What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland… with Captain Hook?
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling’s life is not what she imagined it would be. The doldrums of an empty house after her brothers have gone to school, the dull parties where everyone thinks she talks too much, and the fact that her parents have decided to send her away to Ireland as a governess-it all makes her wish things could be different.
Wendy’s only real escape is in writing down tales of Never Land. After nearly meeting her hero, Peter Pan, four years earlier, she still holds on to the childhood hope that his magical home truly exists. She also holds on to his shadow.
So when an opportunity to travel to Never Land via pirate ship presents itself, Wendy makes a deal with the devil. But Never Land isn’t quite the place she imagined it would be. Unexpected dangers and strange foes pop up at every turn, and a little pixie named Tinker Bell seems less than willing to help.
But when Captain Hook reveals some rather permanent and evil plans for Never Land, it’s up to the two of them to save Peter Pan-and his world.
I read this book of my own accord and was not required to write a review.
It’s every author’s dream to visit the world and characters of their creation, and Wendy is the only one who has every accomplished such a feat!
When I first read Peter Pan, years and years ago, in addition to watching the many movie adaptations; for some strange reason, I never realized that Wendy believed in her stories so intensely before ever traveling to Neverland. I had always thought that the stories developed after Neverland, not before. Which is a pretty big thing to miss in this story I realize–now that I’ve had my “duh” moment. But this revelation that came with the reading of Straight on Till Morning has forever changed the story of Peter Pan to me.
Straight on Till Morning feels like the original Peter Pan. The writing is whimsical, the characters were all familiar, and the story is just as adventurous as we would expect. Many scenes are kept incredibly similar to the original, but there are also plenty of new ones to keep it fresh. I do wish that Peter had been a tad bit more present in this book though, as it is now, it’s primarily a story of Wendy and Tinkerbell–which is charming, but just a little bit disappointing. I did really like the prolonged intro into Wendy’s home-life though, I feel like a lot of adaptations want to skip right to when she flies away to Neverland without quite revealing why she wants to go so badly.
The only thing that caught me off guard and I have mixed emotions about is that near the end of the book (I’m guessing around 65-70% into the book), the author suddenly started to address the readers directly in the descriptions and storytelling, where she hadn’t in the first half of the book. It wouldn’t have been so strange if it had been incorporated throughout the whole story, but with it being so subtle to the point that I hadn’t noticed it in the beginning, to suddenly multiple paragraphs and chapters written directly to me and challenging me as the reader, it was just an inconsistency that I’m not sure I cared for. It threw my reading flow off and took me out of the story for a while.
Overall, I loved revisiting Neverland and spending time with Wendy and Tinkerbell. I do have to say that I felt like Wendy and Tink’s relationship in Straight on Till Morning is one of the most developed and well done I’ve seen. I give the Twisted Tale Retelling 4 out of stars and recommend it to readers wanting to find their way back to Neverland.