Asked what she thought of the film of Inkheart, Cornelia Funke was tactful. Hhhm, she said making ambiguous hand gestures. It wasn’t true to the darkness in the novel which made the film palatable to a younger audience. She has both hopes and fears for future movie adaptations, which is strange seeing as she collaborated with the film producer Lionel Wigram in the writing of this, the first novel in a new series. While only her name appears on the dust jacket, she freely acknowledged that Wigram contributed about 40% of the ideas … and, I’m surmising, some of the structural framework. Use of flashback, discombobulation- scenes in which interconnected detail is missing and the reader must fill in the blanks. AN episodic structure – panning between two worlds – it’s easy to imagine the scenes cutting from one to the next.
If Inkheart was dark (and were some nasty villains in it), Reckless is darker. Definitely aimed at her original audience who must now have reached double digits and a darned sight easier to film – there’s only one hero in it, for starters –
– Jacob Reckless, on whom, it must be said, Cornelia has a crush. Sharp, brash, fast and yes, reckless. A selfish adolescent. on the downside, who is forced to face the consequence of his negligence, when the life of his younger brother is threatened. Not by some street gang in New York, the setting of the contemporary thread, but in a world behind a mirror, with a social order remisicient of nineteenth century Germany. The Goyles, men of stone from the underworld, are at war with humankind. They need more space. They are determined, cruel and firmly convinced of their superiority. (More allusions from the German past.) They recruit by infecting humans with a virus, one which turns flesh to stone. Jacob’s brother is infected and turning to jade, a rare transformation, which makes him highly desirable to the King of the Goyles and the race against time to save him all the more desperate.
Reckless is a fast-paced adventure fantasy with a smidgeon of burgeoning romance and a foxy lady, who Cornelia Funke says is the character most closely ressembling herself! Are you comfortable with the skin you are in? Or would you wish to exchange it? The young-adult market will love this as did this reader from the young middle-aged market. Germanic allusions adding particular pleasure. Jacob and his brother, Will, named after the Brothers Grimm, whose fairytales are woven into the fabric of the plot and the book is beautifully illustrated by Funke herself, originally a book illustrator who turned to writing when she became bored with the stories that she was commissioned to illustrate.
Reckless is released today, simultaneously in twelve languages. All but the Russian will retain the English title. (Apparently Russians cannot pronounce it.) Share in the excitement at 18:30 GMT by attending the international web booklauch.