Title: The Wendy
Author(s): Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown
Pub. Date: January 16, 2018
THE WRONG KIND OF HERO.
“Girls can’t be in the navy! Girls take care of babies! You’re so stupid, you don’t know anything!”
London. 1783. Wendy Darling is an orphan, living in an overcrowded almshouse, ridiculed for believing in a future she can never have. More than anything in the world, she wants to be the captain of a ship. But that’s impossible. Isn’t it?
By 1789, she’s sixteen, old enough to be sold into service–as a dressmaker or a servant. When she learns that the Home Office is accepting a handful of women into its ranks, she jumps at the chance, joining the fight against the most formidable threat England has ever faced. Magic.
But the secret service isn’t exactly what she had hoped. Accompanied by a reimagined cast of the original Peter Pan, Wendy soon discovers that her dreams are as far away as ever, that choosing sides isn’t as simple as she thought, and that the only man who isn’t blinded by her gender … might be her nation’s greatest enemy.
This will be a spoiler free review!
I want to say that the reason I bought this book was based on my love for Peter Pan – and in part it was. My main reason for buying this book was for the cover, because omfg it’s so gorgeous. I decided that it didn’t matter if I loved the book or hated it, I wanted it on my shelf for the cover alone. Good thing I really ended up loving it.
This book also came at a really good time. I was in a horrible reading slump, pretty much obsessing about VIOLET EVERGARDEN on Netflix, and nothing was capturing my attention. Enter The Wendy – this book was a perfect combination of the world from VE and what I was looking for in a book, and voila, reading slump over.
Now, a downside. I didn’t realize that when I bought this book it HAD JUST COME OUT and now I have to wait for the next one. WWWWHHHYYYYYYYYY! I can’t wait for book 2!
The story starts with a young Wendy living in an almshouse in London in 1783. She’s young, but she already knows that she doesn’t want to be a girl who is stuck in a job she doesn’t want. She’s adventurous, witty, and smart, and she wants to use her talents for other things rather than sewing and cleaning. Fast forward to London 1789, she’s older and serving the Home Office. England is under attack by a formidable threat – magic.
I will say that I was a little wary going into this book, because I’ve read some Peter Pan reimagining’s and retellings before that have fallen really flat. The Wendy didn’t though. It was fresh and felt true to the original. I really loved Wendy, and how she was fiercely independent and able to stand on her own. I liked that she fought for what she wanted and rarely took no for an answer.
Now for the relationships between Wendy and Captain James Hook, and Peter Pan. Between Wendy and Hook, there is nothing but a constant battle of wills to see who can outsmart and out-manipulate who first. This makes for an engaging read and left me dying for more interaction. Hook is definitely the more traditional of the two and is often pushing Wendy’s buttons to get a rise from her. The relationship between Peter and Wendy is different. Peter doesn’t judge her because she’s a girl, in fact he kind of empowers her.
The writing in this book was perfect – not too fast and not too slow – it kept me engaged and turning the next page. Everything was so easily to visualize even though the authors didn’t spend exorbitant amounts of time on painstaking details. It felt familiar but fresh, pulling on the story Barrie wrote all while pulling it into the present. If you are looking for an exciting, adventurous Peter Pan retelling, you definitely want to check this book out!