book 16 of 2015: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer



Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
“The Land of Stories” tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is about two children, twins, who fall into a book. Yes, fall into a book. Where do they end up? In the Land of Stories. Think about the show, Once Upon a Time. Except, instead of a dark and twisted world, it’s more rated G in Colfer’s book. Which makes sense because it is a children’s book.

Colfer does a good job introducing the story to the readers. I found myself pulled in the first chapter. I found it interesting how the Evil Queen had a story and what that story was. Though the reader doesn’t get the story until later, the fact that the Evil Queen tells Snow White hers, really intrigued me.

The story of the twins’ journey is filled with action and the help of adults who don’t really question why two children are alone. Sure, in our world that would seem crazy. However, the reader has to remember (or not, if it is a child reading it) that some of those great fairy tale characters had their stories happen as children. Jack in the Beanstalk for instance. Or even Little Red Riding Hood. Also, remember, it’s a children’s book.

The writing is simple and fun. I found myself loving certain quotes. Whenever the Evil Queen spoke, you will hear a deep sadness and a strong woman. You don’t necessarily hear evil. Granted, she isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination, but you learn her story.

The fairy tale heroes seem to be a bit naive or neglectful of their responsibilities. However, they show their worth when they help the children on their quest. I liked the smart remarks from Connor and the intelligence of Alex.

Alex reminds me of Hermione Granger from the first Harry Potter book. She’s smart, doesn’t have friends, and lives in her books. Her only real friend is her brother, Connor. Connor is a smart ass kid who uses his common sense to get him out of trouble. Sometimes he sleeps a lot and slacks though. Both have their own strengths and what they lack, their sibling has in full.

They do seem like typical fairy tale trope characters. You have your smart, well to do child. You have your street smart child. Both could be considered a stereotype, but I found they meshed well and had their own personalities in the book. I didn’t feel like I was reading a book without substance.

The story isn’t something that made me excited for more like Harry Potter, but it is fun enough for me to want to read more eventually. I did read some out loud to my almost three year old and he seemed to like it. It’s because of that that I will continue with the series eventually.

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