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review 2018-02-05 03:05
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
Peter Darling - Austin Chant

Ten years ago, Peter left Neverland behind in order to go back to his family, who he hoped would finally accept him as he was. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as well as he'd hoped, and in the book's present he's gone back to Neverland.

Peter seems to think that he can slide back into his old life in Neverland without any trouble, but things have changed since he left. The Lost Boys have a new leader and have become much more peaceful in Peter's absence, and Peter's efforts to "play war" now have more horrible and deadly consequences. The one person in Neverland who seems to genuinely like that Peter is back and shaking things up is his old nemesis, Hook.

I'm not really a Peter Pan fan, but I do like portal fantasies, and the enemies-to-lovers aspect intrigued me. I maybe should have paid more attention to the book's description, though, because the first half of the book had a lot more violence and bloodshed than I was expecting. Although it wasn't hard to guess the root of Peter's need to "play war" even over the Lost Boys' objections, I got frustrated with Peter and found myself wishing that someone (like Tinkerbell) would tell him to quit it before people got killed.

The second half of the book worked better for me. I enjoyed learning more about Neverland, although those revelations never completely took the sting out of the results of the big battle between Peter and the Lost Boys and Hook and his pirates. The progression of Peter and Hook/James from enemies to lovers was still very nice, and I really liked how things worked out in the end.

Since the review that put this on my radar mentioned Every Heart a Doorway, I couldn't help but think of that book too. I very much preferred the way Peter Darling's Neverland was set up as opposed to the fantasy worlds in Every Heart a Doorway, if only because I still dislike how things turned out for Kade in his world.

All in all, this wasn't entirely my cup of tea, but I'm now looking forward to reading Chant's Coffee Boy even more.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-05-08 08:00
Neverland
Neverland - Shari Arnold

With Neverland as the title, it is not a surprise this is a Peter Pan retelling. Livy lost her younger sister a couple of months ago and is struggling to give it a place. When she starts to meet several mysterious people, will she find peace?

I really don't know with this book. It was an easy and quick read, but I never felt invested in the story. While Livy does incredible good things for the children at the hospital, she never came to life and basically remained as much of a fantasy as Neverland. Because of that, I could put down the book easily, and had I not been reading it now for a challenge, it might have taken me awhile.

I quite liked the idea though, and parts were very interesting, but they didn't make up the bigger part of the book. The jury's still out on this one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2017-04-28 20:40
Review: The Piper's Price
The Piper's Price (The Neverland Wars Book 2) - Audrey Greathouse

eArc review copy provided by author.

 

An enjoyable follow up to the Neverland Wars. Picking up shortly after where the first book left off, Gwen is now back in Neverland with Peter Pan and her beloved sister Rosemary, ready to aid Peter in his quest to find the Pied Piper.

 

There was a lot more action in this second instalment, much more of an actual plot, than focusing on Gwen torn between wanting to hang on to her childhood or be a grown up. While there was certainly a huge issue with Gwen still struggling with this problem, there was nowhere near so much philosophical waxing and waning over it.

 

Peter needs the Piper’s help to formulate a plan that will stop the adults in Reality attacking Neverland. Gwen is sent back into Reality to team up with a now grown up friend of Peter who can help solve the clues to find the means of attracting the Piper’s attention.

 

Tiger Lily makes an appearance in this one, as a grown adult woman, with friends of other adult women who have left Neverland and grown up, but still remember Peter and the allure of Neverland itself. It’s interesting to see how they cope with Gwen’s appearance and her strange requests. Though it pulls Gwen back into reality and a life she’s not sure if she wants to give up or not. The women hold a “book club” and there’s one rather poignant scene where they’re discussing a romance novel, “Tryst on the Thames” and later Gwen finds a copy wants to know what it’s about, she’s old enough to understand, but the lady who comes to her aid, Dawn, says rather bluntly if she’s still flying about with Peter Pan she’s not old enough to be discussing romance novels.

