A Peter Pan retelling?? Sign me up! Thank you Berkley Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was a very dark, yet fun read that told the story of how Captain Hook came to be and how he isn’t quite the villain of the story we think we know so well. While Peter Pan isn’t really the hero we all love and his island holds more troubles than fun adventures.
All children grow up, or they die, or both. All children, except one.
From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It was a “in one sitting” kind of read and perfect for the summer to bring to the beach or on vacation when you want a quick read with you. I enjoyed how dark the story was and seeing the different side of Peter and Hook that was created. It reminded me very much of Lord of the Flies. I always love retellings and the way they can turn a well known story into something totally different and make you think, well hmm what if this is actually the truth!?
It had a few twists I did not see coming which I always appreciate and it had a little bit of Pirates and who doesn’t love Pirates? I thought Hook’s story of the Island and what he went through was really interesting and also figuring out his back story of before he came to the island as the book went on was really intriguing. Sal, Charlie, Nod and Fog were also really fun and lovable characters that definitely added to the story. I wanted to find out what happened to everyone and it kept me glued to the book till the end.
As much as this was a fun read, it also lacked a bit for me which is why it wasn’t rated higher. I felt there was no world building. As the reader I knew they were on the island and a general lay out and if they would go to the mermaid lagoon or in their tree house. But there were no visuals. I wasn’t immersed in the world of Peter’s magical island at all.
I also thought there wasn’t much character development. I enjoyed the characters but I didn’t feel particularly connected or attached to any of them. The main characters developed slightly but side characters only seemed to periodically and it took away from the read for me. In addition, many of the action scenes were short and lasted about two pages and were done. I wanted to see more pirates, get to know some, be in the middle of a sword fight! But that said there actually was quite a bit of gore between the boys as well and because of that I’m wondering how much of a young adult book this is, either way just a heads up.
I loved the premise of the book, I loved Hook’s story and that the different take on a classic. It had the bones but not the meat I suppose. But it was perfect for that quick summertime read like I said, you fly through it, and it is an enjoyable dark read overall! I think it just needed more meat to it and it would have been that much better. I do suggest it though for Peter Pan or retelling fans it’s an enjoyable adventure!