Saturday, 28 November 2015

Review - Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes

I first saw this book - Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes - whilst browsing Netgalley one day and was so intrigued by it that I could not stop myself from requesting it. I’m so glad I did and feel very fortunate to have been approved by the publishers, Sparkpress, as it really was an outstanding novel that surpassed all of my expectations. 

By all accounts, Wendy Darling lives a relatively normal life in London with her parents and brothers and a love which is growing ever stronger for Booth, the neighbourhood bookseller’s son. However, all that soon changes when, one night, whilst her parents are out at a ball Peter Pan arrives in the children’s nursery and whisks them out their open bedroom window to Neverland. At first it seems like an entirely magical and enchanting place but, the longer Wendy stays there the more she starts to realise that it isn’t the paradise she first thought it was. 

This book is, needless to say, a retelling of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, a book which I adored as a child and continue to adore today so it was safe to say this book had a lot to live up to. Well, it absolutely did and it turned out to be beautifully crafted, incredibly well thought-through and extremely clever. One of the first things I noticed when starting this novel was that each of the characters did not have the same personalities as those in the original tale and also that the story was not going to have an identical ending to the original. I feel this contributed greatly to the success of Wendy Darling and made it really fresh and unique. 

Regarding the characters I have to say how much I loved little Michael who throughout the novel was a little ray of sunshine particularly in comparison to his brother, John, who was so rude towards his sister that I sometimes struggled to comprehend him. Meanwhile Wendy really grew on me as the novel progressed as a character who knew her mind and was determined to fight for what she believed in and wanted. The many Lost Boys were all individual characters who each contributed something different whilst Tink and Peter Pan were completely not what I was expecting. 

The book was also so descriptive and I think this worked really well. Thanks to this description I was able to picture and visualise everything that was going on and everything about Neverland to the point where it actually became a place I wanted to visit for myself. I definitely would if I could!

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read that was full of intrigue and suspense and kept me wanting more. It was a real page-turner and one which I feel would very much appeal to a wide audience. Wendy Darling is the first novel in a series which just happened to end on a massive cliffhanger, meaning I absolutely cannot wait until the release of the next book which I’m sure will be just as excellent!