Have I mentioned lately that Chris Colfer is brilliant? Because he is. Despite a small delay from the library, I finally got my hands on a copy of his newest book, ‘The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns’ or also known as TLOS2, as it is the sequel to his first book, ‘The Land Of Stories: The Wishing Spell’.
It’s been a year since I read the first book. Literally, I read it during Thanksgiving last year, and that was a few days ago this year (Canadian, of course!). I’m currently working my way through a crazy long reading list and I hadn’t made time to reread TLOS:TWS, so I was just going to go online and find a decent summary. But one day I was at the library and I saw it on the shelf, practically begging for me to check it out. So I did. It was okay because the book I was waiting for wasn’t in yet, so I had a few free days. I’m glad I reread it. I had forgotten a lot of basic plot points and so by the time I got TLOS:TER, I was all caught up.
Although I had found Chris’ first book to be ever so slightly boring and predictable, you can’t deny that he has a fabulous imagination. This was even more obvious in the newest book. Because I had just read the first book again, I was already familiar with the characters, so this time around, I wasn’t spending a majority of the book trying to figure out if I liked the characters.
If you haven’t read this book, or have been anxiously awaiting my thrilling review, here’s a spoiler-free summary just to give you a hint of what you should be reading. Twins Alex and Conner are now a year older and are adjusting to life again now that they know the secret of the family. But when their mom goes missing, the twins ignore their grandmother’s orders and find a way back into The Land Of Stories. This time around, it’s less about Alex and Conner’s journey alone because they team up with a bunch of characters from the first book, which is great. If you read the first book, you may recall that the Enchantress wasn’t really involved and was only mentioned to be presumably dead. Well, that’s obviously false as the title is The Enchantress Returns. Alex, Conner and the others have to find a way to save the Land Of Stories from the evil Enchantress.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one, funnily enough. My favourite character is Conner, who is what we can guess is a mini-Chris. Conner is very witty and sarcastic, which was hilarious. Another character that I enjoyed was Goldilocks, who was a typical strong female character. I also identify with Alex a lot, who likes to read and struggles to find somewhere she belongs. Since school started, I’ve been known to sit in a corner during spare and read. Do you know how many teachers and custodians walk by and ask what I’m reading now? Many. Anyways, the truth is, all the characters are interesting. Even Red, who I think everyone wanted to punch out at one point or another. But aside from the characters, the plot was better. I really didn’t want to put the book down at points. And because there were more main characters than just the twins, we got peeks at their feelings too, which was interesting as they were all pretty round characters.
I like how Chris introduced several more fairytales too. He was even getting into some ones that aren’t fairytales technically, but are classic stories. I was wondering why Alice from Alice In Wonderland wasn’t included, but sure enough, near the end, Alice made an appearance, which I was pleased about. But the way he wove the new characters in and also made all of it seem totally plausible, even the parts that dealt with the real world, was completely genius. Chris has got quite an imagination.
One thing I have to say was that the ending was crazy. CRAZY SAD. Yeah, no one had really said anything or warned me of this, so when I got to the last page, I was tearing up. I’m not going to spoil it for you, I’m just warning you. The ending also left me desperate for a third book, so if you’re reading this, Chris, get on that, okay? He had said that he was considering it and has a few ideas. I hope he does because I’m just not okay with the ending. It’s manageable, I guess, as it’s not a huge cliffhanger. But I would like more. Yes.
So overall, I really liked this book. It was really unique and amusing. If you haven’t read it yet, or the first one, I still suggest you do. I give it an 8.5 out of 10. Maybe they’re not the most thrilling or mature books, but they’re cute and interesting and worth reading, and that’s what I look for in a book!
P.S. I ship Jack and Goldilocks. I liked them in the first book but in this book I really ship them. So cute!
**UPDATE Oct 21 2013**
Chris just announced a few days that he is signed on for TLOS3 aaaaaand TLOS4. As a bonus, he’s also going to do a kid’s picture book featuring The Curvy Tree, which you should know of if you read TLOS:TWS