My November reviews:
Title: WENDY DARLING by Colleen Oakes
First the blurb:
Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in
wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood
bookseller’s son. But while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly
beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery and—dazzled by this
flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight
on to morning, to Neverland, a intoxicating island of feral freedom.
time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of
turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and
greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where
she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who
desires her—have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.
What I thought:
This story started out slow for me, but I connected with some of the characters (namely Wendy, Booth, & Michael.) There was a lot of page space devoted to developing the setting and less devoted to character development. I had a hard time finishing this and, when I did finish, I'm still shaking my head wondering what I just read.
I don't usually do spoilers in reviews, but...I'm going to here, because I don't know how else to convey why I'm giving this two stars. (Highlight blank space below to view spoilers.)
Peter Pan shows up around the 30% mark and the Darling children head off to Neverland. I expected the action to pick up, and it did. Momentarily. There were pages and pages of scenery--the vegetation described in exacting detail, the lost boys, the tree--and I put the book away for a few weeks. Good instincts, I think.
Peter starts out charming and doting on Wendy. The go on an *adventure* to steal wine from Hook and Wendy starts to see more of the real Peter. Things quickly decline. Wendy remembers where she's from and her parents and all the things she'd forgotten, and wants to go home. Peter gets all possessive and rapey and WTF. He threatens to kill her brothers unless she agrees to love him.
So...basically, that's the plot. Oh, and Tink's in it too. She tries to kill Wendy a few times; after the last time, Peter beats the crap out of her.
I don't mind difficult themes in fiction. But I think it should have a purpose. This seems plot driven to me--as in there wasn't a plot and this stood in for one.
Overall, there were some parts I liked. Some of the scenes were beautifully detailed, but this book was not for me. I gave it two sad stars **
There are some glowing reviews for this title, so maybe it's just me. If you want to give it a try, find it on Goodreads and let me know what you thought.
*I received a free eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
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