a novel engineer (jawastew) wrote in bookish,
a novel engineer

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Eddie Russet has plans--big plans. He has a higher-than-average red perception, is developing an advance system of queueing, and is on half promise to Constance Oxblood, even if his poetry is a bit unimaginative. In Chromatacia where society is ranked according to their perception of color, Eddie, as a red, could do with moving up the spectrum. Although his poetry isn’t winning her over, Constance and the Oxblood family are eager to strengthen their hue. A marriage to Eddie would be socially secure. But Eddie’s plans quickly change when he’s relocated with his father to East Carmine, a city on the Outer Fringes. For Eddie, it’s an opportunity to conduct a chair census and learn some humility; for his father, it’s a temporary position to replace the loss of the town’s color swatchman.

Fearful he’ll lose out to Roger Maroon for Constance’s hierarchal affections, Eddie’s completely preoccupied until he meets Jane, a rebellious Grey who, as a Grey, doesn’t even have a place on the scale. Ironically, it’s Jane who opens Eddie’s perceptions to a side of the Colortocracy he’s never thought of before and introduces him to doubt. Now Eddie begins to go against 20 years of indoctrination by questioning the rules and regulations intended to enforce a predictable, simplistic, and complacent lifestyle. Will he discover the “Something That Happened,” make it to High Saffron, or conform to social norms and marry into a family with an acceptable hue, all while avoiding the Mildew?

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Tags: genre: science fiction, review, xxx author last name: a-h

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