My second effort for the Cannonball Read was Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. The book is about a young girl named Meggie and the secret her father has hidden from her entire life. Meggie’s father, Mo, is a reader; when he reads out loud the story comes to life. Literally. In doing so, Mo has managed to read several less than desirable characters out of the novel Inkheart, including the black hearted Capricorn (get it?), his devout minions, and the fire-eating Dustfinger and his trusty marten. The catch? For every character or object Mo reads out of a story something from our world must inexplicably replace it. Mo is forced to tell Meggie that this is the explanation for her mother’s disappearance and subsequent absence from the previous nine years when it becomes apparent that Capricorn will stop at nothing to possess the copy of Inkheart that Mo owns.
Sounds like a solid idea, right? I thought so as well and in different hands this story could have been much different. Much better. I understand Inkheart is Cornelia Funke’s sophomore effort and her first novel, The Thief Lord, was highly praised. I can’t imagine why and I’ll never find out. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she can’t write, I just didn’t enjoy her writing. I am sure she is adequate technically, but she failed to pull me in. The characters felt one dimensional. I couldn’t have cared any less about whether they managed to rescue Meggie’s Mom. I never once truly feared for anyone’s safety. Dustfinger’s actions left me impassive. The story was repetitive. Capture, rescue, escape, betrayal, repeat. The entire novel fell flat. Sadly, I won’t read the other two in the series, Inkspell and Inkdeath. I am so apathetic; I won’t even write another paragraph.