Author: Cornelia Funke
It was a few months ago that I finished reading this book, but it’s one of those ones that stays lingering around in your mind for a while. It’s also the kind that inspires me to read more and become a better writer myself
This is a children’s book, and the first thing I noticed about it was the quotations from other children’s books at the beginning of each chapter. As I was reading, it occured to me on more than one occasion that I’d like to go through and read every single book that was quoted. This was no doubt encouraged by the fact that the story line revolves around books. There is amazing descriptive power in here about them — about their feel, about their bindings, about imagination, and where they can take us. I was drawn into it so much that I felt like the pages were more crisp in my hand as I turned them, and that the book I held in my hands was somehow more real. It no doubt contributed to the believability of the story itself.
The reader is drawn into the story right from the very beginning, and taken away into this wonderfully realistic but magic world with mystery and adventure. The descriptive detail extends beyond the books into the scenery and characters, enhancing the story further. Unfortunately some holes creep into the narrative in the final chapters, and many aspects are left suspiciously unanswered. I got the feeling that the conclusion was a little slapped together and not as well thought out as what lead up to it. Aside from what I thought were a couple glaring inconsistencies in the concept at the climax of the novel, it was a very satisfying read.