Reviews for Reckless


Booklist Reviews 2010 September #1
"Jacob, whose father has been missing for more than a year, is 12 when he discovers how to use the mirror in his dad's study as a portal to an alternate reality. Chapter 2 picks up the story 12 years later, when his younger brother Will follows him into the mirror's world, where Jacob has carved out an adventurous life for himself and Fox, his companion. Will's experience is different: he begins a slow, painful, relentless transformation into a goyl, a living stone man, though his girlfriend, Clara, works with Jacob and Fox to save him. The alternate world is a largely recognizable, European-fairy-tale land, while the goyls add a new element and are used creatively in ways that serve the story well. It's hard to connect with the main characters, though, perhaps because they are unwilling or unable to communicate well with each other or simply because the author withholds information. Jacob is so enigmatic that some may find him unsympathetic. Story is king here, however, and this adventure-driven fantasy, the first in a series, will have readers turning pages." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
When Jacob Reckless was twelve he discovered the Mirrorworld, where reality resembles the darkest of fairy tales. Now twenty-four, Jacob must save his brother, Will, when he stumbles into the world and the Dark Fairy begins turning him to stone. This overly dense but rewarding read will appeal to twisted-fairy-tale and fantasy fans. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2010 August #1

Funke deftly escorts readers on another fantasy adventure, this time to dark, enchanting Mirrorworld, a fairy-tale land inhabited by humans, faerie creatures and the Goyls, a warring stone race. Discovering a magical mirror with the evocative message, "The mirror will open only for he [sic] who cannot see himself," 12-year-old Jacob Reckless travels through it in search of his missing father. For 12 years Jacob secretly returns as a treasure seeker, trading in magical objects and creatures, until his younger brother Will follows him, is clawed by a Goyl and turns into stone. Battling time, Jacob confronts dangers in an abandoned gingerbread house, Sleeping Beauty's thorn castle, the Red Fairy's bower and the Goyl king's towers as he seeks the Dark Fairy to remove Will's evil spell. The fluid, fast-paced narrative exposes Jacob's complex character, his complicated sibling relationship and a densely textured world brimming with vile villains and fairy-tale detritus. An unresolved ending hints at future journeys through the mirror, while spot-art pencil sketches evoke the Grimm atmosphere. Masterful storytelling. (Fantasy. 10 & up)  

 

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 May/June
Funke again works her magic on readers with this compelling first book in a series that takes a new spin on fairy tales. Twelve-year-old Jacob Reckless finds a powerful mirror which takes him to the magical and dangerous Mirrorworld. He frequently travels there, but the love of his younger brother, Will, always calls him back home. Twelve years later Will uses the mirror, and so begins Jacob's horrifying quest to save Will after he is injured and turned into a Goyl, human-like creature with skin of stone. Jacob races to find a cure before it's too late. New dangers appear as adventurous challenges with deadly forests, unicorns, changelings, and other wickedly vicious creatures of folklore bring him closer. In the beginning this is a complicated tale to follow as the author prepares us for Mirrorworld and the familial bond. The character development is well crafted and the siblings have a real relationship, feeling love and anger simultaneously. The story ends with questions unanswere . Funke has woven familiar fairy tale lore into a new and complex page turner. Readers will look forward to the next novel. Recommended. Leslie Preddy, Library Media Specialist, Perry Meridian Middle School, Indianapolis, Indiana ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 August #3

Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Funke twists fairy lore into a dark incarnation. A prologue introduces Jacob Reckless, 12, heartsick over his father's disappearance. The story then jumps ahead 12 years; Jacob, having figured out how to follow his father through a mirror, has made a name as a finder of magical items--seven-league boots, locks of "Rapunzel-hair"--in war-torn Mirrorworld, ruled by fairies and "Goyl," humans whose skin has turned to stone. Jacob's brother, Will, however, is mauled by a Goyl, and his skin begins to turn to jade; the plot is a race for a cure. The rich re-imagining of familiar fairy tale details is the best part, as there is little character development. There are few child characters, and veiled sexual innuendo and violence make this edgier fare. The writing is beautiful on one page, clunky on another ("But there always comes a time when a man wants to sense the same mortality that dwells in his flesh also in the skin he caresses"). Planned sequels will give Funke a chance to fill in the missing back-story that makes this a frustrating read. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September

Gr 7-10--Funke takes readers on a new adventure into a magical place where the dark side of fairy tales holds sway. Jacob Reckless, like his father before him, escapes into the Mirrorworld, and all is well until his younger brother, Will, follows him in and falls under the enchantment of the Dark Fairy. Through an injury, she turns him slowly into a Goyl, a person made of stone. Jacob is determined to rescue his brother and restore him to himself. Accompanied by his companion, a shape-shifter girl/vixen named Fox, and Will's girlfriend, Clara, Jacob journeys with Will to find the antidote to the spell. With a large cast, including a dwarf, powerful fairies born from water, deadly moths, man-eating sirens, unicorns, and the terrifying Tailor with fingers ending in blades and needles, the story includes multiple fairy-tale motifs as the characters grapple with fear and despair while on their seemingly hopeless quest. The action picks up midway through the book and races to an exciting climax. Despite some loose plotting and broadly drawn characters, readers are pulled into the thrill of the story. The themes of guilt, responsibility, abandonment, and love, in the context of the many dangers in the Mirrorworld, contribute to a serious tone. Ultimately the characters keep faith with what matters most to each of them. The fact that the main characters are in their 20s will help to extend its potential readership to older students. Reckless will be enjoyed by Funke's fans, who will be pleased that she has left the door open for a sequel.--Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City

[Page 154]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

----------------------