Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw this book I got excited. I hadn’t read the book Wendy, Darling, but when I started this book I felt like it was a sequel to the other book and that I was missing something. I pretty quickly got into the book.
Wise’s writing is great – there is very much a VE Schwab vibe to the writing and I very much enjoyed this writing style. There was something about it that made it feel that it was from 1939 when the book took place, or a more fantastical feel to when we got flashbacks to Neverland.
The combination of that worked for me. The concept of the book worked for me. The overall plot of the book worked for me. However…I was a little stymied by the pacing of this book. There was nothing outrageously wrong with it. There was something about it though that didn’t sit perfectly with me. There were some moments I was like, “this is dragging on…when is this going to pickup?”
I wanted to get more out of this book, and I’m not sure what it was exactly that I was looking for that this book didn’t deliver. I think it was because I got 176 pages in and felt like nothing had happened. All the main characters had met, we’d gotten a brief history of what happened to various characters, but that’s it. So…I was asking myself where is the plot going to come in? What is going to happen?
I will certainly give it to this book, there is a whole section of Wendy reflecting on what Peter did to her, and I LOVED that bit. It felt so real and wonderful, and I loved how Wise turned something that seemed okay into the reality that what he was doing wasn’t necessarily good. Wendy got more agency in this book. It was a nice change from her character who is always a “follower”. She got to be a bit of a leader in this book instead.
As I mentioned I enjoyed the overall concept/plot of the book, I felt it lacked a bit in execution.
The action came in the last 50 or so pages of the book. It felt a bit underwhelming I suppose, since the lead up I felt didn’t do it justice.
Overall, I think the book was good, but it isn’t something I’d be keen to read again. This book wasn’t the perfect fit for me, but I definitely think it is one that a lot of people will really enjoy! Especially if they like fairytales or feminist retellings of classics.
TW: emotional abuse, death, war, kidnapping