Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Death in Neverland

Pages: 269
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: November 12, 2014
Initial Reaction: 
In the Neverland, people don't grow up. Because they're dead. 
Remy Cutler dies, and somehow escapes certain death. She returns to the land of the living with nothing but a ripped gown and a fear of heights. 
Two years later, she plans to escape her arranged marriage by stowing away onto a ship in hopes to leave her home with no one none knowing. However, she is found out, and the sailors aren't happy. Before any damage can be done, she is yanked from her predicament back to The Neverland, a place where death resides - the very place she escaped from years ago. Souls are ferried by her savior. To her, he's known as Nick, but to The Neverland, he's the slippery Nicholas Grey. 
The more time Remy spends with Nick and his crew, however, the more she realizes he's shockingly misunderstood. Pirates aren't all bad the way gentleman aren't all good. One such gentleman goes by the name of Peter, and he has nothing but power on his mind and revenge against Grey in his heart. And then there are those that are completely indiscernible, like James Hook, a Viking and ruler of The Other World, whose sole ambition is attaining more souls to rule over, no matter what the cost. 
This dark retelling of Peter Pan infuses familiar characters created by J. M. Barrie with new characters and Greek mythology. It is the first in a trilogy. 
Have I ever mentioned that I loved Peter Pan retellings? For some strange reason, they're always my favorite retellings to read about and this one is no exception. This is definitely one of the strangest retellings I've ever read and it really gives the original story more of a nod than serve as an actual retelling. 

Remy Cutler died when she decides to climb down her window but she was able to escape death while she was being ferried over to Neverland. Since then, she's had a fear of heights, but decides to climb out once again to escape an arranged marriage. When she is discovered as a stowaway on a ship, the sailors aren't happy and she is saved by Captain Nicholas Grey, the Transporter of souls whose ship she escaped from when she first died. Her appearance back in Neverland raises some questions but reveals things about pirates and gentlemen that tear apart everything she's every believed in.

Like a mentioned before, this pays more of an homage to the original story because other than the mention of Hook, Pan, and Nick calling Remy "darling," this book is pretty different. I really enjoyed the aspect of Neverland as the place where the dead go and the whole set up was really interesting. Basically, you can choose to pass on to the Otherworld or Paradise, depending on how you lived your life, or you can choose to live in Neverland to rebuild your "morals" in hopes of passing into Paradise. The one catch is, if you die in Neverland, your soul will be lost forever. Talk about taking a risk...

Remy started off as your typical snobby society girl, granted she makes a huge effort to point out that since she grew up a bit rebellious, she's not as snobby as the other girls in her social circle, but she definitely sticks out like a sore thumb among the other pirates. I didn't find her unbearable and actually enjoyed seeing her develop and become more conscious that society's lines weren't as crisp as she thought but there were a couple times where I just wanted to tape her mouth shut because she wouldn't stop asking questions. She continues to do rash things even when Nick warns her against it but overall she did grow a lot in this first book.

I absolutely adore the pirate crew! Everyone from Captain Nick to sweet Giselle. While we definitely get more from the female pirates POV and not so much from the men, each character has their unique talents and contributes to the success of the ship. While Captain Peter Pan isn't exactly a pirate, he definitely embodies the title as being a terror of the seas and rather than being a charming boy who didn't want to grow up, he's a snobby gentleman with a lust for power and completely domination. James Hook also isn't exactly what I pictured but I can't decide if he's completely evil...he's just messed up right now.

This book sets the stage for what I think is going to be a very interesting trilogy and I'm definitely intrigued to pick up the rest of the books in the series. I like how it takes some components of the original story but doesn't lean too heavily against it. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

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