Title: Second Star (Neverland Transmissions #1)
Author: J.M. Sullivan
Pub. Date: March 5, 2019
Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.
But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…
Before the darkness consumes them all.
This will be a spoiler free review and thank you Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Peter Pan in space.
Literally my kryptonite.
Second Star is the first in a science fiction take on Barrie’s Peter Pan and ultimately it didn’t disappoint. I liked how it was a unique take, but still very familiar and very recognizable as a Peter Pan retelling. I really enjoyed how the magic of Neverland and other story elements easily translated into tech pieces and other worlds. I thought there were aspects that were really clever and really well done.
I was a little wary going into this book because I’d seen a few reviews from people I trust who didn’t really like it, or it had let them down. While I definitely enjoyed this book, there were a few things that I had issues with. The pacing being the big one and the fact that this adaptation stuck very, very closely to the original plot. There were also some formatting issues, but that’s not necessarily the author’s fault and the book was still readable. But let’s start with the pacing.
The first half of this book kind of dragged. This was the more unique part of the story in the sense that it greatly diverged from the original plot of Peter Pan. So much of this book is spent setting up the ending, that when we get to the second half of the book, so much happens, so quickly and feelings for basically, completely strangers are intensified.
The other issue – the plot – I think that in some regards the fact that this book mirrors the original plot so closely was an issue. Now, a lot of the aspects of the original, very easily transferred from magical to science fiction and in really clever ways. But I felt like there were a few instances where the original plot held back this reimagining and made the characters act almost out of character.
Other than those two things, I really enjoyed this, and I think my favorite parts were the relationships between characters. I love Wendy and Johns relationship and hers and Michaels, and the three of them together. Their dynamic was so fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The thing between Wendy and Boyce felt like it was a little out of left field, but it’ll be interesting to see how their relationship progresses in the next book. As for Wendy and Peter – I really liked how Peter wasn’t portrayed as an immature boy like he usually is in adaptations/reimagining’s. I get he’s the boy that never grew up, but it’s kind of exhausting sometimes. Instead, Peter is fully capable and a bit of a goofball, but not a completely immature child. So, I liked that it didn’t feel like Wendy was his babysitter.
Overall, I’m glad that this book wasn’t a disappointment and I’m a bit excited to see what happens next in the series. Peter Pan + Space = my kryptonite. I love it.