Chris Colfer is from Clovis, California, born on May 27, 1990. As a kid, Chris Colfer would use writing and acting to escape his real life problems and to entertain people. He is also the author of a series of novels for kids about twins named Alex and Conner. Colfer is a New York Times best selling author of this series, the first book of which found it’s way to number one for two straight weeks. He has also written “Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal”, a young adult novel, this novel is based off a movie that he starred in, executive produced, and wrote the screenplay for. Colfer is well known as an actor, especially for the role as Kurt Hummel on the hit TV series “Glee” for which he won a Golden Globe for in 2011. He also wrote an episode of “Glee”. He tried, with the help of his grandmother (who gave editorial advice), to write a fairy tale novel. Colfer was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2011.
Originally, Chris was only signed on to write two novels in “Lands” series, but they were successful enough that his publisher signed him on for more books in the series, including a picture book, called “The Curvy Tree” that is an original tale that Colfer wrote and is included in the story of “The Wishing Spell”.
“The Wishing Spell” is the first book in the “Lands” series. This series is fantasy centered around fairy tales. Two fraternal twins, Alex (a girl) and Conner Bailey (a boy), have a father who reads them fairy tales to them when they are feeling sad. Out of the blue the father dies, leaving them without their storyteller. Their grandmother gives them the book that he used to read to them when they were younger. They think it is a great gift. Until it starts to come to life, and they fall into deeper and deeper into the Lands without a way to get out. A journal they find seems to have the answer to their troubles, they must find eight things from the various residents in the Lands. This will complete the Wishing Spell that will allow them to have one wish granted. On their quest, they meet just about every possible kind of creature that can be found in fairy tales. The twins hit a roadblock when the Evil Queen, recently escaped from Snow White’s dungeon, takes their ability to use the spell away. Alex and Conner also find out that the stories they grew up on, have not ended. Red Riding Hood rules her own kingdom, Queen Cinderella is a soon to be mother, and Goldilocks is a fugitive from justice. They find out something very touching about the journal they find.
Readers have liked that the book had a fast paced story, the sadness Conner and Alex have comes through, Colfer’s obvious love for fairy tales shows through in this book, and the plot line pulls readers in and makes for an entertaining read. Readers also liked that the female characters were wise, independent, driven, and strong; and that the book has a lot of wisdom contained in it, especially one that was written for middle school aged kids. Another reader liked that Colfer was able to talk about loneliness and longing and it is done in an interesting way. The reader liked that there were other moments that were light and humorous. Praise was also given to the fact that Colfer talks about being understanding and having compassion for those who have done wrong; the characters are a lot more complex than in most good battling evil stories that are out there. Some readers of the book have not liked the way the lead characters are one-dimensional, some reviewers feel that the book could have benefited from some editing, and that the writing is inconsistent.
“The Enchantress Returns” is the second book of the “Lands” series. This book takes place after the events of the first book in the series. The twins, Conner and Alex, have not returned to the Lands since the end of “The Wishing Spell”, but they are forced to go back when the Enchantress, who is the evil witch who cursed Sleeping Beauty, has escaped and kidnapped their mother. Their grandmother does not want them to go back, she thinks it is too dangerous, but they feel they must return to save their mother. Conner and Alex must find a way back into the fairy tale world to save it from the largest threat it has ever known. To help get their mother back, they join forces with four other people- Goldilocks and Jack, Froggy, and Queen Red Riding Hood- to try and build the Wand of Wonderment, the one thing that just might stop the evil enchantress. They will travel to places they never thought they would.
In this installment in the popular series, Colfer has been praised for his ability to write scenes for Alex and Conner, but to create backstories for his fairy tale characters and add new twists and add layers to these familiar characters. He was also praised for including heartfelt moments. Praise was given to the novel because of Colfer’s vivid imagination; the fans of these books believe that Colfer has grown since writing the first book in the series. Readers are able to connect with the characters in these books and the amount of characters is handled easily by the author, and Colfer’s ability to add depth to both the characters and the story, that was missing in the first book. Readers have had some problems with these two books’ editing, they say that he needed to have some more proper coaching on how to edit the books better. They go on to say that if he had this proper coaching, the promising series would have a much better second entry.
No plans as of yet, to take this series and try to adapt it into a movie or a TV series.
Colfer was nominated for the Best Author award at the Shorty Awards for his work on the “Lands” series in 2015.Book Series In Order » Authors » Chris Colfer