Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Book 26 of 2012: Inkspell

Considering it took me so long to actually start and finish Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, I managed to move onto the sequel Inkspell very quickly. That should tell you something about what I thought of her writing. Honestly, there’s something about Funke’s writing style that really makes me think of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I’m thinking I won’t have time to reread the Harry Potter series this year, so the Inkheart Trilogy is going to fill the void for me there.082 - Sequel

I love the original covers of these books. This one is extra special because it came to me all the way from Australia, thanks to Bookmooch (a fantastic site for booklovers which unfortunately I’ve not visited for rather too long). I’ve noticed there’s several different covers showing on Amazon for this series now. The newer one is okay, but I much prefer these ones, it makes the book feel magical which is apt considering the storyline.

This book takes place almost entirely in the Inkworld. Dustfinger succeeds in finding someone to read him back into the book and Farid seeks out Meggie in the hopes that she’ll be able to send him in too. Of course, Meggie manages to read herself in too. Once there they meet up with Fenoglio and all sorts of trouble ensues. Meanwhile, Mo and Resa end up in the book as well and chaos descends for them too.

Unfortunately, despite the book cover being beautiful and magical, this one doesn’t seem to have quite the same element of magic to it as the first book in the series. Considering how thick a tome it is (working out at 682 pages and I don’t know how many actual pounds of page-age) not much really seems to happen. They seem to spend a lot of time going from one place to another and meeting new characters, there’s a big bad guy and a threat closer to home but it felt like an awful lot of build-up to something that ultimately never seemed to happen.

I suspect that it’s kind of suffering a bit from middle-child-syndrome. In the introduction to Inkspell Cornelia Funke explains that she reached the end of Inkheart and knew that it was just the beginning and then apologises because it looks like it’s going to be a trilogy. This book feels like it’s largely setting the scene for book number three, Inkdeath. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book, but it’s left me slightly worried that the next book isn’t going to quite meet all the expectations I now have for it.

Going back to the size of this book; I don’t have an eReader and I doubt whether I’ll be getting one any time soon, but this is just the sort of book I would get an eReader for. Of course, it’s a book about books and reading, so that would of course spoil some of the magic for it. Perhaps just go for the paperback version. This book was too big to fit comfortably in my bag (though, in its defence, I do carry a lot of junk around with me in my bag but this is the first time I’ve had this problem with it). I always take my book with me to work in case I feel like reading in my breaks or whatever, I started reading it midweek and had to leave it behind at first (giving it to Mr. Click to carry in the car in case I wanted to read it after work!) by the Thursday I’d taken to carrying it in a carrier bag and luckily I had a three day weekend which helped with my issues with carrying it.

This reminds me that if I do end up reading the Harry Potter series or a single volume copy of Lord of the Rings I’m going to have a couple of options: plan my reading schedule around holidays and time off, or buy a bigger bag…

Back to the book.

It was really good to meet some of the characters from the Inkworld. I definitely enjoyed learning more about Dustfinger’s family as well as the Strolling Players. Fenoglio was a bit of jerk in our world and he gets even worse once he’s in the world he created, I spent most of the book wanting to give him a good slap. It’s just a little tricky to form a definite opinion of them because I’m waiting to see where the next book takes them. I was absolutely crushed for Farid at the end, and I’m thinking one way or another Meggie, Mo and Farid are going to have to make some big decisions in the next book.

Once again, this book had the lovely little quotes all the way through at the chapter headers. Again, you could use them to get some idea of what was likely to happen in that chapter. I’ve been diligently copying them into my book journal ready to keep my eye out for in charity shops ready to add to our ever-growing book collection. Finding time to read all of these books… well, that’s another matter…

‘Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?’ Mo had said when, on Meggie’s last birthday, they were looking at all her dear old books again. ‘As if something was left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells… and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower… both strange and familiar.’
Page 61

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