Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

March 12th, 2013 by Brian Leave a reply »

I’m concerned with a condition like Asperger’s being minimized to a gimmick or a trend in YA literature, so I was a bit reluctant to read Colin Fischer at first. I’m glad that I did read it, though, because I would have missed out on a great story if I hadn’t.

Colin Fischer trudges through the daily life of a high school student, but has a unique perspective on life as someone with Asperger’s. I’ve enjoyed stories like Mockingbird by Erskine whose narrator gives us insight into their condition (what good story doesn’t do that, really?). What I especially liked in Colin Fischer was any time that an emotion was written. It was in a different font to represent Colin referencing a face chart to understand body language. The semi-subtle feature continued to draw me back into Colin’s mind. Characterization of duplicitous people, characters who said one thing but meant another, was enhanced by misleading faces. Colin has to sift through the information to get to the truth.

Colin Fischer is a detective in the same style as Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. He’s in good company and borrows their techniques while applying them to a high school mystery. A gun has gone off in the school cafeteria and Colin will determine who fired the gun – simply for the love of truth.

Miller and Stentz do a good job of balancing out the seriousness of the situation with some fun pop culture references. On second thought, make that a ton of references. Almost every page has a footnote explaining some kind of allusion, whether to the Kuleshov Effect or Die Hard. It makes sense that the authors would have a finger on the pulse of entertainment. They’re the screenwriters from X-Men: First Class.

This has the potential to be a popular book and rightfully so. It’s stellar realistic fiction and I would love to see the mystery genre jump off. Browsing the aisles of Barnes and Noble and seeing the majority of stories revolving around a girl rebelling against a corrupt government [cough] Hunger Games [/cough], Colin Fischer stands out. I hope that others will take a look at it, too.


Leave a Reply