Author: A.C. Wise
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: retelling, fairytale, fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

Once invited, always welcome.
Once invited, never free.

Captain James Hook, the immortal pirate of Neverland, has died a thousand times. Drowned, stabbed by Peter Pan’s sword, eaten by the beast swimming below the depths, yet James was resurrected every time by one boy’s dark imagination. Until he found a door in the sky, an escape. And he took the chance no matter the cost.

Now in London twenty-two years later, Peter Pan’s monster has found Captain Hook again, intent on revenge. But a chance encounter leads James to another survivor of Neverland. Wendy Darling, now a grown woman, is the only one who knows how dark a shadow Neverland casts, no matter how far you run. To vanquish Pan’s monster once and for all, Hook must play the villain one last time… 


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


Author: Claire M Andrews
Series: Daughter of Sparta
Series #: 1
Genre: mythology, retelling
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: no

Sparta forged her into a deadly weapon. Now the gods need her to save the world!

Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne’s brother’s fate in her hands—upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus, and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.

Guided by Artemis’s twin—the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo—Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves.

A reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, Daughter of Sparta, by debut author Claire M. Andrews turns the traditionally male-dominated mythology we know into a heart-pounding and empowering female-led adventure.


Retellings to do with Greek Mythology are my jam. I will always read them and drool over them and love them. I can’t get enough, and so when I saw the words Daughter of Sparta I knew I had to have it. I honestly hadn’t heard anything about it before I read it. In fact, it didn’t seem that anyone was really talking about it. But I knew I was going to give it a try. I had no expectations going into this book, and I will say I was blown away by this book. I didn’t think I would be, but I was.

Daphne was a great character in this book, and I loved her strength and perseverance, but also how she knew when to ask for help. This also holds one of my favorite tropes in fiction: enemies to lovers. Although it was more like enemies to lovers to enemies. I felt that Daphne was well developed and made you want her to succeed. I loved her attitude and how she approached problems.

Apollo was also a great character. Mind you, there are some similarities with the actual god we know from mythology, so be aware that it isn’t going to be all that similar. But I liked him as a character as well. I did find him annoying in an endearing type of way.

Their banter was top notch as well; very enjoyable. Their relationship as it develops from not liking each other, to friends to romance and then to something else was a great plot point. We get to see Daphne being strong and in charge.

We run across several prominent figures in mythology in this book as well – and I love how it’s done. A highly creative take on Daphne and Apollo that we know from myth.

This book sucks you in and doesn’t let you go — I could not put it down for anything. I loved the writing and the pace and the plot. All of it worked well together for me, and I greedily devoured each page and hoped for more. It’s easy to get invested in this plot, as it is very much a take on the tasks that many heroes go through in Greek myth, except this time we get to see a woman do it instead. I love that about this book.

This was a solid YA fantasy/mythology book. I think those that enjoy Greek myth/retellings of any sort will like this one.

I am ridiculously excited for the next book in this series because I cannot wait to see what happens to Daphne and Apollo…