One of the best books of 2020. A must read series.--5/5 Stars
This series is stunning. The authors have developed a fully realized world with engaging characters and the voice of the books pops off the page in new and exciting ways. I love being surprised or having my preconceived notions of what I 'like' or 'don't like' challenged and that's exactly what this series has done. There are so many smart choices made by the authors that give Wendy Darling's story a much needed fresh perspective that invigorates a classic until it becomes something completely new and original.
Hook's character grew a lot throughout the course of this book and it was a pleasant surprise. I found him a much more sympathetic character than I thought possible. In fact, I'm finding it really difficult to reconcile Captain James Hook as the villain we know him to be from the previous version's of Pan's story and it'll be interesting to try and see the authors bridge that gap when the series comes to a close.
There were a few reasons that it lost the fifth star however, and I would like to discuss those for a moment.
Firstly, Peter isn't in the entire first half of the book. I didn't mind that so much as it leant a sense of importance to his reappearance in the second half that i'd been anticipating. However, when Peter's character was re-introduced I found the way he was portrayed baffling and inconsistent with his character in book one of this series. In fact, he was so immature and unreliable he felt like more of a middle grade character than a Young Adult character. Also, the authors explained away this sudden lack of maturity with a curse that effectively robbed the character of any agency whatsoever in the narrative which I found really frustrating as a reader. Part of the brilliance of the series is that the characters were aged up, and Hook aged down, so that the stakes would be higher and the tension could really resonate throughout the book.
The plot twist was a bit predictable, but that was easily overlooked due to the brilliance of the writing. One of the biggest disappointments in the read of this book was the 'very important moment' between Peter and Wendy. It isn't a spoiler to ship these two characters as they've been clearly romantically entwined throughout many iterations of this story. What was disappointing was the distance created in the 'moment' where these two characters have a shift in their relationship from platonic to possibly more. I didn't understand why this was glossed over and why the readers weren't pulled closer in this moment.
Those very minor criticisms aside, I'm astounded by these books and I can't wait to read the next one. If you haven't read them, you should. RIGHT. NOW.