Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Title: Reckless
Author: Cornelia Funke
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure, fairytale
Perfect for: those in the mood for a 'grimm fairytale' type read!

Taken from Goodreads:
"For years, Jacob Reckless has been secretly disappearing to another world, a world behind a mirror, a world for which his father abandoned his family. The mirror world is Jacob's escape from reality. It's a place for treasure hunts and magnificent quests. A world where witches haunt the forests and giants and dwarfs roam. A world locked in a deadly war.  Jacob's secret seems safe, until one day his younger brother Will follows him, with disastrous consequence. Faced with a curse that is quickly turning Will to stone, the Reckless brothers are thrust into a race against time to find a cure before Will is lost forever. "
Let me tell you first that 'Inkheart' is one of my favorite books.   I wanted to be as charmed with 'Reckless' as I was 'Inkheart', but was left slightly disappointed.  This is an odd review to write for me, as I'm on the fence about 'Reckless'.

Let me start with what I loved about 'Reckless'.  The charm of this novel comes firstly from the characters.  Funke has a great intuition for what makes characters likable and complete.  The title character Jacob Reckless, the troubled boy who misses his father and feels he must take care of his family in said fathers place, is likable from the get go.  That's an amazing feet because he isn't Harry Potter or Bobby Pendragon.  Jacob has flaws, flaws that could have made him unlikable, but don't due to Funke's great writing.  Brother Will is also an interesting character, even if we don't see him very often.  Finishing up the trifecta is Clara, Will's girlfriend.  I'd like to know more about Clara.  She's strong and brave, though obviously put off kilter by the mirrorworld she finds herself in and the adventure she finds herself on.  Her interactions with Jacob are great.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Clara and Jacob turns out...

The other thing I love about this title is the setting.  The fairy tale like world that lies beyond the mirror is a place where I imagine anything could happen.  It leaves a lot of openings for different story arcs to come about.  'Reckless' is a dark tale, very Brothers Grimm.  It's a new style for most who are used to the 'Inkheart' trilogy, but, you know what?  Funke did dark well!

What I didn't like so much about the book was the story.  I know that's a weird thing to say.  I like bits of the story, but as a whole it was not my favorite thing about 'Reckless'.  There's lots of action and adventure, but it all came across a bit rushed.  A lot happens in 'Reckless'.  Have you ever seen one of those movies that starts off with some big action packed event and never lets up?  That's how 'Reckless' stuck me.  I really wanted a rest period for the trio.  I'm not a huge fan of titles that are bogged down with action, action, action, especially when they're in a place that is new and fantastical.  I like having an idea of the world I'm reading about before a troll attacks or whatever the case may be.

The biggest question I was left with after finishing this book?  Simple.  Is this the first book in a series?  Should I expect a sequel?  There are lots of unanswered questions in 'Reckless'.  I am really hoping for a sequel.  Even though the story got bogged down a bit in this novel, I want to know what happens to Jacob, Will and Clara.  Well, mostly Jacob and Clara, but it seems they come as a trio.

I recommend this title.  It's very different than what you might be used to reading from Funke, but it's definitely worth a look!


La Coccinelle said...

Thanks for the review! You know, I could never get into Inkheart. I don't know why. Maybe I should give it another try someday (or maybe I should read this book)...

Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) said...

I loved Inkheart as well, but I never read any of the sequels. Don't know why, I really should finish those up. Still, this synopsis sounds interesting.

It's kind of disappointing how we end up loving a series by a particular author and then go on to read another and it just doesn't live up. I recently had that happen to me with one of my favorite authors. Oh well, I'll still keep reading her books. :D

In the Closet With a Bibliophile