Angelina "Angel" McFarland lives in London in a fairly perfect life (though her parents are not as involved in her life as they could be). Angel's sisters,Paulina and Brittney Renae, are everything to her. Then one day she has an accident and finds herself falling into Neverland...far from the adorable sisters she loves and the comfortable life she is accustomed to. Angel also has amnesia that seems to be getting worse. She must get home before she forgets it all and wants to stay in Neverland forever.
Angel quickly realizes that James "just Jamie" Hook may not have much of the ugliness and meanness that she read of in fairytales (and heard from the Lost Boys). The James Hook character was entirely different than other tellings of Peter Pan. It was very good to hear the tale from his viewpoint,too. The two narrations blended perfectly with very little awkwardness.
Peter is not as would be expected for someone reveling in not growing up but there is good reason for this. Despite Pan's anger and resentment being justified, it was hard for me to entirely like him as a character...but I guess someone with that much betrayal at young age would make similar choices. Really, when I think about it, I see Peter doing nothing but betraying and being selfish (the very things that make him so sad about the real world). It is depressing that this character's psychological problems may get worse in the next novel..."Pan's Revenge."
I would have liked to see a little more development of both the (smelly) pirates and the (needed to be cuter and a bit fiercer)Lost Boys...but I am a fan of seeing authors somehow fully develop ALL characters.
(Maybe we can see at least a little bit of how James Hook developed a relationship with Smee in the next novel?)
It is a Neverland much like the traditional telling and yet SO different. I had a lot of fun recognizing references. Now I want to watch the Disney version and read J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan and Wendy" again! What a beautiful world that Anna Katmore creates for the characters....including a beautiful volcano and the possibility that James Hook will have an adventure with it in a later volume.
The cliffhanger ending is perfect....I could not figure out where it was going from there though I did have one intriguing guess based on previous Peter Pan storylines and what I feel is a loose end in this book. If handled well and given the right actors, this would make a perfect "saga" movie. I am excited to see the next journey.
Rating by me: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
This was bit of a complex rating for me to come to.
---I am used to YA Fantasy not sticking to the time period for language and habits (Hook had some modern day swearing, for instance). This choice of writing style is often amusing. :-)
---I am not used to the fact that a lot of Young Adult books have intimacy now...but have to acknowledge that would often be realistic for someone a few months short of eighteen. There was mainly just a lot of kissing and no truly suggestive language. A lot of kissing, no real mention of body parts, no crude euphemisms for body parts and just mention in his thoughts by James Hook of having "made love" at one point. So, I think this is a read for young adults and above (not teens).
Anyway, those kind of things made me pause in my reading. In the end though, I feel that this is a sweet story with a lot of potential to be a "saga" type movie.