Monday, June 11, 2007

Inkspell, by Cornelia Funke

I am very mad. I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for an eternity, waiting to read it. I read Inkheart and absolutely loved it. I thought it was creative, imaginative and great! However, Inkspell is like........Scarlett on the heals of Gone With the Wind. It leaves you feeling irritated for the wasted time.

There are few books that I have ever given up on -- and this is one of them. I made it to Chapter 40 (the chapters are short) and I cannot turn another page. I was feeling so desperate over the situation that I did something I have never done before ---- I skipped to the end to read the last three pages!!! I just wanted to know that there was a happy ending. It didn't look like it. Contrary to the first book, this book clearly sets you up for the third in the trilogy. Thankfully I think the first book can stand alone. It's not going to move any further for me.

I'm not sure why Funke changed her tune, but between the first and second books of the Inkheart triology, you are moved from childhood to adulthood. Inkspell includes the following topics: Foul language (and plenty of it), pre-marital sex, grisly death scenes (for a juv. fiction book!) and dating teenagers. (I find teenage romantic relationships ridiculous both in books and real life. There's no point to them.)

Inkheart was creative in that it opened your imagination to the idea that some people have the magical ability to read characters out of stories. When reading a book, I frequently become lost in it. The character of Mo in Funke's book defies reality. Suddenly you can enjoy the company of some of your favorite literary characters. And I have some favorites I would like to meet! It's really an enchanting idea.

Inkspell presents the opposite: that you can loathe the company of the worst in books. Furthermore she tells you more about the "worst" than you really care to hear! Meggie is suddenly a disobedient nincompoop living in a world without morals. Real life holds enough of that for me. I don't need to go finding more of it in a fictional world. I know some would argue that it contains subjects that are just a part of life these days and it's silly to try to avoid it. But I don't feel the need to waste my time on it. I can take a "dark scene" but I see no need to make it overly explicit and I think Funke went too far. Particularly for her expected audience.

I cannot recommend this book, period. However, I would say that anyone feeling compelled to read it should be at least 16 years old and very clearly be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. I'm not going to keep my copy (that's how much I disliked it!) which is saying a lot! I'm very thankful that Inkheart was written in such a way that you can close the book and walk away fulfilled. I shall attempt to revert back to the life I was living before I opened Inkspell.

Big thumbs down!


Erin said...

Hooray for you and your honest review. I disliked Inkheart's sequel almost as much as you did. Rather depressing as the first was so delightful.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad I found you-- found this.

I read Inkheart about a year ago and it was slog for me in the beginning (too much b-b-b-build-up before the story takes off) but I ended up liking it, so I got this one.

I've not gotten far and keep putting it down, so now I'm relieved to know it's my good instincts, and not flakiness ;o)

I am totally the type that reads spoilers, so I'm glad to hear what I'm happy to miss.

Inkheart does so well on its own (I think) b/c it was originally written as a stand-alone. It was only after its popularity that Funke kept going.

(Makes me think a bit about pirates for some reason...)

Queen of Carrots said...

I agree, the second book was definitely nowhere near as a good as the first. It felt like the story sort of spiraled out of control and the author no longer knew what to do with it. (Maybe that's why that's a theme that figures so strongly in the book!)

I also felt disappointed because in many cases it was touching on such deep themes--the author coming into the story, the possibility of life after death--and yet they were handled like cheap plot tricks, instead of resonating with the depth. Not that I expected a Christian allegory, but this is the stuff of myths and legends, too. It ought to be treated as such.

Unknown said...

I have not been around here near enough. Sorry. Whenever I come, it's posts like this that I just LOVE. Please continue your honest reviews, but what I like just as much as when your other beliefs drift in--dating teenagers--ha ha.

I have yet to read the first one, but I'm glad to hear that you liked it, and equally glad for the warning about this one, because if/when my daughter reads the first one, I won't want her reading further in the series, and I would have had no way to do that!!

Btw, for what age do you think Inkheart is appropriate? Reading level is no obstacle, just subject matter and interest.

Laura said...

I really enjoyed your honest review! I read and enjoyed Inkheart and have Inkspell, but haven't read it yet. Now I'm seriously considering getting rid of it *without* reading it - so many books, so little time, after all...

I, too, detest what I call sociologically correct YA fiction - the stuff that has all the slime and filth most decent people try to avoid. Yuck.

Alaina said...

I hadn't heard of these books. I think I'll pick up Inkheart from the library. (And not bother with the sequel!)

Petunia said...

I'm reading Inkheart to the kids now. Thanks for letting me know about Inkspell. I already have a difficult time reading Inkheart because of a few minor swear words. I won't bother continuing in the series.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with this review of Inkspell at all. I thought the book was much more exciting than the first. Yes, the tune did changed, but there were also unexpected turns and twists. I liked the book very much, although the ending could have been a little better and not have left readers with so many questions, but I much await the third book. These books are one of my personal favorites and got me, an ordinary teenager, to read a lot more. Yes, the book is more "adult-rated" but I enjoyed it all the same.

