into places where magic used to be the sole option. It's cheaper to use drain cleaner than a spell. Also, magic's power has been weakening over the years.

A young foundling named Jennifer Strange is running Kazam, an employment agency for magicians whose powers are growing weaker and weaker all the time. Then the visions start coming. The last dragon in the world will be dying shortly. Sunday at noon, actually.

Who will kill it? The vision isn't clear, but it will fulfill a prophecy that reaches back over four hundred years. That is, unless Jennifer can do something about it."
Do you like funny novels, or do you find the more serious ones more to your liking?

Let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, check out this book, or something else by Fforde. If you want some suggestions, I'd be happy to pass some along.


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