Title: RECKLESS: The Petrified Flesh
Author: Cornelia Funke
Rating: 5 stars!
Summary:Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies — most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.
But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl — a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.
Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell — before it's too late.
Review:The first book in Cornelia Funke's Reckless Series/MirrorWorld Series (I refer to it as both) has had some changes. A reboot, if you want to call it. Once referred to as only RECKLESS, it is now titled RECKLESS: the Petrified Flesh. It also has an absolutely gorgeous new cover. Not many people get to read their favorite book with new words in it. I was so excited and very anxious to actually read it. I'd also like to state that I am awful with reviews. So, I'm going to kind of ramble about the things I liked.
The story-line remains the same, but a good bit has changed with the dialogue and actions of the characters. They have more life to them. We had an idea of these characters in the original version of the first book, but now you can almost hear them breathing through the pages. While reading TPF, I found myself empathizing and even liking some of the characters that I didn't really care much about in the first one. The characters really shined in the second and third books, but it's nice to see that their sparkle is now very clear in their debut book as well!
The world-building and storytelling in this book alone is so incredible. It was so easy to get lost among the walls of the ruin, the shadows of the Hungry Forest, and the Underground Fortress of the Goyl. There is no other place in any book series I'd rather go than the MirrorWorld. (I'm sure family members and friends of mine are gasping because Hogwarts is a special place to me, but sorry guys, the MirrorWorld is my home.) You can turn to any page, and find a beautifully crafted sentence. I sometimes re-read a paragraph or a sentence multiple times because of the sheer beauty of it.
Oddly enough, for the Reckless Series to be my favorite book series ever, I was never really a fan of our main hero. This isn't uncommon with me, though. I usually find a side character and stick with them to the very end. This time, I actually really liked Jacob Reckless. He felt real this time around. His love for his brother and Fox, and his desperation to keep them safe, really shone through. He had a lot more depth.
From everything I've seen from people who've read the books, Fox is the fan favorite. She's a feisty teenage girl who can shape-shift into a vixen. She is both Jacob's strength and weakness, and he'd probably be dead if it wasn't for her. I like that no skin is permanent in this book.
"If fur turns to skin, and skin to stone, what remains?" <That line alone felt very powerful to me. In the MirrorWorld, nothing is permanent.
Throughout the book, we see Will Reckless transform into a Goyl (a race of humanoid people made of stone), and it wasn't just his skin that transformed, but who he was as a person. The reader watches as this mild-tempered, loving guy turns into living sacred stone, and it's incredible. I'm much more a fan of the Goyl characters than I am the humans, which isn't common in the MirrorWorld fandom.
The Dark Fairy was not one of my favorites, but she really grew on me while I was reading the second and third books. However, I really, really felt for her in this book. While love made Jacob strong, it weakened the Dark Fairy. She'd do anything for Kami'en, and she let her defenses down, and later on in the series that's going to hurt her a lot.
I love the King of the Goyl, Kami'en, but I want to slap him in his carnelian face. That's all I'm going to say.
Hentzau. I have loved no book character the way I do Hentzau. If he was a real person, I would absolutely despise him, but he connected with me at a time when real people couldn't. His disbelief in fairy-tales and happy endings won me over. He comes across as very....mean. However, he is extremely loyal and would do anything for the people he loves. Even give his own life. His strength and courage is something that isn't easy to match. He and Jacob may just be the most resilient book characters I've ever read.
The book is fantastic. If you've read the original, I suggest you read this version of it because it made me love the book even more and maybe it will you too. If you read the original and thought it lacked, then definitely pick this one up. It'll change your mind. If you've read neither version, what are you waiting for??