For Jacob Reckless, the real world holds nothing but heartache and trouble. He hates it. But in the Mirrorworld, he can escape all of that and live a life of adventure and danger. But one fateful day Jacob's younger brother Will follows him, and when an accident starts turning Will into a monster, Jacob has to abandon his usual life in the Mirrorworld and save him. Before it's too late. The Mirrorworld holds thousands of dangers not even the Brothers Grimm could dream up, but with the help of Clara - Will's true love - and a young vixen named Fox, Jacob may just succeed.
Cornelia's new masterpiece kept me turning the pages. The Mirrorworld is like a land populated with darker versions of classic fairy tales. And of course, Cornelia also populates this world with her own original creatures. As usual, her writing style is fluid and very vivid, conjuring up a world that only children are able to see. But Cornelia brings back that childhood feeling to her older Readers, making it an enjoyable read for anyone.
For those who loved her Inkworld Trilogy - Reckless will not disappoint. The Mirrorworld is as rich as the Inkworld - and just as fantastic. I really do love Cornelia's fairy-worlds; they possess the classic style of old German fairy tales. For this story, Cornelia did something a little different. While her other characters and places in previous books took on Italian names, this one had German-like names. Also, the Mirrorworld has taken on the technology and fashion of the early-to-middling Victorian era. You wouldn't think that dwarves and trolls and fairies would fit into an era like that, but Cornelia does a remarkable job with what is usually paired with medieval times, and putting it into a more modern era. I certainly never thought ogres and seven-league boots fit in with trains and factories.
The characters themselves are both enduring and frustrating - but not to a bad degree. Will's undying trust in Jacob can be a little irksome, but it is hard to fault him for it. At first, Clara threatened to be a useless tag-along who can't do anything, but she turns out to be brave and tries to help as much as she can. Fox was my favorite - she was the most sensible and kept everyone on track.
And now Jacob . . . I will admit that he wasn't nearly as annoying as I was expecting him to be. He thinks only of his brother the entire time of their quest, constantly blames himself for what happened, and is overall trying to do what's right. The times he messes up are not due to any true recklessness on his part. There are some things that just can't be stopped. Even the most experienced adventurer runs into trouble now and then. Really, what was most annoying about him was his womanizing.
No, he does not - thank goodness - chase after every girl and flirt 24/7. Nor does he always go on about his good looks, how no girl can resist him, etc. But there are plenty of alludements to his past relationships - most of which the book seems to hint eventually led to intercourse of the most intimate kind. There is actually a scene in the book that - though hinted at in the most delicate words and in as few as possible - it is clear what he and the woman are doing. It's really hard to like a character when they act so dishonorably. And Jacob is likeable in every other way! Very frustrating.
Reckless by Cornelia Funke is just as good as her other books. It's dark - there are instances that will scare younger Readers, especially when the Tailor appears - and there are more sexual alludements than I would like to find in a kid's book. They would go over a younger Reader's head, for Cornelia is never explicit, but it is something to keep in mind if you're considering reading it out loud to a kid. Other than that, it's exciting and a quick read. And judging by the way it ends, there may be a sequel in the future.
Star Rating: 4/5 (really liked it)
Others in The Mirrorworld Trilogy:
Others in The Mirrorworld Trilogy: