‘Shades of Grey’ is the story of Edward Russett who lives in a future society called ‘Chromatacia’,created after the collapse of our own future society, which is known as ‘The Previous’, all life is run by ‘The Rules’ which were laid down by Munsell, the man who founded ‘Chromatacia’. The ability to see colour is of the up most of importance in Chromatacia, which can be limited in most people to different degrees of colour, Red or at most two colours. People who do not have the ability to see colour are known as Greys and are the lowest in the social order, which is known as Colourtocracy. Everyone at the age 20 must complete their Ishihara (the test for colour blindness) to find out what percentage of colour they can see, once the Ishihara completed, the individual is now part of the collective of Chromatacia.
Edward Russett is a Red, his parents were Reds and he can see Red but it has not been confirmed how much and is about to take his Ishihara to find out when he sent to East Carmine to complete a chair census, a punishment for playing a practical joke on a prefect’s son. Edward and his father Holden, go to East Carmine as Holden is also the holiday relief Swatchman (instead of treating his patients with medication, he treats them with swatches of colour). What begins as a chair census turns into something entirely different when Edward meets Jane, a Grey, with a cute nose and a fierce temper, who is more aware of the world than Edward has ever been, and the more time that Edward spends with Jane and in East Carmine, the more he finds out, everything is not as straightforward as Edward originally thought.
What I thought of ‘Shades of Grey’ ~
I love The Thursday Next series also by Jasper Fforde, it was with some trepidation when I began reading ‘Shades of Grey’, I was very used to Thursday and her world and I did not know what to expect with ‘Shades of Grey’. I am glad to say that I loved Edward’s world as much as Thursday’s, ‘Shades of Grey’ has more of a scientific approach and a very different take on the dystopia genre, which I found refreshing and I think other readers will too.
As always, Jasper Fforde sense of humour runs through the book and there is many laugh out moments, all of the characters are written well and have strong personalities, they have their own quirks and ideas of the world, and Edward’s reaction to them goes from bemusement to outright hilarity, which I loved reading.
A definite must read for Jasper Fforde fans and for any new fans out there.
I am looking forward to Book 2 of the series ~ ‘Shades of Grey: Painting by Numbers’.
Rating ~ 10/10
Reviewed by Weave (Paula Mc)