Sunday, June 10, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Inkheart - Cornelia Funke)

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 review as posted on GoodReads:

I've 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 pretty cool.

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. 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,

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