Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 324 pages
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I got copy of this book to review through NetGalley. Previous to this book I had read The Child Thief by Brom and Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen, both were Peter Pan retellings that I really enjoyed. This book was okay, but pretty slow and predictable. Also a quick caution this book is the start to a new series and doesn’t resolve anything.
Wendy Darling is living a perfectly respectable life in London, her only issue being her budding romance with Booth which her mother doesn’t approve of. Then Peter Pan shows up one night and whisks Wendy and her brothers to Neverland. At first Wendy is overwhelmed with joy at the beauty and freedom of Neverland. However as time goes on she realizes she is forgetting her former life and that life with the Lost Boys is not what it seems.
This book starts out very slowly (you are 30% of the way through the book before you even get to Neverland). The book follows the Disney version of Neverland (and maybe the original book which I have ironically never read) very closely in the beginning. It’s pretty boring because it’s something most of us have either seen or read before.
I had trouble engaging with the characters. Wendy is somewhat despicable, her beau Booth is right…she is not brave and she is not committed. She is blown away by Peter’s good looks and attention and is a fairly shallow heroine. This changes some as the book goes on. Probably my favorite character in the book is Wendy’s little brother Michael, who is very sweet and honest and resists the corruption of Neverland more than anyone else. Tink is an interesting character but she also seemed a bit shallow and one dimensional to me and she isn’t in the story much.
This book is marketed as showing readers the dark side of Neverland and I guess it kind of does in a very light YA kind of way. However, it was fairly predictable and never all that dark or surprising. This is just the start of a series and I wish it had been marketed as such; the story pretty much stops right in the middle without any resolution which left me frustrated and disappointed.
The most positive thing about this book is that it is beautifully written with excellent description.
I think part of my issue with this book is that I have read much better retellings of Peter Pan. Brom wrote a retelling of the Peter Pan story called The Child Thief, which was amazing and incredibly dark. Lisa Jensen wrote a spectacular retelling of the Peter Pan story called Alias Hook which I absolutely adored; this is a version that is sympathetic to Captain Hook and told an amazing twist to the Peter Pan story.
Overall I found Wendy Darling to a bit empty, fluffy, and incomplete; it’s okay but nothing special. It does have some excellent imagery, but if you are truly interested in a creative retelling of the Peter Pan story check out The Child Thief by Brom or Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge