Author: Cornelia Funke
Published: September 5th 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Flabbergasted. That's exactly the pool of emotion I'm currently drowning in. Yes, I am drowning in my own emotion. Pathetic.
I'm dumbfounded, also, that someone could craft such a world our poor Jacob Reckless loves more than the world in which he was born. Although, seeing as J.K Rowling created Hogwarts and other authors have also crafted world's I wouldn't have thought off, this one is especially unique to me. Why? It could be the use of fairy tales, or it could be the imagination behind Jacob's story, but it just stands out as unique and more interesting. I wish the story continued further just so I could learn more about the world beyond that mirror.
Ah, let us talk about this world. The world beyond the mirror you can only see when you cannot see yourself. It's a world full of shape-shifting vixen, goyles of jade, dwarfs, moths that kill, and tailors that will make a new suit out of your flesh. It's where a single strand from Rapunzel's hair will turn into rope, sleeping beauty never wakes, and Goyles ultimately rule. But this world is also Jacob's home. Despite its horrendous atmosphere, Jacob feels more at home here than the world we call our own. This world is also full of adventure, treachery.
The story, I will admit, started off rather slow, confusing even. We're hit head first with this mirror that we know nothing about, let alone 12 year old Jacob who has just stumbled upon the thing. As the story progresses we learn more and more about where this mirror will take you. We learn that Will, Jacob's brother, is turning into Goyle. Throughout this entire story, Jacob is racing endlessly to try and save his brother from this bloody curse. Along side him are Clara, Fox, and Valiant, a greedy, shellfish dwarf. Together, they encounter life threatening situations, heart ache, love, loyalty, and of course, treason. It's the ultimate combination of adventure.
Fairy tales such as, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretal, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Giants, Dwarfs, and Goyels, were all the foundation for the world building of this book. The author infused these telling's into this world, twisting and mending them into something dark. These fairy tales are no longer stories with a happy ending, instead little children enter Gingerbread houses, never leaving, and Sleeping Beauty dies because she never wakes up. I love this about this book! It was what kept me intrigued. It is also what kept things interesting and new. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love original fairy tales, but this author took these tales and twisted them darkly. I loved that! Funke, you rock for taking something so happy and making it so disturbing.
Along with this world enters amazing characters. Their not stickily, but rounded, full of emotion, well except Will at one point, but you'll have to read to find out what I mean. Jacob is what I'd like to call, a tortured soul. Edward from Twilight is one, and you'll ofter find Jounny Depp playing these types of roles- AHEM, Charlie and the Chocolate factory, Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissor Hands, AHEM- These character are often unhappy, have a dark past, and really, trying to find themselves. Jacob was a hot tortured soul though. Hm, have you noticed I often like the males in book? Kind of hard not to when Jacob's as bad-ass as the author writes.
Nough talk about what I loved about this book. There were a few kinks that I just wouldn't disappear. The story at times got confusing. I'd be turning page after page, completely intrigued, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but words that confuse me. Some chapters would begin somewhere totally different from where the last chapter left off. Chapters would usually switch from telling you about one character, to telling you about the enemy and what they're doing. It got confusing, and I wish the author was more clear as to what was happening at points.
Other than that, this book was well written. Great use of imagery and description. I pictured the entire book in my mind. It was like an action packed movie, where I could cast the characters. Boo-yeah!
I cannot wait for the release of the sequal to this book. Although, the release date for the sequal is unknown, which is awful considering I'd like to learn more about this world.
My raing: 4 curly pig tails
Goyles, jade, tailors, moths, gingerbread houses, and Jacob,