Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: At 164 pages, Peter Darling is between a novella and a novel for me. While I would have loved to have more of the story - since I really loved it - I do think it works at its length since Peter Pan and Captain Hook have a lot of history already.

What I absolutely adore about this retelling is that Peter Pan is actually Wendy Darling. In Wendy's world, he knows he is a boy, but in the time he lives in, nobody else understands. He goes to Neverland as a child and loves it, since he's now in the body of a boy - newly named Peter Pan. He goes back home for ten years but in Peter Darling, he is back and determined to live the rest of his life in Neverland and as Peter.

Peter is still a fierce character in Chant's version. He likes to fight and wants to go after the pirates, especially Captain Hook, even though the Lost Boys have a new leader and are currently living in peace. The eventual relationship between Peter and Hook is done well, without moving too fast. Like I said before, they have a lot of history already, and in Peter Darling, there is a moment where they are trapped together, allowing them to get to see other sides of each other instead of the caricatures they saw each other as: Peter as the troublesome boy and Hook as the villainous pirate. The relationship between these two reveals that Peter is not only transgender, but he's also gay, which adds even more diversity to the book.

Despite thinking the length works, I would have loved to have more of the story as it's quickly become a favorite of mine. In fact, I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads! There is one physical moment but it's nothing terribly graphic, so if that's something that normally deters you from certain books, don't let it keep you from reading this one! Neverland is fully imagined and I loved the side characters - from the Lost Boys to the mermaids to the fairies, including Tink! This is one for Peter Pan fans and for those that don't know the original story well!

Interested? I'm an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchase gets me a small percent. Check out the book here!


Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight said...

I'm glad you loved it too! I agree that the romance worked because they already had the history and somewhat knew/understood each other, but I also just would've loved for it to be longer because I want more!

Joyousreads said...

What an interesting take! Glad you enjoyed it. :D

Verushka said...

This book! It's original and it gets the retelling RIGHT from all the reviwews I've read!

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

I love the twist. Sounds fascinating.

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

I am so glad you liked this one, Lauren! I read it so quickly and I really, really liked it, too :D I thought that the romance was incredibly sweet, but I also really liked how the author took the original Peter Pan tale and Neverland, and changed them into something that was completely unique to this story.

I agree that the length was right for the plot, but I would have loved to see more of Peter and Hook being happy and in love together <3

Lisa Mandina said...

I love retellings! Hadn't heard of this one before, so I'll have to go check it out. Great review!