Peter Darling – Austin Chant

33358438Peter Darling by Austin Chant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: February 15th, 2017
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Fairytale Retelling, Action, Fantasy, Love-Hate Relationship, Transgenderism


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.


Peter and Hook sitting in a tree… *suggestive eyebrows* Who would have thought?

Though seeing that this is a love-hate relationship, with a focus on the hate part, they cannot stand each other for long enough to sit together in a tree. They’d start fighting right away and plummet to their deaths.

And indeed that’s what they do: they constantly bicker and find excuses to cut each other’s throats. It’s not that they are inhuman and devoid of feelings, but they actually enjoy fighting and putting themselves in dangerous situations.

It gives them a thrill.

So perhaps they do deserve one another, but I wasn’t convinced. Peter and Hook appear as one-dimensional here. They eventually gain dimensionality towards the end, but until then we see more hate than love.

I’m glad the story entertained me, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered further with this one. Neverland is such a curious place and the author plays with the original story quite a bit.

For instance, Peter was Wendy… He is transgender. How unexpected is that? It’s important you know that before you start reading the book, otherwise you might get confused for some time as the author never explicitly says it, though one can guess after thinking about the memories of Peter that we are privy to.

The romance may not be romantic, and the pacing sure could have slowed down when Peter and Hook were together so as to create intensity, but fortunately the action is interesting, the secondary characters sometimes even more dimensional than the main ones, and all in all I don’t regret reading this, even if it wasn’t everything I hoped for. An imaginative fairy tale retelling.

Also, Tink is life.


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