Early Riser – Jasper Fforde

Cover image of 'Early Riser'
Early Riser – Jasper Fforde

I have always enjoyed Mr Fforde’s novels – they’re quirky, clever, witty and fun. We have even read the Dragon Slayer series as a family – we are desperately waiting for the next one.

Here is the blurb …

Every Winter, the human population hibernates. 

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite. 

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it’s unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it’s weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren’t eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you’ll be fine.

I did enjoy this although I though it was a tad too long (I am thinking that about a lot of books lately, so it could be me).

This is very quirky – humans hibernate (to avoid the terrible winters) and in order to survive the winter hibernation they need to bulk up (and they get a winter coat of hair/fur). There is a drug they can take to help with the hibernation (and to stop them dreaming, which uses too many calories and they might not make it to spring), but it has risks. Some people become ‘nightwalkers’ (essentially zombies – they even like to eat people). Add in a novice winter consul (our hero), a shady corporation, strange weapons and Wintervolk and you have a swashbuckling adventure story with lots of fun along the way.

More reviews …

From tor.com – this one was great, what I thought, but expressed much more eloquently.


Kirkus Reviews 

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