This well-written, provocative melding of Peter Pan with folklore provides appropriate origins for classic elements such as Tinker-Bell and the pirates. However, this story is slow-paced, and telling it primarily from Mab’s removed perspective leads to a darker, more grown-up narrative about survival, leadership, and taking care of others. Peter is rarely present and the events with which readers are most familiar are almost entirely skipped. With this focus on Mab’s experiences and increasing social instability in Neverland, the story feels less whimsical and fun than fans of Peter Pan (particularly its Disney and Broadway incarnations) might expect.
There’s an almost seamless interweaving of elements from English folklore, children’s literature, and history. Jones’s ideas about the power of creativity and the relationship between the Fae and inspiration work well; the horrendously stereotypical Indians, for example, are explained as Fae manifestations of childish interpretations of faraway stories. Readers looking for spirited children’s stories of adventure should look elsewhere, but readers interested in mythology will find much to enjoy in this elegiac tale about attempting to protect one’s way of life amid change and destruction.
Takeaway: This thoughtful reinterpretation of Peter Pan through myth and folklore will appeal to fans of darker adult takes on children’s literature.
Great for fans of Brianna R. Shrum’s Never Never, Christina Henry’s Lost Boy, Gregory Maguire.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: B-