The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer

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The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Alex and Connor travel into a collection of original short stories in order to recruit the characters for their army and save the storybook world.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 480 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Younger Readers
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780316383295

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I think that it is only fair to warn people who haven't yet read any of the Land of Stories books and may be contemplating it. Prepare to be completely consumed. Be aware that once you pick up one of these books you will be unable to put it down until you have finished the last page. Also know that the author likes to torture his readers with the most frustrating cliff-hangers at the end of each book. You will want to read on, but are essentially paralysed in a type of limbo until the release of the next book in the series. The last book ended on a tantalising premise: our heroes, Alex and Connor have a potion that will enable them to enter any story they wish. They are going to use it to travel into Connor's own collection of short stories in order to recruit his creations, fight the bad guys and save the storybook world. So grab your book, clear your schedule and get cosy, because the reading marathon is just about to begin...

The introduction of Connor's stories sends our heroes into uncharted territory and was a bold risk for the author. After all, all the characters so far have been comfortingly familiar: Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Snow White and Robin Hood, to name but a few. Now we get to meet completely new characters: Pirate Sally and the crew of the Dolly Llama, a cyborg queen, a family of superheroes called the Ziblings and 'Blimp Boy', a young archaeologist who travels the world in an airship. We soon discover that each character has a connection to the ones we already know and even though Connor's stories are initially unfamiliar to the reader, they are highly-engaging and entertaining stories in their own right and it is easy to warm to the new characters.

As Connor brings his characters into the 'real world,' he recruits his mother and the other storybook characters to 'babysit,' with predictably entertaining results. My favourite scene in the book is when the precocious Troll Queen, Trollbella, decides to stage a play at the Children's Hospital in order to keep the story characters hidden. It really is very funny to read, as Trollbella is such a comical and memorable individual. Connor really should just stop playing hard to get and marry the girl; what she lacks in looks, she more than makes up for in the personality department!

Naturally, the most infuriating part of the book is that it ends, yet again, on an almighty cliffhanger, perhaps the biggest of them all. This was especially frustrating as I had presumed that this was the final book in the series; I understand this was the author’s original intention, but that he later changed his mind. So after reading over four-hundred pages, with the hope of reaching a nice happy ending, I'm now back in limbo again waiting for the final instalment. Please hurry up, Chris Colfer: May your writing be speedy, your plot twists many and your publication date as quick as possible.

If my warning hasn't dissuaded you from reading this series, I suggest starting at the very beginning, with the wonderful The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

Buy The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer at Amazon.com.


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