Goodreads Rating: 3.71
The only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.
Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?
** spoiler alert ** I've been in a kind of retelling mood lately so getting Everland in an OwlCrate box was the right thing to fuel that mood. I'm not a typically huge fan of Peter Pan but do enjoy the story and movies. The book reminded me a lot of Disney's Peter Pan 2 featuring Wendy's daughter. It had nothing that super wowed me which is really the only reason I give it more of 3.5 stars.
The retelling itself was, in my opinion, well thought out. I loved all the Peter Pan references (the Newfoundland dog named Nanny, like Nana in Peter Pan, the second star to the right being a tall building, the youngest sibling, aside from being named Mikey, carrying around a teddy bear, Bella, with her extreme dislike of Gwen and her infatuation with flying, Petes rooster crow, Gwen being like a "mother", Lilly (like Tiger Lily) and Jake reminded me of Rufio from Robin William's Hook, plus the obvious Lost Boys and even a codfish comment... and these were just the ones I noticed).
The retelling wasn't just a copy of Peter Pan, it had its own twists that made it interesting. It had a mix of plague, steampunk and war dystopians all rolled into one that provided an interesting plot.
The characters themselves were also likable. The protagonist and antagonist both got their own chapters from their own points of view, which kind of made you feel bad for Hook at some parts. I liked Pete and Gwen just fine as well, and the possible romance between them was nicely done.
The ending left you with some questions and wondering about a possible sequel. I hope it comes soon. Overall, not a bad book, a good retelling, but had nothing that overly wowed me.
The Court's Decision: