Author: Cornelia Funke (Translated from the German by Anthea Bell)
Page Count: 534
Stars: 5 of 5
• 5 = an amazing book that delivers a punch. Read this!
Teaser: Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when someone reads a book with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom…but for real. Then, imagine if those characters brought their world into ours.
One cruel night, Meggie’s father, Mo, reads aloud from Inkheart. As he reads, an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Somehow, Meggie and Mo must learn to harness the power of reading aloud to end this nightmare.
Age level: Teen and up (13+)
Violence: 3 of 5
• 3 = between PG and PG-13 violence that plays a major role in the story
Romance: 1 of 5
• 1 = there's a hint of romance at a PG level
Language: 1 of 5
• 1 = replacement swear words, implied swearing, etc.
Christian worldview: The major “magical” element is that certain characters in Inkheart can read aloud and bring fictional characters and objects into the “real world.” This is basically explained as a skill and/or a genetic trait, so it doesn’t conflict the Christian worldview. The villains also converted an old church to use as their “audience hall,” but that’s clearly seen as wrong.
My Personal Opinion: This book is one of those rare few that qualifies as an all-time favorite. The concept alone is breathtaking. What if characters in books were real? Funke also opens each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. What’s more, Funke’s characterization made each character seem distinct, vivid, and real. Meggie’s voice especially enchanted me (in a literal and figurative sense). The plot was so gripping and each twist and turn completely unexpected. The climax was absolutely perfect and brilliant.
The one problem with this story? Funke wrote a sequel—in fact, she made it into a trilogy. The story that ends in Inkheart is beautiful, but the story that she continued…well, it didn’t have the same “magical” quality to it that Inkheart did. I finished the trilogy and enjoyed it, but the ending left me definitely disappointed. If you liked Inkheart, then give the other books a try, but be warned: they’re very different in substance and even in style from the original. Inkheart has also been made into a movie, which doesn’t live up to the original at all, but it’s not a horrible movie. In fact, I rather enjoyed it.
So, bottom line: read Inkheart! It’s truly breathtaking.