To be honest, I had always intended to read this, but I guess the title was strange enough to make me move it down the to be read list, each time it came up. I finally dived into it and what a treat was in store for me.
How to describe John Sharpe: No. 1,348? Possibly it was the Author herself who summed it up best in the story when she talked about Alice in Wonderland. I guess, for me it is Alice in Wonderland meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - for adults.
As I was reading this, I couldn't help but think that this type of book is exactly why I love Indie Authors. They are fresh, interesting and full of wonderful ideas. This book is the epitome of the classic indie author. I couldn't imagine a legacy publisher going for this book and yet it would be well worth someone taking a chance on Froud.
I loved the style this was written in, especially the little asides to the reader, sort of like a narrator shot to the camera, in a movie. I've seen this done before, but not as well as Froud does it in this book.
The tale itself is a mishmash of fairy tales, but centers on the premise that there were two evolutionary paths of man, many eons ago. Eventually, one of these paths (the smarter ones) removed themselves from the "overworld" and created an "underworld" for them to live in. The humans left in overworld apparently are now devolving back to their ancestral roots (perhaps an astute observation by the author), whereas those in the Underworld continue to evolve.
The story of the hunt for the real John Sharpe (the Underworld's Queen's son, who was banished to the Overworld, years earlier) is told in a fun, conversational style. I found it incredibly refreshing and enjoyable to read. There was the odd occasion when I felt the little explanatory asides were beginning to get patronizing, but I could easily forgive that as the read was so much fun.
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a bit of a laugh or cheering up. The humor is very British, which as a colonial, I got and loved. This is a fun, light, read and just what the doctor ordered.
Five stars all the way for me. Well done Ms. Froud!