If you like stories with turns and twists, love, sadness, and beautiful words, I would recommend this book. Although I do agree it is not for little children.

This is only my opinion, and respect this honest review all the same.

If I were to read this, though I would not take someone else's words on a book, I would open it and read it for myself.

-From a fourteen year old girl.

Anonymous said...

I think this was one of the best books I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

i personaly loved this book.
i dont understand what you mean by"pre-marital sex" that is just not true.maybe if you explained it a bit more.

Anonymous said...

i origionaly i had posted a comment,"i personaly loved this book.
i dont understand what you mean by"pre-marital sex" that is just not true.maybe if you explained it a bit more."
back to that.
it may have teenagers dating but it does not have "pre-marital sex", i just dont know where that comes from.
i loved inkheart and inkspell, an no-matter what you say can change that.i am sorry to say this but, i just think you are too old and do not know how to appreciate a good are right, this book is not for "little kiddies", but if the kid is old enough to pick up a large chapter book, and can sit down,and sit still long enough to read it, then by all means, READ THE BOOK!!! i started reading the Harry Potter books in 2 grade, and have never gone back to a picture book again. INKSPELL RULES!!!

- an aggrivated teen.

Anonymous said...

the book was great, your review was too harsh.

Anonymous said...

p.s. i love the glass of bendy straws behind your picture of Inkspell.

Anonymous said...

for some reason, i dont like you because of that terrible review of such a great book.

Anonymous said...

I have to whole-heartedly disagree with your review of Inkspell. Yes, it was a little bit more mature than Inkheart, but I have to admit that I felt Inkheart to be just a little bit childish. She was originally aiming Inkheart at YA readers, and I couldn't see how this book could have been for them. Inkspell was a pure hit at YA readers. It showed great maturity from it's predecessor. If you look at a lot of YA books, they contain some of the same topics as Inkspell. (Some of them taking it just a little too far, to the point where it's gross. AKA Gossip Girl.)
I don't see how you could have totally trashed Inkspell--yes it was a little slow at the beginning, but it built up to a great finale that has me anxious for Inkdeath.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your review. I loved Inkheart and was very excited to read Inkspell. I think it was just as good, if not better, than Inkheart. And "pre-marital sex"...maybe you shouldn't have not finished reading, because there is nothing about sex. To anyone who likes a good fantasy book, give Inkspell a chance.

Anonymous said...

don't you know anything? this book is the bomb. i think you should read it over again. stop insulting cornelia funke and the way she wants to tell her storys.

Anonymous said...

u must hate all stories if u hate inkspell cuz this book is awesome!! ur review was completly untrue. maybe instead of critisizing the good work of cornelia funke, u should find something better to do with ur time.

Anonymous said...

while i do argee that the latter books in the inkheart trilogy were not as good as the first, they certainly have merits of their own. Frankly, i cannot recall any pre marital sex, and any of the more adult topics were subtle enough that when i first read the book in fifth grade i did not pick up on any thing. the trilogy seemed to progrees in a similar fasion to the Harry Potter series, with characters moving onto a more adult stage and plots becoming more complex. Also, the author of this review seems to be a sort of Holden Caulfield, trying to lock the young in childish innocence. Finally, the not so tidy ending adds realism to the story: if everything worked out perfectly it would completly undermine the story and sugar coat it. it is unfair to judge the conclusion of a story you have not completly read.

Anonymous said...

OK so first of all I just finished Inkspell and it was AMAZING! Second you said something about pre marital sex in the book, that is in NO way true. I think the closest Meggie and Farid get to that is a hug and a peck on the lips. I do have to admmit the book was a little bit more mature and did have a few swear words, but look at the book... Do you see how thick it is, if you can sit down and read that size book, by golly you should be able to handle the word damn! I do not agree with your review but that deosn't mean I didn't appreciate how honest you were being about your opinion.

-Me :)

P.S. It is a great book, give it a try.

Debby said...

I appreciate your review -- I came across your blog looking for some info on The Mysterious Benedict Society that we bought yesterday without having any info -- loved your review!

My 8 year old is a voracious reader, but obviously, we need to consider her maturity level with the books that she could quite be able to read. We loved Inkheart, but in speaking with someone at the bookstore about Inkspell and Inkdeath, I didn't think it would be a good fit for us. This review was very helpful! I'm now a subscriber! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for ur review. My son (9 years) old loved the 1st book. I read a review on Ink death and said no way. Now he brought Inkspell home from the school library today. I loved your honest review and so appreciate you posting this. Definately not a book for us. Please continue to do this for us who aren't avid readers. Thank u thank u!

Anonymous said...

Your review pretty much says to me that your a stupid hater that doesnt really get life.

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