Thibaut Nicodème's Reviews > An Author's Odyssey

An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer
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really liked it

So…the usual first: I still really like Chris Colfer's writing. Well, specifically I like things about his writing that make the rest palatable. Yeah, his turns of phrase could use improvement (and especially variety), but the story behind it is pretty good and I am 100% in love with him his sense of humor.

This book builds up on the previous one's story (and (view spoiler)). Instead of classic literary worlds, we visit…"original" ones by Conner Bailey. Which are basically AU fanfic of his friends and/or himself.

Yeah, this is where we get into "why I give this book 4 stars instead of 5". Well, the main reason why. See, this book seems to imply "write what you know" is literally the only way to write. Which I hate. Hell, I'm not even comfortable with the idea that every story an author writes has to be inherently personal. I could probably write a whole essay on the matter, because I have very strong feelings, but this is not the time nor the place.

Then it kind of flip-flops on the author's relationship with his characters, going so far as to imply writers' imagination are merely a gateway into another world and Conner didn't create his characters, but the first story we see is influenced by typos Conner wrote, which implies he did in fact influence them? It's all very confused as a result.

That part gets even worse in the climax, where…(view spoiler) Oh, speaking of the climax, (view spoiler) dying feel a bit like a weird copout, considering how (view spoiler) was set up as the biggest threat around.

The other reason I took a star off? The…weird race shit. I know the stories are meant to be the work of a pre-teen/young teenager, but when the one character who's established as a black man is also the scaryevil pirate, it…raises concerns. And then we have the frankly insulting treatment of India and Egypt later on (and by the way, they fly from one to the other overnight when the information I get online tells me a blimp would take 4-5 days to make the trip), which is just…I get that Conner is probably ignorant of all that stuff, but did you have to base one of the four main set pieces in your book around that ignorance?

(Also, a pharaoh would totally be buried with a mummified cat, not a dog. The cat person in me is offended by that part)

Anyway. The book's still really good, and you know I just love bitching. Besides, if you're interesting in reading a review for book 5 in a series, you're probably going to read it anyway, so it's not like my opinion on this will sway you one war or the other.
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Reading Progress

July 9, 2015 – Shelved
July 9, 2015 – Shelved as: waiting-for-release
July 11, 2016 – Started Reading
July 11, 2016 –
0.0% "It's heeeere!"
July 11, 2016 –
July 12, 2016 –
26.0% ""What would you do if a guy showed up out of nowhere and told us we were characters in his story?"
"I would punch him in the face for making everything so damn difficult!"

Oh Chris. How I've missed you and your humor."
July 12, 2016 –
27.0% "Honestly I don't know how I'd feel if I was conner's friend and he wrote a pirate AU fanfic of me and my husband"
July 12, 2016 –
31.0% "So…the one black pirate is also the bad guy. Ouch."
July 12, 2016 –
July 13, 2016 –
July 14, 2016 –
July 15, 2016 –
82.0% "The map was of southeast Egypt and showed a giant pyramid located near the Nile a few miles south of Cairo
Um. That's a geography fail."
July 15, 2016 –
July 15, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Yuè I think I might have the answer to the Bo Peep thing. I was also very confused at first, but after rereading the book I found out that Brie wrote this version of her story /after/ she traveled with Conner to the Land of Stories. She said she put Bo in it because she thought she died unfairly and tragically. She's referring to the Bo from the Land of Stories. That's why the Bo in Brie's story knows about them and the Masked Man. Hope this helped.

Thibaut Nicodème Yuè wrote: "I think I might have the answer to the Bo Peep thing. I was also very confused at first, but after rereading the book I found out that Brie wrote this version of her story /after/ she traveled with..."

Yes, that's what I gathered too, but it was still kind of weird. I'm pretty sure Bree didn't know about Bo Peep's relationship with the Masked Man, so how did it end up in her story anyway?

I mean, in the end, it's magic and who cares. And it does make for some pretty interesting/powerful catharsis. But it's still a little weird. Maybe if the book had established the way all the worlds interacted better, it could have worked. Say, if Conner's characters inspired by fairytale people (or at least some of them) had also had knowledge of the fairytale world, it might have foreshadowed this?

I don't know. It's not the worst thing ever, mind you, but it did feel like it needed more work.

priscilla I died at the "au fanfic of his friends and/or himself"

Thibaut Nicodème Priscilla wrote: "I died at the "au fanfic of his friends and/or himself""

Well…where's the lie :P

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