Have you ever been in a situation when you don’t know what to read and then randomly find a book and it is exactly what you have been craving but you just didn’t know that? Well, this is what I felt when I started reading “Peter Darling” by Austin Chant, after seeing it being recommended by Cece at ProblemsofABookNerd. I still mentally salivate when I think about it.
I did not read the synopsis of the book before reading it, and I encourage you to do the same. Not because it is really spoilery (it is but there is just no other way to summarize the books, I guess), but because it does not reflect the dark and surreal feeling that this book inspires. To put it shortly, it is an adult fantasy novel, a sequel to Peter Pan, which features a transgender main character. That’s all you need to know. Go and read it now!
It takes place 10 years after the events of “Peter Pan”. Peter Pan has grown up, but his life has not been easy with Darlings. His father keeps calling him Wendy and his brothers think he invented Peter Pan. Peter feels the pull to return to Neverland, and this time for ever. Once he is back, he has to face his old adversary, Captain Hook. Ten years is a long time, and Peter is not a boy anymore, and it is not only hatred that he feels towards Hook.
I love reading books by indie authors, however, I rarely stumble upon real gems, and this book is definitely one of them. The book is well written with the right amount of angst and action. And I am a big sucker for angst. Peter struggles to be true to himself while managing his relationship with his brothers and parents, who see him only as Wendy. It is striking and moving, and I couldn't help but root for Peter.
Peter, when he returns to Neverland, and Lost Boys are brutal and more savage, which reminded me of “Lord of the flies” in some ways. There is a certain twist in the novel, which I freaking loved, and wish I could rant about it in my review, but it is a big spoiler.
Relationship between Peter and Hook is very believable, and I appreciate the fact that it did not happen out of blue or developed at a warp speed. For those who are concerned with the age difference, remember that Peter is of legal age in this story.
I really, really liked this book. I wish I had a physical copy, but it is definitely joining my favourites collection on my Kindle. I liked this book so much that I immediately went on twitter to tweet at the author and ask if he plans to do more fairy tales retellings/sequels because this one was awesome.
So, if you like queer stories and retellings peppered with angst, go and read it!
Personal rating: 4 stars
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