Reckless Review

Saturday, October 16, 2010

For years, Jacob Reckless has been secretly disappearing to another world, a world behind a mirror, a world for which his father abandoned his family. The mirror world is Jacob's escape from reality. It's a place for treasure hunts and magnificent quests. A world where witches haunt the forests and giants and dwarfs roam. A world locked in a deadly war.

Jacob's secret seems safe, until one day his younger brother Will follows him, with disastrous consequence. Faced with a curse that is quickly turning Will to stone, the Reckless brothers are thrust into a race against time to find a cure before Will is lost forever.Taken from GoodReads.

Reckless follows the story of teenage Jacob who regularly escapes into an unknown world for which his father once sacrificed his life and future with his family. Though he's certain it's his own secret, his younger brother finds the mirror, too, and journeys into the dangerous world, leaving not only Jacob's secret in peril, but the life and future of Will, plagued by a dangerous curse meant to destroy his future.

I'm going to have to admit that I bought Reckless almost solely based on the cover because, let's be honest, it's amazingly dark and haunting. Written by veteran author, Cornelia Funke, Reckless is loosely based upon the life and works of The Brothers Grimm. Alive with eerie and haunting descriptions, lyrical prose, and a story with a mind of it's own, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love the world created within Reckless. Perfectly merging fantasy and reality, it's a story that appeals to cross-genre audiences.

All that said though, allow me to be a bit nit-picky about Reckless for a moment. I had a hard time getting into the book for about the first 60 pages or so. The world is so complete with funky names and fantasy/sci-fi details that I'll admit I was a little lost. Once the story got going though, it definitely didn't stop. It also took me a while to empathize for Jacob. I wanted to feel for him, but his character was kind of flat for a while as he pursued life as a treasure-hunter in Mirrorland. His humanity didn't really appear to me until Will was cursed to become a Goyl, though perhaps that was meant to show the transition in his character. I will say that the eventual switch was well done, and I began to like Jacob more and more.

All in all, Reckless is an entertaining read. I enjoyed it after a while, but I will say that for some, I'm sure the premise and idea will be more interesting than the story, itself. I give Reckless a strong 3.5 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to YA fans of fantasy, sci-fi, and dark tales, especially those fond of The Brothers Grimm.


  1. A few days ago one of my students returned Reckless to the library and she was very disappointed that she didn't enjoy it. Her reason being that there were too many characters and she felt that she didn't really "get to know" any of them. I was intrigued hence I was very keen to read your review. A fascinating insight and now I'm not entirely sure that I will enjoy this book. It sounds as if the beginning requires a lot of concentration. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Oooh! Very nice review. I love knowing these types of issues going into a book. Thanks Melissa!

  3. Your review reminds me a little bit of how I felt toward Incarceron. Takes a while to get into, but if you stick it out the world is really brilliant. As I'm a huge fan of the Brothers Grimm, I think I'd like to give this one a try. Fantastic review as always Melissa!

  4. I would agree that the cover is striking and the idea behind the premise reminds me of a book I read a long time ago with a mirror world. Not sure after reading your review though, that I will rush out and get this one. Thanks.

  5. Great balanced review! I'll keep that in mind when I read it. Thanks!

  6. Dunno, I don't think the book is for me, not liking the cover either :(

  7. Great review! I haven't read Cornelia Funke since her very first book (I forget the title). I enjoyed it but didn't love it. I should try her again some time.

  8. Love the eerie cover too, but that's a bit disappointing that it took awhile to get into the story and empathize with Jacob. Nice honest review :)

  9. I read one of her earlier books...Inkheart I think, and thought it was okay...don't think I'll invest time in this one given you remarks...thanks for the honest review :)

  10. Great review! So sorry this wasn’t a satisfying read. Sometimes the funky names in fantasy books frustrate me. I feel like I’m so busy stumbling over pronunciation it takes away from my reading enjoyment. I was hoping to read this eventually. Need to finish the Inkheart trilogy first :)

  11. Thanks for the review, I'm a huge fan of Cornelia Funke (LOVE the Inkheart series) but haven't read this one yet.
    I read the little teaser booklet they had in the bookstores though, and it was interesting... so I'm glad to hear good things about it.

    And thanks for the comment on my blog... I have to say... I think I'm totally zombied out at this point. Especially the short stories... maybe mostly the short stories. They were either bad, or so good I wanted more and there was none to be had!

  12. The cover is indeed striking. I've read some books whee there were just too many characters and themes and ideas all rushing at you at once from all directions and making you feel woozy .. so much so that the story behind it gets lost. Thanks for the review!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries


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