Review - Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Title: Early Riser

Author: Jasper Fforde

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Release Date: 2nd August 2018

Source: Own Copy

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

Considering the way the world is at the point in time I quite happily hibernate for a while, wake up when things have hopefully gone back to normal.

Early Riser is set in alternative UK, Wales to be exact where every year at winter the population hibernates.  They snuggle down in dormitoriums, which basically are very tall buildings full of the sleeping masses minded over by the hardy souls who work during the freezing winter.

Winter can make you mad, it can mess with your mind and of course it can simply just kill you, but none of that is putting off Charlie “Wonky” Worthing, he joins the Winter Consuls, a group whose jobs is making sure winter goes smoothly and of course to stay alive.

One of the consuls jobs is herding the Nightwalkers, these are people who have went in to hibernation but the hibernation drug has really messed their mind up and they are in a zombified state.  They aren’t usually killed (straight away anyway), they are taken to do menial tasks such as road sweeping and driving carts.  Charlie Worthing’s first task as a consul is to take a Nightwalker to the notorious Sector 12 on his way he learns of people having dreams, something that just doesn’t happen anymore, can he find the answer in Section 12, quite possibly but this is a Jasper Fforde book, he isn’t going to have an easy ride.

I really enjoyed this book, Jasper Fforde books are generally bonkers and this one is no exception, they always bamboozle me a little too with many colourful characters and clever info to take in that I usually have to read them more than once to properly appreciate the bonkersness, that is the case with this book, this is my second read of it!

If you long to escape this world and hang about in a winter setting filled with labouring zombies, strange dreams, crazy folk tales and a shed load of snow then this is for you.



  1. Okay so this was not what I was expecting based on the cover and title alone and yet I'm extremely intrigued by the premise of this book and how much you seemed to enjoy it. Might just have to read it for myself! Thanks for sharing your review. :)

  2. Yes to the snow and zombie bit but not too sure of the rest of it!

  3. "Bonkersness" is a fabulous word to describe Fforde's writing! 😂

    1. Some times I fail to find words for his book, they are beyond description!

  4. I loved this one! Great review. :)

  5. I have in mind to read his Tuesday Next series, the plot idea is irresistible :)


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