Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fearless Review

Oops, I guess I published this without writing it. Sorry!

But honestly, you didn't miss much by my lack of a review. I struggled through Fearless; it took me forever and really wasn't very good, which is too bad because I've really loved some of Cornelia Funke's other novels like The Thief Lord and Inkheart. I should have known this wouldn't be that good when I could barely recall any details from the previous book, Reckless. The premise of the Mirrorworld series is that Jacob Reckless, a normal boy from New York, stumbled on a mirror that took him to another world as a teenager. Over a decade later, he still lives in that world as a famous treasure hunter while occasionally returning to his home with his brother, Will. Jacob and Will are based on the Grimm brothers and encounter of the similar German based fairy tale tropes that the Grimms did. Feel free to skim the synopsis of Reckless that I linked to above. I had to in order to remember most of this. The Mirrorworld resembles a late nineteenth century Europe, where the magic of the old world is being replaced by the science and industry of the new world.

Fearless is mostly a standalone novel. The events of the last book set the action but Will and Clara aren't in this one at all. At the end of the last book, the Red Fairy, whom Jacob had previously had a relationship with punished him for leaving her by making her sister enact a punishment that will end with Jacob's death. Or something like that. The point is that the whole book, Jacob is seeking a way to prevent his death. He scours the Mirrorworld for magical items to save himself and eventually ends up on a quest with Fox, his loyal companion and shapeshifter, to locate three body parts of a dead emperor which will help them find a magical crossbow. Apparently when the crossbow is shot by someone who loves the person the bow is aiming for, that person will be healed of whatever plagues them.

Jacob's nemesis is a Goyl (a stone man) who wants the crossbow for his own reasons. However, he is stuck traveling with a spoiled prince, a bodyguard and a tutor. There are a few side stories too - Jacob's search for his father, who is is convinced disappeared into Mirrorworld but is still alive, and Fox's side trip to meet up with her mother and stepfather, who drove her out of their home at a young age because they feared her ability to shapeshift. Jacob and Fox (and the Goyl) search for the three pieces of a dead emperor while fighting each other along the way.

I really wanted to like this series. It's apparent at the end that there will be a third book but frankly, I don't think I'll buy it. I basically forgot that the first one wasn't so great, which is how I ended up with book two. Hopefully this blog will remind me not to buy the third one. Cornelia Funke really is a good writer, but this just isn't my favorite. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of her older books. The Mirrorworld novels just aren't worth it.

Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble

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