I have mixed feelings about “And Another Thing… ”. For one thing, it is hard to recreate the magic of a classic like H2G2 – the five-part trilogy. On the other hand, Eoin Colfer has enough experience of weird characters and crazier situations from his Artemis Fowl series.
The “part 6 of 3” starts almost exactly where “Mostly Harmless” ended. The Guide Mark II has lured Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, Trillion and their daughter Random back to earth, in order for the Vogons to finish their paperwork, once and for all. Just as Prostetnic Jeltz is ready to check the last box in the form, they are rescued, quite improbably (once again). But this time, there is more than just “Heart of Gold” involved.
Unfortunately, Prostetnic Jeltz has found that there are more just these few humans from earth around, and he is on their way to finish the other survivors as well. Meanwhile, Zaphod needs to go to Asgard with a job for one of his old buddies (if he can remember the reason, of course). Meanwhile, Vogons may have on board a traitor. Or worse, a vogon who is developing conscious.
Right from the start, the book gets into a similar, but not quite the same tone as the original series. Some of the old (and lesser) characters and storylines come to the fore, while many well-beloved characters are missing from action this time around.
While Zaphod arriving to save Arthur Dent from a planetary destruction is the same old story, Nano’s quest for a God has no parallel in the original. The sulky but ambitious teeanager Random Dent gets a lot bigger role in this one. Won’t be a wonder if there is a book plotting Random’s rise to power next.
As I said, the tone of the book is somewhat similar to the original series, with crazy situations involving Arthur Dent in trouble intermingled with the froody entries from The Guide. The Guide notes come thick and fast, and sometimes feel like a bit too much. But then again, most notes involve weird deaths and genocides, so it is all fun (I know I sound like a sociopath, but you haven’t read the book yet.)
As a continuation of a classic by different author, It is hard to judge what was bent to confirm to the series, and how much is Colfer’s own creation. Which is why I am not entirely sure how the book stands as a continuation of the series. Plus, there are certain storylines and references which you will certainly miss if this is your introduction to the series, or you are reading the book as a stand-alone. Still, even keeping nostalgia aside, I would surely recommend the book, both to the fans of the series and newcomers.
Quote of the Day:
Stop talking right now, Earthman. The word tea has been flagged. The last time you asked for tea, you backed up the entire system during an alert.
– Left Brain