Title: Second Star (Neverland Transmissions #1)
Author: J. M. Sullivan
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 10/02/19 – 15/02/19
I was totally on board with this book for probably the first half. I had a few quibbles up until then, but I was willing to overlook them. Unfortunately, the second half got confusing and frustrated me to the point where I was just waiting for the book to be over.
This is a Peter Pan re-telling set in the far future. I really enjoyed the little references to the original story. It was fun to spot them all.
But while the characters are jumping through hyperspace and hanging out on foreign planets, the language they used and the society established felt woefully outdated. Even the main insult several of the characters used – “codfish” – feels like something out of Dickens rather than Doctor Who. It actually felt like it could have been turned into a good steampunk quasi-historical story, but it didn’t go that way.
The characters also make Harry Potter references and one of them listens to Bob Marley… okay, maybe we will still be reading HP in 400 years and maybe Bob gets to stick around as a master of the classical music of this period… but it didn’t immerse me in the time period.
I also assumed that as the book went on, we would learn exactly why Hooke was the bad guy, rather than just having to take Peter’s word for it… and we did, technically, but it never rang true to me. This might be because some of the worldbuilding about the Second Star and the ultimate Big Bad actually left me feeling a bit flummoxed, so Hooke’s place in the overall plan didn’t feel fully fleshed out.
The line I used in the title of this post is something Peter says to Wendy, and it’s lovely and romantic… but he has literally known her an afternoon when he says it. Maybe a full day. Good ol’ instalove. Wendy is nearly ready to sacrifice other members of her crew for Peter after only knowing him a couple of days.
There are more books to come in this series but I don’t feel inclined to follow the story any further. The one instalment was enough for me.
(Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)