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Inkheart - Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell I have mixed feelings about this book, but the one thing that stands out for me and that made me stick with it until The End is one of its themes: the love of books. Whether it's Mo's loving and caring for the physical object, Meggie's love of stories or Elinor's obsession with her treasures, I could relate to all of these instances of book-love. On this level, the book spoke to me and made me happy.

I can't comment on the writing as I read this in translation, but in general I thought it read fairly fluently. As for the plot, I enjoyed the idea that characters can be read out of books and come alive, and I thought the way they adapted (or didn't adapt) to our universe was handled very well.

On the not-so-positive side I have to note that this is most definitely a children's book. The chapters are kept short - this should make for excellent bedtime reading - and the POV changes are clear and followed through.

What I didn't like is the length of Inkheart. It's just too long, with way too many ups and downs. (They get caught. They escape. They get caught again. They escape. Etc, ad inf.) It got so bad that I had stopped caring by the time the final showdown came around at last. We had seen Meggie & Co have lucky escapes so many times that there was no question that anything bad could happen towards to the end. I found that disappointing, because it's actually quite a gripping story when it first starts out.

The characters are very well developed - I have a great fondness for Mortimer, and I thought Elinor was picture-perfect.

Finally, I thought Meggie's reunion with her mother was written very well, whereas the reunion between Mo and Teresa lacked compassion. Another disappointment.

All in all, I didn't dislike the book, and I would try my children on it, but for adults it might be slightly too naively written.