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.