Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke (ARC)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke (ARC)

by Andye

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031605609X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316056090

For years, Jacob Reckless has been escaping to another world--a world behind the mirror, where witches haunt the forests and fairies and dwarfs roam. A world for treasure hunts and magnificent quests--but also a world locked in a deadly war.

Jacob's secret seems safe, until one day his younger brother Will follows him, to 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 one of them is lost forever.

Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, master storyteller Cornelia Funke introduces a lush, enchanting landscape of fairy tales and legends re-imagined as never before. Reckless is a thrilling adventure and a tale of heroism, filled with danger, mystery, and above all, magic.

For ten-year-olds?  I don't think so!

I picked this book up at ALA 10 for my ten-year-old daughter.  I got it signed for her and everything.  She loved the Inkheart series and was really excited to start reading it, but after about 15 pages, she brought it to me and said, "I don't understand what's happening, this book makes no sense."  So, I told her that I'd read it, and try to explain it to her.  I am SO glad that I started this book....for two reasons.  First, my ten-year-old is not ready for it.  There was way too much bone-chilling creepiness, and there was also quite a lot of adult innuendo (the main character is 24) that she either wouldn't understand, or shouldn't be reading at ten.

The second reason is that I REALLY liked it a lot!!  Unfortunately, if she hadn't brought it to me, I don't know that I would have ever picked it up, which makes me sad because I'm afraid that people who would love it, won't read it because it's marked (presently anyway) for 9-12 year olds.

So, why did I like this book so much?  It was like The Lord of the Rings crossed with The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.  I loved reading about the world behind the mirror!  There were witches, and fairies, and dwarfs, and creepy stone creatures called Goyl.  Then there were familiar fairy tale characters like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (who was still sleeping because her prince never came for her).  The story changes perspective several times as it is told by many different points of view, including Jacob, a loner who finds his place in this alternate world,  Jacob's loyal female companion and shape-shifter, Fox, Jacob's brother, Will, who is rapidly turning into a Goyl, Will's fiery girlfriend, Clara, Hentzau, the captain of the evil Goyl King's army, and a few others.  Though I think it might be confusing for younger readers, I thoroughly enjoyed reading from all these points of view.  It was even interesting reading from the villain's outlook!

The creepy-factor was big in this book, too.  If you're a fan of the Brothers Grimm or Tim Burton type movies, you will definitely appreciate the bizarre, and eerily terrifying creatures in Reckless.  Some of them seriously gave me chills.  "The Tailor"....that's all I'm saying.

I loved everything about this mystical world that Cornelia Funke twisted to make her own.  I never knew what was going to happen next, or what creature they would encounter on their quest to free Will from the flesh-eating stone that was consuming him.  The only complaint that I have is that I wish that we were able to get to know the characters a little better.  I didn't feel like I got to know Jacob, or Will very well, which made it hard for me to care as much about what happened to them.  Hopefully they will be fleshed out a little more in the next book which I can't wait to read!  I hope that you won't let the age recommendation keep you from this book, and I hope you'll love it as much as I did.

Reckless is an Epic adventure with a creepy twist on all the Fairytales we know and love.  "If you're looking for happily ever after, you've come to the wrong place."

5 out of 6

Reckless is set to release Sept. 14, 2010.  Check out the book trailer here.

I received a second Advanced Limited Edition Hardback copy of Reckless which I will be adding to the Second Hand Saturday shelf next week!  Be sure to enter next week to win!  

Parents need to know:  This book contains a lot of creepy characters, and a some pretty serious violence (like shooting people in the head, and creatures that tear off human flesh), there's also quite a bit of implied but never detailed sexual content.  For more info, check out Reckless on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. This was a great review. I am not a huge Cornelia Funke fan, but I really want to read this after your review. I felt the same way about The Knife of Never Letting Go--it is marked it for kids and teens because the main characters are so young, but I think adults would get more out of it than younger readers! I will look forward to entering your contest for a chance to win a copy!

  2. Really good review. I'm going to have to look for it. Sounds like my type of book.

    I think it's hard to find books for kids around that age. My younger brother is eight and he's starting to want to read "older books". Trouble is that he's in a hard age group to buy for. So these reviews likes these are really helpful in terms of figuring out what to get for him to read. ^^


  3. Thank you for an informative interview! When I saw the cover last week I got so excited for her new book I just assumed it was all about happiness! Still, I'm a huge Funke fan and know I'd love it. Sounds like on of those books a person should save for a vindictive mood!

  4. Leah-haha! I'm not sure about Vindictive....but definitely a dark mood! It's not roses and happiness, that's for sure! But I really liked it!

  5. +JMJ+

    That's an interesting development! These days, I tend to shy away from MG books, so I would have totally written this off (maybe for years, until I had children of my own) if you hadn't reviewed it. Thanks, Andye. =)


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