Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.
But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.
ebook, 164 pages
Published February 15th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
*Mild spoilers beyond this point*
First off: I LOVED this. (Obviously I did, I gave it five stars). I thought it was a really interesting premise for a Peter Pan retelling (more of a sequel, as it takes place ten years later). I’ll read basically any Peter Pan retelling, but this is one of the best I’ve read.
In this retelling, Wendy and Peter are one and the same, Peter Darling is a transboy, born as Wendy Darling, who comes to Neverland because his family doesn’t understand him (England in the 1900’s, not surprising). Its #ownvoices as well. I thought it was handled really well (Though I am in no position to make a legit claim on that), and Peter’s struggle with understanding himself was really emotional and well written. I just wished we could have seen more of his first time in Neverland, as one of the lost boys remarks that “Peter left to be with Wendy” and I wish we could have seen more as to how that began the prevailing theory.
My main issue with the book is that its more of a novella, its too short and I wanted more. Certain scenes felt just a little too rushed, with certain emotional aspects being brushed past too quickly (Peter thought things were truly life and death, while Hook knew it was only a game, etc.)
I liked the relationship between Hook and Peter, and I LOVED Ernest as a character as well. The depiction of the fairies was also incredibly interesting. My favorite thing might of been the way Neverland was portrayed. It isn’t as happy and nice as seen through the original Peter Pan stories, Neverland is a darker place, which warps your memories, with magic just as likely to lash out at you as it is to help you. Though, the novella isn’t quite as dark as the blurb makes it out to be. While there are deaths, it is, as Peter says, “only a game”. The stakes aren’t real.
Overall, I really loved this. Its an OwnVoices diverse read, that handled really well. Its a fantastic Peter Pan retelling. I only wish it was longer.
And a warning, to younger readers – there is one mildly explicit scene, its PG-13 more than anything, but I thought I’d give the warning.