Author: Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Length: 432 pages
Source: Finished Copy from Author
Jacob Reckless returns once again to the Mirrorworld--filled with profound characters, extraordinary creatures, and epic life-or-death treasure hunts that could only come from the mind of the master storyteller of our generation, Cornelia Funke.
Jacob Reckless has only a few months left to live. He's tried everything to shake the Fairy curse that traded his life for his brother's--legends such as the All-Healing Apple, the Well of Eternal Youth, the blood of a northern Djinn. And yet hope after hope is extinguished. After months of fruitless searching, Jacob journeys through his father's mirror one final time to deliver the bad news to Fox.
But there they hear of one last possibility--an item so legendary that not even Mirrorworlders believe it exists: a crossbow that can kill thousands, or heal one, when shot through the heart. But a Goyl treasure hunter is also searching for the prized crossbow. Jacob must find it first--and somehow convince Fox to do whatever it takes to save him.
Protagonists: Jacob Reckless is back and now he's on the hunt for an item that can help him cheat his immanent death. He and Fox journey through the MirrorWorld encountering foes at nearly every turn So first off I have to say that this time our protagonists are just Jacob and Fox, Will and Clara do make a small appearance towards the beginning, but they aren't a part of this MirrorWorld journey. Fox really gets to sort of come into her own and it was easier to see her as an individual character rather than part of a team with Jacob, or just his sidekick. Jacob gets character development as well, though not as much as Fox.
Romance: So you know how I said Cornelia Funke's not that great at romance, well, I take that back, because she does a spectacular job in this book. First off, the romance isn't a main or even secondary plotline in this book, but it's there nonetheless. It's really more about the emotions Fox and Jacob feel for each other, there wasn't really any start of a romantic relationship or big tension filled romantic moments, yet I undoubtedly root for these two to be together and I hope we'll get to see more romance between these two in future installments.
World-Building: I have to say, right off the bat, that this book was so much easier to get into than the first. In this book, I already had a basic knowledge of the MirrorWorld, I knew what the main dilemma was and how it happened, and I already had a connection, albeit tenuous, with the characters before the beginning, all of that made for a much more entertaining and far less confusing adventure. There were still those moments where something felt like it was introduced as though the reader should have some basic knowledge of what it was, but other than that we get a much more detailed look at this loosely fairy-tale inspired world and I was happy to find that I could form such a strong connection with it and this story.
Predictability: Since this book was far less confusing it made for some great moments that truly shocked me and some moments that I saw coming, but were no less awesome because of it. I do have to say though that the foreshadowing in this book is pretty scarce and it doesn't exactly follow a simple YA or MG formula, so in the end there was far more things that I couldn't see coming than things that I could. There were also moments that I believed would come that never did and things that felt like foreshadowing that were never utilized, at least not in this book.
Ending: So one of the most surprising moments of this book, or really a lot of surprising moments, happened at the end of this book. It definitely didn't end the way I was expecting it to, and while that definitely doesn't affect the way I'm going to rate this book, it was very surprising. The final climax was pretty awesome, and a tad bit confusing, and it all led into the very end, which did not have the cooling period I was expecting, and I'm not quite sure if there was a cliffhanger or not, I mean, it definitely left on a note of me wanting more, but it didn't have the shock of a typical cliffhanger.
So, like I said before, I enjoyed this book much more than it's predecessor, the only thing I had to fault it on was that there were still moments that felt a bit too confusing and didn't quite make sense, but other than that it was a fun and entertaining adventure that makes the first book so worth it!