Before anything else, I want to apologize for the delayed posting of review. I intended to post reviews at least once a week, but in this case, I was supposed to finish reading the book and eventually post a review sometime last week but all of those didn’t happen. And I blame it on my Candy Crush addiction. Nevertheless, here it is.
I encountered this title way before, but I was a bit hesitant to pick it up as I was confident it might be part of a series (I’m not exactly a fan of series unless the premise of the story is good and convincing enough to buy the rest of the series). I know the book cover is eye-catching, but it took me quite a while to finally give in to the book’s calling. A few weeks ago, as I was browsing books at a local bookstore, I saw the book. It was as if the book was trying to catch my attention, so I picked it up, contemplated a bit and finally bought the book.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change. When the twins’ grandmother gives them a fairy-tale book, they have no idea they’re about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real.
But the stories they know so well haven’t ended in this magical land – Goldilocks is now a wanted fugitive, Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Queen Cinderella is about to become a mother! The twins know they must get back home somehow. But with the Evil Queen hot on their trail, will they ever find the way?
I bought the paperback edition of the book and I noticed that the back page of the front cover illustrates the complete map of The Land of Stories. It’s printed in black and white, though, but the image is just as impressive. I’m not sure if the map is printed in color in the hardcover edition but either way, I was able to download the colored version from the book’s official website.
Cool, isn’t it? I could stare at it for hours. Admittedly, I keep going back to the map to keep track of the protagonists’ location and distance from one place to another. And of course, knowing that the map shows Mermaid Bay, I am eager to find out if they’re going to encounter the infamous The Little Mermaid. The map definitely portrays everything about the story.
Moving on to the story, Alex and Conner Bailey accidentally discover The Land of Stories. It’s the place where fairy tale characters we’ve been familiar with since childhood exist. The way they are transported to the fairy tale world is not unusual, but on the other hand, avid readers would surely long to experience that, since we always want to get lost in the book and accompany our heroes and heroines in their adventures.
Alex and Conner Bailey are two winning protagonists. They are twins and yet, they’re different from one another. Alex is focused, intelligent, and plan-oriented, while Conner is carefree, funny, and street-smart. At the beginning of the story, I am already invested in them and I come to love them more as the story progresses. Despite their differences, they are still able to work as a team. Conner’s humorous side is what sets him apart and that’s what I love about him. His sense of humor lightens up whatever conflict or problem is present. Even I can’t help but laugh at his remarks. Alex, on the other hand, is more mature and keeps her self and Conner grounded, well, except for those times when she meets her fairy tale “celebrities”. Their brother-sister relationship is definitely something to be admired at.
Moreover, the fairy tale characters have also proven themselves to be likable. I love how some fairy tale characters we tend to ignore played a major role in this book. It’s like Chris Colfer is trying to let us see a different angle of the personalities of some fairy tale characters in his own version. Even I didn’t feel any resentment towards the Evil Queen. In fact, she somehow reminds me of Regina from Once Upon A Time series.
I guess one of the reasons why I picked up this book has mainly to do with fairy tales in general. I’m already a twenty-something lady, but hey, no one is too old for fairy tales. And I don’t know, perhaps I’m also curious as to how Chris Colfer is going to make a twist out of all those fairy tales he’ll be using. At the end of the day, I don’t regret to have read this book.
Even though I know the fairy tale characters mentioned in the book, Chris Colfer is able to keep me entertained until the end. The prose is imaginatively written and so animated that I would have wanted to join the twins in their adventures. The book may cater to younger audience, but I enjoyed it to the fullest. Chris Colfer perfectly showed that fairy tales did not end the way we knew. The story and Chris Colfer, indeed, impressed me so much. Chris Colfer even inserted some life-learning lessons that can be applied in real life. Overall, I have loved everything about this book and I cannot wait for the next book!
If you guys enjoy having crossover fairy tale characters, you might want to try Fables (graphic novel) by Bill Willingham and watch the series Once Upon A Time. These, however, have deeper storyline and are catered more to mature readers/audience.