Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd been meaning to read this book for years. I'm a big fan of the original Peter Pan story, and I've gobbled up everything even remotely related through the years, hoping to capture the spirit of freedom and fun that the original story inspires.

And yet, I was reluctant to pick it up, lest, as a prequel, it changed everything I liked about the original J. M. Barrie story.

Luckily, Barry and Pearson hit the nail right on the head, and made a thoroughly enjoyable narrative that hits all the best points about the original story. There were a number of things that had to happen to make Peter into The Boy Who Never Grew Up, and yet the narrative still manages to have mystery and tension, and it does that by obscuring exactly how it's going to come about. It also sets much the same tone as the original story, with humor and a sense of adventure.

If I'd been reading a physical copy of the book, I'd call it a page-turner. But I listened to it on audio, and so I had to impatiently wait for the next time I could be in the car to listen to more. When I had to drive other people, and therefore be in the car without listening to the book, I thought I was going to die. I HAD to know what happens next.

The ending is wrapped up nicely; it doesn't seem like it was meant to be a trilogy, or however long it's going to be. And yet, I want to read more about Peter's pre-Wendy years, and see if Mollie (an excellent addition to the cast) gets to appear in later books.

This book does an excellent job of capturing all that made Peter Pan and Wendy a fun read, and spins a compelling story of Peter's origin, without changing who Peter is. I don't know that I'd recommend reading this before the classic tale, but I do think it's a worthy addition to the mythos.

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