The cons: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde is definately aimed at kids. The plot moves very quickly and characters are surface deep. The pros: Fforde can write and is the king of hilarious asides that bring a load of charm to this read.
Originality: 8. I love alternate histories, and this is alternate history/fantasy. The UK exists but so do dragons. Soda companies still endorse celebrities, but also dragonslayers.
Absurdity: 10. And this is a positive score because this book is supposed to be crazy. It seems Scotland has been roughly replaced with Troll territory (the Troll Wars went badly). Also these gems of crazy:
“The Kingdom of Hereford was unique in the Ununited Kingdoms for having driving tests based on maturity, not age, much to the chagrin of a lot of males, some of whom were still failing to make the grade at thirty-two.”
“Cats aren't really friendly, they're just cozying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction.”
Level of Harry Potterness: 4. While charming, this world reminds me more of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for kids rather than the epic perfection of HP.
If you have not read a book by Fforde this is cute, but I say straight to The Eyre Affaire!