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Publisher: CappelenDamm ( Norwegian Publisher) Pages: 352 Source: Review copy sent as part of a Norwegian blog tour
" 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. Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, master storyteller Cornelia Funke introduces a lush, enchanting world where fantasy meets reality. Reckless is a thrilling adventure, a tale of heroism and loyalty, filled with danger, mystery, and magic--with fairy tales and legends re-imagined as never before."
Background: Cornelia Funke is a German author, and is currently residing in Los Angeles, USA. She has been writing for children since the 1980s. Her best known series in the Inkheart Trilogy. Funke has received many awards for her work and was named one of th most influential people of 2005 by Time Magazine. "Reckless" is her newest novel, and the book is inspired by the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. It is the first book in a planned series.
The Story: For many years, Jacob Reckless have been visiting the Mirrorworld. He has travelled a lot, met many dangers and found artifacts we have read about in the old fairytales. Now he is about to make another journey, and this time it is personal. Will, his younger brother, is about to be turned into a Goyl - a human being with a skin of stone. Jacob must try to reverse this process, before it is to late. Clara, Will's girlfriend, and Fox is accompanying them on their journey.
Main Character: Jacob Reckless is the main character in this book. He is daring, seeks adventure and is something of a rebel. He cannot stay at a place for to long, but is always in need of experiencing new stuff. And he likes the taste of fear, because when he is scared he is able to forget other feelings. He is deeply affected by the loss of his father. His father disappeared when Jacob was a young boy and Jacob misses him a lot.
It seems to me that Funke has spent most of her time creating the details of the Mirrorworld, instead of developing the characters in this book. Jacob is not described very well, we never get to the core of who he really is and what he actually is feeling inside. He also lacks a bit of motivation.
The Book: "Reckless" is a marvellous book that is hard to put down. It reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia, where the main characters also visit another world. The Mirrorworld is home to a lot of strange creatures. You have a man that seems like a copy of Freddy Krûger, you have witches and fairies and off course Goyls, to name a few.
There is a lot of references to wellknown fairytales in the story. You will recognize Hansel & Grethel, Sleeping Beauty and many more.
"Reckless" is an ambitious novel, and Funke is not able to land the story properly. Some of the scenes are a bit hastily written: we read about a dramatic event, but before we get the chance to dwell on what has actually happened, we are thrust into another dramatic scene. The book has a too rapid progression and it only scrapes the surface.
That said: "Reckless" was a good read. I enjoyed the book, and when I started reading, it was hard to put it down. I finished ii in one sitting. I think the book will appeal mostly to teens, boys and girls, aged 12 - 18.
I also liked the use of illustrations in the book.