Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

After having seen the film from the first in this trilogy, I decided I would read the second of the books to see how the story continues. Thinking back, I decided not to buy the first because I’d already seen the film and this in itself should have told me all I needed to know about purchasing the books.

Meggie is the daughter of Mo, also known as Silvertongue. Both Mo and Meggie have the power to bring characters from books into their world just by reading. After their adventures in the Inkheart, Meggie gets a hankering to see the Inkworld for herself and decides to try and send herself there. However, a somewhat dubious storyteller has already set much evil in motion when he, under orders from Basta, sends Dustfinger back into the Inkworld and so sets a whole train of events in motion. Meggie, in conjunction with the author of the fictional Inkheart book which created the Inkworld, tries to set the story right by steering the story in the direction they think it ought to go. Unfortunately, as things like this often have, there are many unintentional effects which thwart their attempts to force a happy ending.

I was disappointed in the book. I found the characters and setting rather two dimensional and a bit clichéd. At times it was almost like the author was trying too hard to create a world people would fall in love with. In the end, it took me quite a while to finish the book because I just wasn’t motivated to read it. In truth, I should have put it down, but it was expensive (I bought it in a bookshop here, which will break the bank every time) and I don’t believe in not finishing books. It’s silly, I know, but not finishing a book makes me feel like a quitter, so I persevered. Frankly, had I known how this one ended, I would have built a bridge and gotten over my compulsion to read the whole thing. Not that the ending is bad, it’s just not an ending, in that it left the conclusion up to the third and last book of the trilogy – fair play really.

Now we get to my “having said that” phase of my review. Having said all of that, this is a children/young teens book, so I’m not exactly the target audience. I think the target audience would enjoy it much more than I did. Also, I didn’t realize that the original was in German when I bought in English (even though the author’s name did make me wonder a bit), which miffed me because I always prefer to read the original if I can. Although it was well translated as far as I can tell without having read the original, everything always loses something in the translation, so I can’t help but think it would have been better in the original.

I give this one a 3/5 for adults and a 4/5 for its target audience.


Lula O said...

I didn't know this series was originally German. That makes a lot of sense. I'm the same way. If I pay for a book, I'm going to read it no matter what!
I fell asleep during the movie and I thought Brenden Fraser forgot how to act. I heard the first book was better.

Goldengirl said...

The 1st book was marvlous, the second was ok, and the third was good, personally the movie was so much less exciting then the book.