Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review: Reckless

by Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch, read by Elliot Hill
Published 2010 by Listening Library

Jacob Reckless has been travelling to the land through the portal for a long time - he's become sort of famous over there, finding lost treasures. But when his brother Will follows him through, disaster strikes. Will becomes infected and begins to transform into a Goyl - a terrible creature with skin made of stone. Now, Jacob will do anything to save his brother. But it certainly won't be easy.

Okay, I'm starting to think that maybe I just shouldn't read anymore of Funke's books. I read Dragon Rider and thought it was okay. I got halfway through Inkheart and stopped because I hated it so much. And now, I've finished listening to Reckless and I feel incredibly ambivalent about it. The thing that makes me crazy about this situation is that there's a reason why I keep trying to read her books. Every book that Funke has put out has an interesting premise, something that really makes me want to read it. And yet, I've never been satisfied with how the stories work out. In this instance, I found I just didn't care about the story or the characters. The premise sounded cool, and there was the promise of fairy tale lore woven into the story (which was kinda neat when it happened) but then I started listening and Funke just lost me. I couldn't bring myself to be interested in the story. In fact, I'm not entirely sure how it all happened - where is Jacob's father? How did Will get infected? Who exactly is Fox? What happened when Jacob spent two years with that fairy lady? Why are Will and Clara so unaffectionate if they are in love? Doesn't anyone in the real world wonder where they've gone? Additionally, I expected a lot more fairy tale re-imagining throughout the story - or maybe it happened and I just didn't notice because I was so disillusioned with the story. I will say that the reader was pleasant to listen to and did an excellent job of creating different characters with his voice. Unfortunately, this just didn't really work for me and is making me wonder if I should bother to read the ARC I have of her next book.

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