Book Review: Reckless

Mirrorworld (#1)
Cornelia Funke
Adult Fantasy Fiction
Little Brown Books
14th September, 2010

Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies--most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl--a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.

Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell--before it's too late.

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How can I even express my disappointment? In Cornelia Funke. In the book. In the fact that the story had so much potential. I mean, come on. The setting is amazing, and it sounded amazing and I was so excited to read this book. After all Inkheart had stolen MY heart. Immediately. And my thoughts were YES another world, another book to whisk me away from reality.

So I suppose you want to know what I did not like about this book – because it wasn’t the story. The story was amazing. If it had been told better…well I am sure that my eyes would have been glued to the page. Alas, this was not the case. The narrative felt flat. Also little miss Funke threw me into the story and I started out with thoughts like WHERE AM I? WHO IS JACOB? WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE JEEPERS IS GOING ON? I was so confused! And then there was the mirror, and suddenly Jacob was grown up, and his brother was grown up and there were so many things that could have been amazing, but weren’t. The main reason: I had absolutely NO connection to the characters. I knew that Jacob and Will’s father was missing. I knew that they were brothers. That is pretty much it.

Reckless Kitty

So there they are in this Mirrorworld, and all at once Will is turning to stone and Jacob has a weird second narrative in his head. Oh yeah and Will is hopelessly in love with Clara, who suddenly appears with absolutely no mention before the fact. SO CONFUSING. SO anyways. I could not connect to the characters, because Miss Funke wouldn’t let me. At times it felt like a play by play. He opened the latch. Then there were lizards. The lizards were brown. The brown lizards jumped. (For the record, I made that up, but that is pretty much what it felt like.) There were no FEELS in the writing. Don’t get me wrong, the characters had feelings, but I was just kept faaaar away from them. The writing felt cold and distant, as if a detached third party were telling it, who did not care about them at all, and did not care about what was happening.

Now that I have started the series, I must finish. I already have the other two books. But at this point I am just hoping that Cornelia gets more in tune with her characters as the story goes on.


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