As a reader I tend to vary my reading widely. I'll read what is classed as young adult fiction but at the same time I may be reading a typically adult science fiction. Maybe I might read a gothic horror classic like Frankenstein and still have a dog-eared copy of The Lord of the Rings open by my bedside. When all is said and done what I read is good books (well at least in my own view of the term good) regardless of target audience.
Earlier this year I read Reckless by Cornelia Funke. Having read several of her earlier books and witnessing them to have a similar tone I was expecting nothing different. I was surprised...
Pleasantly surprised of course to find that Reckless was a grittier read while still containing the intelligent and creative elements that made her earlier works so readable. If you've come expecting another Inkheart or Dragon Rider then look again.
Reckless is a twisted fairytale. Like the kind I used to love when I first learned to read. Only as I said it's a twisted fairytale.
The story kicks off with how Jacob Reckless discovers a secret world in the mirror of his Dad's abandoned room. A world aptly named the Mirrorworld. We don't learn about the adventures Jacob has in this world however because the next thing we learn is simply that another few years later his younger brother follows him into the world to his peril.
Jacob's younger brother becomes infected by the Goyle, a race of stone men, a race aided by a Dark Fairy. Her magic turns any man attacked by the Goyle into a Goyle. The Goyle have this myth about the one jade Goyle who is supposedly undefeatable in battle. And...can you see where this is going? Jacob's brother is turning into the jade Goyle.
It was a fascinating premise. And a really simple and easy read. Perhaps it was too simple and at times the characters lacked the chemistry that makes a book a absolute must-read. That said Reckless is a curious book and a rather well written book despite several flaws. If you like fairytales and don't mind them a touch on the grim side then Reckless is a book to suit your tastes.
Rating: 3.5 stars