Friday, May 8, 2009

Inkspell

I just finished reading Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, the second book in the Inkworld Trilogy.  This book was very similar to the first, Inkheart.  It was rather slow and didactic, and not as riveting as the story concept leads me to believe it should be.  I found myself picking up the book more often, eager to read, than with the first, but I think this was more because I had more of myself invested in the story than because the book was well written.

Fantasy stories can be very compelling, and once I have started a series, it is hard to stop reading prematurely unless the books become truly horrible.  One improvement in this book was that the author did a better job of switching between view points to increase interest and move the plot along.  There were a few times when one point of view was neglected for too long, and it was hard for me to pick it up where it had left off, but for the most part, I enjoyed that aspect of the story.  I also liked the very short chapters.  I am a fan of very short chapters because I can more easily read the book in short spurts of free time without having to stop at illogical points.

I am reluctant to write about the plot of a book in a series unless it is the first book because it always seems like a spoiler to me.  In general, the Inkworld series tells the story of Meggie, the daughter of a bookbinder and her relationship to the book Inkheart, a novel that takes place in a world full of fairies, princes, and fire elves, as well as truly evil characters.  One sore point for me was that there were several times in Inkspell when Meggie acted out of character.  I tried to stretch my thoughts of her character to include all of her actions, but it just didn't mesh.

Unlike Inkheart, Inkspell, is not self-contained.  I am eager to check out the book Inkdeath just so I can see how everything turns out!  I recommend these books to fantasy lovers who don't mind a slow pace.  The short chapters might make them good read alouds particularly for the five to ten year old set who might want more adventure and complexity in their stories, but might not be ready to read more complex stories for themselves. 

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