Here we go, one of my fave re-reads coming right up in preparation for FINALLY reading the third book in the series!
Meggie lives a quiet
life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep
secret-- he possesses an extraordinary magical power. One day a
mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who
is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is
involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's
life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?
MY RATING: 5 STARS
My review as posted on GoodReads:
read this book enough times since the first time to see where it has
problems. It drags on where there might have been shortcuts Ms. Funke
could have taken. Most of the characters are a bit two-dimensional with
your typical evil-for-the-sake-of-it villains and
hardly-any-flaws-to-speak-of heroes. If you don't know your classics,
you're going to be blindsided by a slew of vague references to countless
other books you've hardly heard of. And maybe it's something to do with
it being a translation from the original German, but I feel like the
grammar strays a bit in some places...
Anyway, put all that
aside, and I still love this book. The premise is more original than
what I've come across before and since my first time reading this. It's
plenty sinister and still gives me the creeps every now and then. (I
mean, Basta is one nasty fellow!) And Ms. Funke's style is dark without
being heavy, intriguing without being demanding, and genuinely humorous
when the plot could use some cheer. The idea of bringing the characters
in a book out into reality kind of makes you question reality itself, if
you start thinking about it too much. It'll at least change the way you
think of reading aloud. The whole "what if" it brings up is really
Onto the characters! Mo...standard hero, but sparked
my interest in book binding (but that's another story). Meggie...meh,
neutral. She only stands out for me anymore because the reader spends
most of the book riding on her shoulder. She doesn't really act like any
twelve-year-olds I've ever met. I'm plenty bookish myself and have
always been, and it might have given me a bit of a precocious,
smart-aleck turn a time or two, but I was never this full of myself. To
be fair, she's not always like that. There's times when she's just an
ordinary little girl, and I prefer her in those times. Elinor...one of
my favorite characters. It takes awhile to warm up to her, but she's
kind of like Betsy Trotwood. Once she decides to love you, that's the
end of it, and there's nothing she won't do for you. She's quite an
imposing, formidable lady when we first meet her, but she's funny and
tenacious. Dustfinger...favorite, hands down. Whatever he was doing, you
could be sure was interesting. He's neither hero nor villain, so he
pretty much escapes the typecast of both. He goes his own way and
double-deals Mo and Meggie, but he's essentially a good guy, and one of
the more fascinating characters I keep coming back to in any book.
Basta...scary. He's got a knife (when Dustfinger isn't stealing it) and
he loves to use it. Honestly the nastiest character of the book.
Capricorn...bland. We've already got an invulnerable villain with no
personality, thank you very much. His name is Lord Sauron, and he
doesn't need a personality to start with, since he's evil personified,
but unfortunately, Capricorn isn't. He's human. I'd like to have seen
some more human traits in him, but that's me.
Back to the style
of the writing. It's...fragmented in thoughts sometimes, but it still
has an impact on the imagination. Before every chapter there's a neat
little quote from some poem or another book that sets the tone of the
coming chapter; I only bring this up because it helped me FINALLY track
down The Princess Bride
after years and years of searching for it (I still believed the
Morgenstern gimmick up to that point). And I try not to make this an
issue with any book, but the cover is just beautiful.
I didn't expect a sequel, but I was more than ready to read it! No, wait! That's for the next review!
Your humble book nerd,