12) Inkheart

Book One of the Inkheart Trilogy

By: Cornelia Funke

Date Finished: 07.12.12

By: Cornelia Funke

“One may argue, of course, over whether or not stupidity is a crime deserving of death.  I think it is, for it can have exactly the same consequences as treachery.”

This book takes the relationship between the reader, author, and characters to a whole new level as a few individuals can literally bring characters to life.  Unfortunately for Mo, this gift is virtually impossible to control, and he draws out some nasty characters.  The story begins nine years later, when these villains catch up with Mo and his daughter, Meggie.

I was most fascinated by the relationships.  Meggie, the main character, is a twelve year old girl who gets swept up in an adventure.  This is not unusual for the genre, but her closest companion is her father, which is quite rare.  Along the way they pick up allies, as one does on an adventure, to include mostly adult comrades.  A typical story would separate the child from their parent(s) and have them befriend other children.  Indeed, Meggie and Mo do spend much of the story apart, fulfilling Meggie’s need to be her own hero, but Mo himself is a central character.  The supporting cast is distinct and intriguing and generally well-developed (the bad guys less than the good guys).

In addition to the unique relationships, the book has a great concept, a good plot, lots of action, but still leaves something to be desired.  I don’t say that to be cliché; I don’t know quite what that “something” is.  Some annoyances:

1) Point of view jumping.  For several chapters, everything is from Meggie’s point of view, then out of the blue we’re in someone else’s head.  All the “good guys” get at least one in their honor, with Meggie taking the chapters in between.  Not the worst point of view jumping I’ve experienced, but still awkward.

2) Beginning-of-chapter quotes.  Funke uses quotes from classics to kick off each chapter, but they are long and difficult to understand out of context.  Personally, I recognized only the Narnia quotes, and still had trouble interpreting those.

3) Wordiness.  Now my all-time favorite author is quite wordy, so I hesitate to list this as a complaint, but Funke’s lengthy descriptions do not contribute to the plot.  The overabundance tends to weigh down the action rather than support it.

Everything about the story should have suited me, but it never drew me in.  I put it down one night and didn’t pick it up again for over a month.

At the end of the day: Not for me : (

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