Connie Tang's Reviews > The Wishing Spell

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
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Aug 08, 12

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Read in August, 2012

by Chris Colfer

Now, to give some background here. I am a huge fan of Chris Colfer, of his multi-faceted talent, of his sly wit and clever humour, of his hardworking diligence and of his often overlooked bravery. But, I am adamant of trying to give his debut novel a fair, unbiased chance.

First off, chapter 1 is good. It’s a hook, it makes me want to read more, and the Evil Queen is incredibly (and perhaps surprisingly) well-written and convincing.

In fact, as a debut children’s fantasy novel, I’m surprised at how well-written it is. Now, it isn’t the most life changing or emotionally affecting children’s novels I’ve read, nor do I think it ever will be (unlike The Giver and The Outsiders). But, for a simple fantasy novel, it is thoroughly enjoyable with very quotable parts.

A part that irked me? The all-white cast. Especially in chapter two, where the twins are described as blonde and blue-eyed.

This review’s going to be choppier than usual given that I’m on a time limit here, so here goes.

As an actor, I am not surprised that he’s most convincing and effective writing in first person narrative.

The banter between the twins is clever and witty. Conner is hilarious. In fact, this novel made me chuckle many times (which these days, is something welcomed and rare). It’s funny.

I am weirdly enjoying it a lot a lot more than I expected. But only in a very superficial sense; it doesn’t hit any deeper.

Overuses italics. Which doesn’t irk me as much as using caps lock does (which dear god, apparently my rant on caps lock in novels is legendary according to several of my friends and sister.)

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After finishing the novel, it’s actually quite decent – clever, with amazingly deep characters, certainly very imaginative, a good idea of a premise and a plot, but the entire journey and book feels entirely too easy. Which it shouldn’t have been, because the challenges and obstacles facing Alex and Conner were great – and the odds were stacked against them. There was no feeling of prevailing or victory… when there was every reason for there to be one. Instead, the twins face seemingly impossible situations (and there are plenty), only to be rescued or helped or escape much too easily and simply (which is just too coincidental and becomes boring in its anti-climaticness).

And that’s that, I suppose. I did enjoy it though, much much more than I expected to. And, as big as the number of pages is, it reads quickly and flows well that I was surprised at how quick I reached the end of the novel. And, I do wish to emphasize the imaginative part, because this book is actually incredibly creative and awes me in a way that every time someone puts a new and convincing spin on something old will do.

I’ll leave you with a quote:

“Every driven person comes from a mountain of pain they wish to keep hidden,” the Evil Queen said.
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