Peter Darling by Austin Chant
Published: February 15th, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
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.
“That’s the trick of growing up. Nothing stays the same.” Hook sounded oddly sympathetic. “You see the faults in everything. Including yourself.”
Peter Darling was quite interesting and a lovable book. I won’t reveal too much because I like the way things unfolded because I didn’t realize things at first. The book you could say is a sequel because it’s about Peter coming back to Neverland to find things vastly different than how he last left them. One major change is Peter is now a grown man at I would place about 22ish since he left at 12 and 10 years later he is back. We also have a few new characters like Ernest, Samuel, and all the fairies. Ernest was a little boy that ran away from his life like Peter and Hook and his crush was quite cute. Samuel was what Smee used to be for Hook since he died and little more. The fairies were pretty much the heart of Neverland and we saw a lot more of them in this retelling. The world of Neverland is a little different as well which I will explain in more detail further down. This was such an adorable and cute retelling and has some attributes to the original like Peter’s character.
“Take what you want,” Hook said, breathless. “That’s what you’ve always done. Take me.”
1) Whimsical Writing & World
“His eyes were clever, green, and restless, constantly darting about to take in his surroundings; his mouth was a whimsical line.”
The writing was really pretty. I feel like it matched the world I don’t know how to explain it but it just felt as whimsical and free as Neverland. The world of Neverland in Peter Darling was basically like a story (page 173.) As the story progresses you realize what they are going through and all the people in Neverland are not real and it’s all in their mind (97.) They are projections of what Peter, Hook, and Ernest wished for as children and what they want. Like on page 172 you learn that things can happen or not on their will and it’s a really interesting concept that the author played with.
“It was a fight he didn’t know how to win, a danger he couldn’t escape. That was good. He felt like a string that had been pulled taut after lying slack a long time.”
This is where I don’t want to spoil anything but just know Peter and Wendy are very close. Peter is dealing with a lot of inner demons and fighting to keep control of his narrative. He doesn’t want to remember his old life and he wants things to be the same again. He doesn’t understand the feelings he is having or that Neverland is not like he remembers.
3) Adventurous and Fast Paced
“He sat there frozen in dread of it, in fear of dying and in worse fear that he would begin to cry and not be able to stop.”
The story was deadly. There was a lot of death happening. There was always a fight, swords being drawn, a fight with a Kraken, being stuck in a cave, and trecking through the woods. It was an awfully big adventure. I also loved the pace of the story bc it matched the adventure of the story.
4) Growth & Romance
“I adore you. I adore your stories. I want a chance to adore you in the real world, whoever we are out there, if you’ll let me.”
It was 100% a slow burn. This didn’t happen quickly but it was naturally. There was a lot of tension and when page 152-159 (omggggggg) finally happened it really threw open the door. This was weaved perfectly in the story and didn’t carry the story but was apart of it. They were both scared of the attraction I think and didn’t know what to do with those feelings until they did. The growth in each character that we see from chapter one to the last is really lovely as well and helped in the budding romance.
Overall the story was cute and fun. It was an easy light read perfect for winter time or even springtime. It has a perfect balance of adventure and romance. The characters round out the story extremely well. I would 100% recommend this to people who love Peter Pan, retellings, fantasy, adventure, or romance.