Titles: Inkheart; Inkspell; Inkdeath
Author: Cornelia Funke
Rating: Not Recommended
(0 stars out of 3 possible, "D/F")
The idea in Inkheart of becoming part of a story, or bringing a story to life would appeal to many readers. For that reason, this series is not without creativity, story and craft. I concede the premise is brilliant: a story out of control where characters come to life while readers (or even the author himself) can also enter in and attempt to intervene with the growing plot.
Unfortunately, I found it too sinister, threatening and dark to recommend as a whole. The pace and plot of the second book, Inkspell, was laborious: a 600 page book with only 250 pages of plot. I was left with no desire to plod through the third.
Combine this with coarse language (frequent "d***"s culminating in several "b******"s and finally a "son of a b****") and too much violence (stabbings, revenge, death threats) and the series really missed the mark for my family.
Positive arguments could be made for the strong female lead (Meggie) or for the message against wishing for selfish desires to come true. To be sure, there are sacrifices to be made and evil to conquer. Most interesting is the warning to be careful of what you read and what you write! But these themes are sadly eclipsed by plot and language failures.
Many kids could be drawn into a story with medieval touches, fairies, firestarters, princes and carnival performers, but the Inkheart series will disappoint more thoughtful readers.