THE PETRIFIED FLESH by Cornelia Funke
Verdict: Imaginative storyline, distant prose
Once upon a time, Jacob discovered a fairy tale world through a mirror and became a treasure hunter. When his brother is cursed with jade flesh, he promises to find a cure before the jade consumes him.
My favourite thing about this book was the magical items Jacob acquired from his treasure hunting and the references to the brothers Grimm. I also loved Fox. She’s a caring, stubborn, and strong friend who Jacob could rely on, and they made a great team.
I wasn't so keen on the writing style. The third person narrative was distant and often skipped past scenes which could have been brilliant for character building and general understanding. I had to adapt to the writing style, and that involved, unfortunately, caring less about the details that bring a story to life and sticking with the general idea. For example, Will is cursed before we meet him, and since he's never the same afterwards, we don't really get to know him or feel his relationship with Clara.
While we're on Clara, she felt far too soft for the mirror world. She's delicate, naieve, and quite plain - which is perfectly fine, except she insists on coming along for the ride without bringing anything to the table, and the mirror world is as dark as it is dangerous. Her presence didn't fit. From what little I know about her, I think she would have preferred to stay behind.
On the up side, the pace is smooth, and each chapter is full of magic. The illustrations at the start of each chapter are a nice touch too. All in all, I enjoyed this book, even if I could only handle it in segments at a time.
Source: Review copy from publisher via NetGalley.com