 

Kind of a bitter sweet but apt point to illuminate Gwen’s awkward positon. Gwen finds herself going on a shopping trip and getting a new hairdo and these normal teenage things help give her flying the happy boost. Things that would give a normal girl a happy, not something someone deep in magic and Neverland should be that fussed about. Just more of the awkwardness of a teenager dealing with Neverland.

 

And being back in reality brings Gwen back in touch with her potential love interest from the first book, Jay. I actually really like Jay as a character, he listens to Gwen, he likes her, he doesn’t think she’s nuts when she explains her predicament to him. He’s a nice, decent guy and I can see why Gwen confides in him. I like the way their friendship develops and hints that there could be something more between them, but Gwen of course is torn with her duty to Neverland.

 

Gwen has some interesting friendship developments in this one, bringing her to see the sides of adults who have been to Neverland and grown up, and then the more magical side of friendships with the Lost Children and the fairies and Lasiandra the mermaid.  The Piper himself is quite a dark and creepy character, and something of a jackass. (Though I also quite liked the Piper and the role he played later on in the novel). We also get to see some of the nastier side of the adults in reality and what they’re doing with the magic and beings stolen from Neverland.

 

Lots more action and some great character development on Gwen, though Peter Pan himself…I found him annoying really. An interesting ending, and I’m definitely looking forward to the final part in this trilogy.

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review 2017-01-11 03:53
ALL DARLING CHILDREN BY: KATRINA MONROE
All Darling Children - Jaimey Grant;Wendy Swore;Rita J. Webb;Paige Ray;Jeanne Voelker;K. G. Borland;Gwendolyn McIntyre;Katrina Monroe;S. M. Carrière

 

   THANK YOU Katrina Monroe for bringing some LOST GIRL magic into this story!

Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories! I usually quite like most of the retellings and alternate versions of the tale too. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed this one as well. BUT one of the really cool and unique things about this book was the very prominent strong female factor. I have to admit, I was always slightly disappointed that there weren't any lost girls, and I think Monroe did an awesome job at filling this gap in All Darling Children. Even if some of these girls weren't technically thought of as such throughout most of the story. The girls in this book were fierce and cunning, and not all of them were entirely likeable, but they were keen and ferocious.

 

lost-girls

 

I loved the depiction of Peter Pan in this story! One thing that is common in any Peter Pan tale, new, old, or in between...he is arrogant through and through. I like how Monroe took that and twisted it into a new darker perspective. This Peter was familiar in many ways, the crowing, the games, boyish charm, and such. But everything about this book was darker. Peter was something to be feared. Everything about him was feral, a brutal savage whose selfish, bloodthirsty desires are grim enough to shape the world around him, and its inhabitants.

 

no-escaping-neverland

 

I found the Darling family so interesting! I kind of loved that they were a mess. I had never really thought much about their time after Neverland, and as disturbing as it could be at times, I thought Monroe came up with a super fascinating story line for them. I only wish we would have got a tiny glimpse at what Neverland would have looked like after a brief time after the end of this book. Not going to be spoilery here, but it's driving me a little mad not knowing if the atmosphere changed there after time, or if everything Madge went through and her new role in the world changed her in ways that we've seen before. History repeating itself and such. Part of me hopes for the former, but wouldn't the latter be such a wickedly delicious and fitting continuation of this story??!!

 

maniacle-laugh

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-07-15 00:00
Neverland
Neverland - Douglas Clegg "We all scream because we are alive."

A dark and disturbing coming of age story about two boys vacationing on Gull Island who stake claim to a hidden shack in the woods that they call Neverland. It’s not all playboys and He Man Woman Haters Club stuff here. It gets progressively bleaker and more sinister as each chapter passes. Hidden histories and secrets are revealed. Gods and demons are brought out into the light and the fate of Beaus family and the entire town hangs in the balance.

I really dug this one from Douglas Clegg. I wasn’t sure where it was headed for the first half of the novel and it really did read much like a standard coming of age tale. Then it got crazy. Shit hit the fan and the paced quickened to a fever pitch right up until the end. Very well done with superbly drawn characters. I definitely need to read me some more Clegg.
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