What does one expect from a Jasper Fforde novel? For me, it's witty dialogue, clever wordplay, and a well-plotted adventure that keeps you engrossed in the action. The Song of the Quarkbeast certainly fits the criteria.
Thursday Next Jennifer Strange is back, still in control of her powerful wizards through Kazam. Sure, they're still doing things like fixing plumbing, or moving trees around huge estates, but with magic having been democratized and bureaucratized, there's not a whole lot of fantastic magic going on. In fact, when it comes down to a competition between Kazam and iMagic (*ahem*), the competition revolves around the rebuilding of a bridge, with the winner being the team who places the capstone at the middle (Brandon Sanderson this ain't, is what I'm saying). But as the competition draws closer, and the circumstances surrounding iMagic grow muddier, it's up to Jennifer and her wizards to figure out the source of the problem and, of course, how to solve it.
I have yet to read a Jasper Fforde novel that's disappointed me. I thought there was going to be a deus ex machina moment or two near the end of this novel, but I was surprised to realize that Fforde had laid all of the details out earlier in the story, and I just had to wait to see them fulfilled. I shouldn't have doubted him, though; as mentioned above, Fforde's skills include a well-plotted adventure, and this book was certainly so. In fact, the biggest complaint I have about this book is that it isn't the sequel to Shades of Grey. Come on, Fforde! Get it together!