rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me and I've very happy for it. I listened to this book, read by Lynn Redgrave, and there were times when I wanted her to HURRY UP so I could see what would happen next. It is billed as a juvenile book, but it is juvenile in the way that Harry Potter was juvenile. The language is sophisticated, more sophisticated than your typical juvenile book.
It makes you wonder about what happens between the pages of the book when you're not reading it. Or when the book is over? Or before the book begins. The characters Funke creates are vibrant and three dimensional. There are many twists and turns as well, so you can never be sure what lurks behind the next page.
The only thing that diminished the book for me was that Funke telegraphs her punches many times in the book. By that I mean she'll often use the phrase "Later, when they thought of this..." or "Later, they would recall..." which all but tells you that said character survives whatever nasty surprise yet to befall them. You know certain characters aren't going to die because.....well, they recall things later! It does a lot to dampen the suspense of the book. Maybe that is by design, because it IS a children's book, but it wasn't necessarily what was best for me. Other than that, though, I have no complaints.
Let's hope the movie (set to release in early 2009) is as good as the book!
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