Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World


Must read 🏆

A delightfully fresh, gripping take on an old classic with charming characters and a heartfelt message.

I'll just be honest: after walking away disenchanted with the long-awaited Guillermo Del Toro adaptation of Pinnochio that came out last year (hot take, I know), picking up a book based on the same fairytale was the last thing I thought I'd do. But by God, am I glad I did.

Pinnochio's Guide to the End of the World sees our titular once-wooden boy recounting the events of his young adult years in hindsight, from joining the army to becoming a sailor to, well... realizing that maybe this whole "being brought to life by a benevolent Blue Fairy" thing goes way deeper than he initially thought. And that's all I can say without spoiling it because it's the sort of adventure you want to plunge into feet-first.

First off, I really enjoyed Moon's writing style and had a lot of fun with it. Pinocchio's first-person POV was fast-paced and quippy, full of wit and razor-sharp action, but the writing could also be lush and descriptive when it needed to be. I felt totally immersed in this world and totally invested in its colorful cast of characters, all of whom you will fall in love with.

Speaking of characters, if you've ever wished that Pinocchio could be a likable protagonist you could actually root for, then this is the book for you. His voice is relatable and candid and his arc makes perfect sense when taken in context with the original fairytale. In fact, the way the details of the source material are woven into this book and its magic system is very deliberate and well thought-out. Even the parts of the magic that don't get fully explained by the end weren't too distracting to me.

After all, it's based on a fairytale where a piece of wood comes to life. I think Moon did more than her due diligence in terms of injecting it with realism.

I wish I had proper analogs for this book, but I've never read anything quite like it. It's part fairytale retelling, part contemporary fantasy, part alternate history... so all in all, a genre-bender. But it's a thoroughly charming one at that, with warm, heartfelt themes about humanity, love, and belonging.

I never thought I'd say this in the year of our Lord 2023, but if they ever make a movie adaptation of this, I'd watch it in a heartbeat.

Reviewed by

Freelance writer and content developer by day, blogger and aspiring author by night. However, my only professional goal has always been to make a living doing what I love most: reading and writing! At my core, I'm just a goof who loves a good story.

About the author

Eva Moon’s original plays have been staged across the U.S. and in the U.K. Her solo show, The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes, is streaming on Amazon. She has written award-winning screenplays and is a former Huffington Post blogger. Pinocchio's Guide to the End of the World is her first novel. view profile

Published on March 21, 2023

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

Made with Reedsy
Learn more
Reviewed by