Mittwoch, 24. Februar 2016

[Review] Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Price: € 14,45
Page count: 432
Language: English



'Part social satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, Shades of Grey tells of a battle against overwhelming odds. In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own color—but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means.

Eddie's world wasn't always like this. There's evidence of a never-discussed disaster and now, many years later, technology is poor, news sporadic, the notion of change abhorrent, and nighttime is terrifying: no one can see in the dark. Everyone abides by a bizarre regime of rules and regulations, a system of merits and demerits, where punishment can result in permanent expulsion.

Eddie, who works for the Color Control Agency, might well have lived out his rose-tinted life without a hitch. But that changes when he becomes smitten with Jane, a Grey Nightseer from the dark, unlit side of the village. She shows Eddie that all is not well with the world he thinks is just and good. Together, they engage in dangerous revolutionary talk.' (Source: goodreads)

My opinion

I have not heard a lot about Jasper Fforde I have to admit, but what I have heard has always been very good. When I spotted this book in a second-hand bookstore I could not pass it by although I knew almost nothing about it.

Then I started reading it and I fell in love with Fforde's writing style and the level of imagination and creativity that he managed to put into this. 
The society in this dystopian world is built on colour, more specifically which colour and how much of it someone is able to see. The system is called Colortocracy, putting Greys (cannot perceive any kind of colour) at the bottom and Purples at the top of the hierarchy.  
But colour doesn't only determine the social order, but can also be used to heal illnesses or kill.

All the details in the worldbuilding was quite confusing for me even though the information is revealed slowly but still, I think I missed a lot and I would have to read the book multiple times.

I could not identify myself with the protagonist Eddie at first but I liked him more and more as the story progressed because there is a great development of his character in this first book already, more than some authors manage in a whole series.
Also the other characters were very interesting and I liked that Jasper Fforde includes so many layers of personality in all of his characters, even the not so important ones. 

This book is the first in a trilogy which means that the story does not end here but the ending in this book was fantastic! Considering the fact that the second book is still not announced (after almost 7 years!!) I was very relieved not to find a massive cliffhanger here. But it is depressing to see all the other book series which Fforde is constantly continuing while he seems to ignore this brilliant trilogy most shamefully.



This book is absolutely amazing and I can only recommend it even though nobody can say when we will finally see the sequel. It is very worth it to read it even when the second one will never come out (which I hope will not happen, of course).
And for my German readers: Jasper Fforde - Grau :)


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