Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (2015)
eARC (368 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2015 Fairytale Retelling, Read 2015
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does.
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
When I first saw this cover and heard that is was going to be a Peter Pan retelling, I knew I needed to read it. I was so happy when I was approved on NetGalley and then I proceeded to read Never, Never in a day. It was a really good read.
In the original Peter Pan by J M Barrie, I did not like Captain Hook at all. I could not understand why he hated Peter so much and why Peter was so against Captain Hook. Then I read Never, Never and now I completely sympathize with Captain James Hook.
James Hook was only a child when he first went to Neverland with Peter. He had secured a promise that Peter would take him back to London, that Neverland would only be a holiday. Peter, however, refuses to take James back to London and so James is trapped. He is in a world where everyone and everything loves Peter, where boys never grow up, and a world that he desperately wants to leave.
Seen in this context, Hook’s whole plan to get revenge on Peter Pan makes perfect-ish sense. He wants to go home. He wants to see his family again. He wants to return to London. He doesn’t love Peter. He doesn’t want anything to do with Peter. Yet he cannot leave Neverland.
To add to this mix, we get Tiger Lily. Though the book seems to start middle-grade-y, the whole Tiger Lily romance takes it squarely to the older range to young adult. That was not entirely what I expected when I started this book at all but it is there. That is just a head up if you were considering this book for younger kids.
Anyway, I really like this retelling of Peter Pan. It is still completely compatible with the original tale but just tells the story from a different point of view. When many of the more recent retellings all seem slightly similar, Never, Never stands out. This darker side of Peter Pan will surely interest anyone who either read the original novel or saw any of the film adaptations.
- You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
- Fairytale Retelling Challenge (Peter Pan)
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.