December 4, 2012
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
If you are anything like me, upon seeing this title...your first thought would be that kid wrote a book? The one who acts on Glee? And yes indeed: that kid wrote a children's book that takes place in a Fairy Tale Land. Curiosity overcame me, and I had to know if it was any good. Also, I had hope: his epigraph quoted C.S. Lewis.
So anyway, this book follows two twins who basically fall into a book. You know, literally. (Why do they always fall? I'm trying to remember if I've read anything where they get, say, sucked in...but it's always a matter of gravity. I could be wrong about this...)
Their life has been hard: their dad died in a card accident, their old house recently sold, their mother works like crazy to pay the bills. Each twin reacts in his/her own way: one excels, one can't excel no matter what efforts are put forth.
But Fairy Tale Land isn't at all what they expected, nor are the Fairy Tale characters. Jack loves Goldilocks, who is an outlaw, but Red Riding Hood loves Jack. The Evil Queen is roaming abroad because it's actually her true love that's trapped in the mirror.
It's all a shade different than normal, but not so different that I don't find myself inevitably reminded to a certain extent of Once Upon A Time. Not that I suppose that's entirely a bad thing, just that I was hoping this take on fairy tales would be a little fresher and a little newer than it is.
And that things wouldn't inevitably seem to happen so darned conveniently. I mean, I grant that fairy tales are places where magical things happen to reward the good of heart and all...but in terms of plot development, it's kind of weak to have items that our heroes need to return home possibly just magically appear within their grasp.
That said, it's a fluffy quick read that's not at all objectionable, but that doesn't exactly have me looking forward to any additional entries into a series. (And the fact that we've got the whole title/subtitle routine makes me think...it'll become part of a series.)