Review: Forever Neverland by Heather Killough-Walden

Forever NeverlandForever Neverland by Heather Killough-Walden
Read: April 27, 2013
Personal read.

Goodreads Book Blurb: It has been five years since Wendy Darling and her brothers returned home after a harrowing ordeal in which they’d “gone missing” for several days and nights. To Wendy, they returned by fairy magic, fresh from the fight with Captain Hook, a little mussed up but none the worse for wear.

But to the rest of the world, Wendy and her brothers were abducted and put through such a traumatic experience, Wendy has subconsciously taken to hiding the truth from her brothers and herself by making up stories. Fairy stories – about a boy named Peter Pan and a world called Neverland.

Life is anything but a fairy story for them now. Wendy is being subjected to unwanted psychiatric therapy, her brothers are bullied at school, and the family is falling apart.

Then, one mist-filled night, a billowing black flag parts the clouds in the sky like the fin of a shark. It bears the stark white symbol of a skull and crossbones upon it.

Wendy has been forced to leave Neverland behind. But it is far from finished with her. In the blink of an eye, her world is once more turned upside down by a pixie in human form, a one-handed captain far more handsome and intriguing than she remembered him to be – and by a little boy… who grew up after all.

My Opinion: More of a novella than anything, this was an interesting read. Once again, I feel it is necessary to note I don’t know the original story of Peter Pan. I know the Disney version, because I watched that movie SO MUCH when I was little. And I know the musical, because I was going to audition for it years ago. Other than that, I don’t know the original. But I love the story of Peter Pan.

There were some shortcomings, mostly with the technical excellence of the writing. I don’t have my copy handy, but there were some very amateur mistakes made. It took away from my enjoyment somewhat.

Where Forever Neverland didn’t lack was the story itself and the character development. Heather Killough-Walden put a lot of thought and effort into building this whole alternate story involving the denizens of Neverland, and it casts all of them in just a little different light than we are used to seeing them. Is Peter Pan truly the hero? And is Captain Hook the real villain here? The characters are very believable and multifaceted, and I loved that.

But then, the author pretty much ruins everything with the ending. I hated the ending, and it just tore me out of the book completely.

Bottom Line: An interesting take on a classic with really well-developed characters and an iffy (at best) ending.


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