Jasper Fforde is one of my favourite authors. He has a whimsical-yet-intellectual type of writing style that keeps you interested even (akin to Douglas Adams). Fforde is, of course, most notable for his Thursday Next series. I wrote Book Reviews for most of the books in that series, beginning with The Eyre Affair. When I was done reading that series (though as I write this post I realize there is a new Thursday Next book out that I absolutely must read), I was itching for more Fforde and so expanded out into his other series, which led me to Shades of Grey 1: The Road to High Saffron.
I had no idea what to expect with this book, but was happy to find that I kept to Fforde’s usual style of witty, charming, and accessible writing mixed with a multitude of literary references (both noticed and unnoticed, I presume). I absolutely enjoyed the characters he created for the book and his ability to develop them in a 3 dimensional way.
The story’s protagonist, Eddie Russet, lives in Chromatica, a world where everything is controlled by the Colortocracy. The entire society is dominated by color, and Eddie’s place in society is dictated the same. Eddie is a ‘Red;’ this means he is only able to see the colour red. This puts him rather low in the Colortocracy; for instance, he cannot turn down an ‘order’ from a ‘Green.’ The plot surrounds Eddie’s encounter with a ‘Grey’ named Jane who’s job is to reveal the underlying corruption in Chromatica, and have him join her side in rebellion.
I enjoyed the book very much, and will definitely be looking to pick up the sequel, whenever it comes out.