Beyond Books


by Cornelia Funke

Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive. . . .

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures.

Not anymore.

His younger brother has followed him.

Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear. . . .

Unless he can find a way to stop it. (

I stood in a mass mob to get this book at BEA. I was super excited about a new Cornelia Funke novel and I braved my claustrophobia and my fear of mass crowds to wait in line to get this book signed at BEA 2010. I stood there with Miss. Remmers and I finally met Stephanie of Stephanie’s Written Word for about 30 seconds as I jumped in and out of the mass mob.

I hate waiting in lines and I tend to not follow the crowds to get things, but in this case, I was so excited about a new book by this author that I went against my nature and did it.

Holy cow, am I disappointed.

This book looks pretty, but by golly did I not like it. I did not like it a lot. I said to my husband at one point, “I feel like I am reading a self-published novel, not one by a renown author!” (Not to knock self-pub’d books, but they do have a pretty bad reputation. I hope you know what I mean!) The characters are flat. I didn’t care one bit about any of them. Except maybe Fox. The book is rushed, the world isn’t built up or explained at all. The description is… lacking.

And fortheloveofgod…. could there be any more “inside voice” italicized lines! Gah! Gah! Gah! GAH!!! Every second sentence was italicized to show what Jacob is thinking whether we need it or not. There was this inner dialogue throughout the entire story that was driving me MAD. It was completely and totally unnecessary and repetitive. I almost put this book down in disgust until I realized how far I had read. The large print, super huge margins and extra spacing made this book appear a lot bigger than it actually is. 400 pages, sure, when you have maybe 25 words on the page (slight exaggeration there, but it’s close!).

I was almost certain this book was going to be my first DNF for the year, but I carried on. I was curious about the idea of the story I just couldn’t stomach the execution of it.

The one plus side to Reckless? I got some pretty souvenirs from my BEA 2010 trip.

I honestly wish the inside was as exciting as the outside of this book. So very, very, disappointing.


  • Jenny

    Ahh I’m sorry you were disappointed with this one Cat. What a shame. I’ve never read a Cornelia Funke book, though I do have this one for review. I love the cover, but I don’t know, there’s something that’s putting me off picking it up.

    Thanks for the review – consider my medium expectations slightly lowered.

  • steph

    Oh no!! I’m so disappointed! And so glad I read your review, because I’ve picked the book up several times and almost bought it on Friday and today but for some reason I didn’t! Probably because I really don’t like the cover and was thinking I’d wait to see what the paperback looks like.

    I LOVED the Inkworld series, so I was really looking forward to a new one from her. But I seem to remember reading something was different about this one, that she wrote it with someone or something? Now of course I can’t find that info anywhere. But oh! What a shame!!

  • darla d

    Oh, that’s too bad. Her books are sort of hit and miss with me. It’s in translation, too, right? Maybe it was a particularly bad translation? (She asks hopefully.)

  • PolishOutlander

    I definitely remember you getting that fancy ARC of this at BEA. Such a shame it did not live up to all that hype. One of my colleague’s book-talked it at one of our staff meetings and after hearing her thoughts, I just knew I could wait awhile to read it (and she is a huge fantasy reader). As she described it, I thought “so what the heck is going on in this book?” I wonder if it’s the translation too. I know this was not the same translator who did Cornelia’s Inkheart series and her other books. It’s amazing how much of a difference a good translator can make.

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