When it comes to reading a trilogy or series back to back, I suck. Big time. I like variety in my reading and thus will not pick up the next book in the series right after I read the previous one. This behaviour tends to get out of hand now and then, and other books just keep preventing me from reading on. Such was the case with Inkheart and Inkspell, cause there is exactly one year between these books. Seeing as I pretty much liked the first book despite some issues, I was eagerly looking forward to Inkspell. This book, however, did not put its spell on my in any way.
Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.
The way Inkheart ended made it pretty clear that something was to come, still. But that something disappointed me quite a bit. The magical feeling that the first book exhumed, the novelty of it all, was missing here and I didn’t think the plot was as interesting as in Inkheart. To begin with, the villain here wasn’t Capricorn. He was just a shade of Capricorn and even though he was supposed to be bad, I never felt any threat coming from him. He just didn’t to it for me. Also, every time they came across trouble, they fixed it in the same way, by reading it right. After the umpteenth time, I felt like it was just a cheap way to get out of trouble and perhaps they should have read it completely right from the start instead of making things even more difficult. It’s just something that bugged me. The fact that this book didn’t really went anywhere near a solution also rubbed me the wrong way. Upon finishing Inkspell, I didn’t have any sense of closure and it felt like a very long introduction to what will be the last part in the story.
“a very long introduction to what will be
It’s not all bad though, cause something that was missing from the first book, being the Inkworld itself, is more than present here. Whereas Inkheart was quite imaginative, here Funke outdoes herself. The Inkworld is just a beautiful world filled with the most imaginative creatures and I wouldn’t mind having a glass man for myself.
Inkspell also manages to give us a sense of who Dustfinger is. Here his character really gains some depth and his story becomes really gripping. He, however, is almost the only character that managed to get to me. Especially Meggie managed to get on my bad side even more. I mean, can she be even more dumb and brattish? I found it really hard to like her and felt like she needed to get slapped in the face and start acting a bit more responsible instead of rushing into danger every other page.
This book also introduced a bunch of new characters, but aside from Roxane, they didn’t inspire me to care for them. Another thing that bugged me was the character that turned out to be a traitor. When one turns out to have been on the other side all along, it’s supposed to be a shock to the characters as well as to the reader. However, that effect was radically reduced here because the traitor turned out to be some minor character who appeared only now and then. Can you say buzzkill?
“get slapped in the face and start acting
As for the writing, it is still the same as the previous book. It’s beautifully written, but with too much description. I also felt that this book was way too big for the story and would have suited better if it was around 400 pages instead of the 700 it is.
Even though I had my issues with Inkheart, the overall experience was fairly positive, so I was looking forward to more of the same. Inkspell, however, turned out to be a little disappointing for me. I didn’t dislike it, but I felt like it could have been so much more. Still, I’m looking forward to the last book in the trilogy, cause that book will provide in some closure, a feat that Inkspell failed to accomplish completely by being a middle book in every sense.
★ ★ ★
Let the Inkworld bespell you.