Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 2010
ISBN: 9780316056090
Source: Library (for Cybils)


Jacob Reckless has slipped from his world into the mirror world for years with no real regrets.  But, when his younger brother follows him there, they are met with disaster.  As his brother is being changed by dark magic, Jacob must find a way to reverse the magic, before it is too late for all of them.

Things I Liked:
I really loved the fairy tale aspect of the book.  There were subtle mentions and little parts that felt familiar, because they came from recognizable fairy tales - the magical objects, in particular.  I just loved the way the tales were twisted into the story as if they belonged there.  There was also action and adventure and lots of twists and turns, and no truly happy ending.  There was some of Funke's truly lovely writing as well (though I guess that might be the translator's doing...).  A solid book for fairy tale fans and lovers of Funke's Inkheart books. Some favorite parts:

The night breathed through the apartment like a dark animal.  The ticking of a clock.  The groan of a floorboard as he slipped out of his room.  All was drowned by its silence.  But Jacob loved the night.  He felt it on his skin like a promise.  Like a cloak woven from freedom and danger.  p 1
The second chamber contained Witches' artifacts.  The Chamber of Miracles made no distinction between the healers and the cannibals.  Knives that had separated human flesh from bone lay right next to needles that healed wounds with a single stitch and owl feathers that restored the power of sight.  There were also two of the brooms on which the healing Witches were able to fly as fast and as high as birds, as well as some gingerbread from the deadly houses of their man-eating sisters.  p 345
Things I Didn't Like: 
I read this book for Cybils and all of us agreed it was more suited to an older teen/adult reader.  There was not anything particularly "naughty" but the themes and the way its written seem very mature to me (the characters are nearly all adults, no children).  Jacob is not someone easy to identify with and he's not particularly likable.  Also, mixed in with the lovely writing were some very awkward phrases and sentences.  Kind of hit and miss for me.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke

s-factor: !@
a few here and there

mrg-factor: X
some implied

v-factor: ->->->
definitely some action violence and frightening imagery

Overall rating: ****

  Did you like or dislike this one? What about Funke's other works?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Ah, another book I've purchased and haven't read yet. One day, one day.

  2. I pretty much agree with everything in this review. I enjoyed the story overall, but it felt much darker and more "adult" than her other books. I look forward to the sequels though.

  3. I liked it, too. It does seem to wind around a bit, but rewarding at the end. Definitely more adult, and Jacob is definitely an anti-hero.

  4. Jenny, those poor purchased books - I'm the same way with books I own for some reason :)

    KT, I didn't know there would be sequels!

    Lauren, he's definitely not what you expect from a main character :)

  5. I am pretty sure this is supposed to be the first of a trilogy.

  6. KT, I guess I'll have to keep reading the series then! Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Love Cornelia Funke. Reckless is very similar but also very different from her other books. While Inkheart, Dragon Rider, Thief Lord all are enjoyed by a younger reader, Reckless is definitely for an older teen/young adult.

    1. I completely agree that this one is definitely written for an older crowd!


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