Saturday, 6 October 2012

Book Review - The Wishing Spell

Title: The Wishing Spell
Author: Chris Colfer
Series: The Land of Stories (book 1)
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 17 July 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1907411762

"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.

My Review
This is a Middle Grade book and I normally focus on YA, but every now and then I will read something younger and this book was sold to me very easily.
1. it is written by Chris Colfer who plays Kurt Hummel on Glee - anyone who has ever read this blog before or met me knows I absolutely LOVE Glee, so of course I would have to try and read this.
2. It is about Fairy Tale characters - I love anything to do with Fairy tales, re-tellings, adaptions anything. Got to read it! 
3. The front cover is awesome and it has a Map inside the book cover. I love books that have maps and this one looks especially cool.
THere are some other things that drew me in but those are the main points. So did it live up to expectations? Easy answer - YES!
This book follows Conner and Alex - 11 year old brother and sister. They grew up listening to their dad and gran telling them fairy tales, but that seems like a long time ago now, life is certainly no fairy tale. Until their Gran gives them 'The Land of Stories' her treasured book of fairy tales, then strange events start happening and the twins find themselves in the fairy tale world surrounded by all the characters they had ever read about. But now they have to find a way home.
The book is a little slow to start, there is quite a lot of back story and build up with Alex and Conner before they get into the Land of Stories, but at no point was I bored, it is written so you can feel the anticipation and build up, it has you turning the pages and just waiting for something to happen. I appreciated it later too as it all becomes relevant.
I liked Alex, she was a bit of a no it all, a book worm and a bit of a loner. She reminded me a little bit of myself when I was that age, quiet, stuck in a book and eager to do well at school. I wasn't quite so alone though, but I could feel her loneliness.
Conner is a bit lazy and only seems to do what he has too, but I could see his inner depth and could feel his love for his sister.
Once in the Land of Stories, I loved the world Colfer had created, it seemed so magical and almost comforting - like I was going somewhere I knew and was used to, yet had never exactly been to before. I liked the spin he put on the characters and how he made them his own.
I think Climbing Rapunzels tower was my favourite part and Conner's sarcasm had me laughing. Also Goldilocks and Little Red having an argument made me laugh out loud. Was fabulous!
I did figure out a lot of the 'revelations' quite early on, for example the Lost Prince and the Traveler's Journal and the Mirror. (I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it, but I had it all figured out way before it was revealed) but this is a book aimed at children and I think it was very well done. Children will love this book, it captures all the real magic of fairy tales and teaches us some magic for our world too! 
I read this in one day and most of it this evening, I didn't want to put it down at all. I was hooked, it was fun, light, fast paced and very well written. You can tell that Colfer has a wicked sense of humour! 
Definitely one to read for any age. I hope there will be more. :D

My Rating



Raine said...

I'm curious about this since it reminded me of Neverending Story or Inkheart where a character went inside the book. I'll look out for this book. :D

barmybex said...

It does have a few similarities with some other books, but it definitely becomes it's own story and stands on its own feet! :D