Peter is an adult in this story. His family refuses to accept that he is transgender. Before committing suicide, Tinkerbell takes him back to Neverland. While he is there, he reconnects with the Lost Boys and with Captain Hook. It’s a retelling as well as a sequel of Peter Pan.
It is an #ownvoices book.
The world-building is amazing in this story. There was an interesting take on the fairies. The reader keeps getting more information about Neverland and how the land is influenced by certain characters.
The plot itself is innovative. I didn’t expect this level of originality in a retelling, since retellings are usually based very heavily on the original story. The writing is descriptive and pulls you into the story.
Disney queer codes a lot of villains – including Captain Hook. Hence, it was interesting that Captain Hook’s role as a villain is analysed in this story. I was a bit uncertain about his portrayal, as he is described as a flamboyant gay character. However, there are other gay men in the story, so it doesn’t feel like the description is being used stereotypically.
The Native American characters (e.g. Tiger Lily) of the original story don’t make an appearance in this story. It would have been nice to have Native American representation, however the original story made quite a mess of these characters – the characters were essentially racist caricatures. Hence, I think it was better to not have any representation (representation is not automatically great, just because it exists).
The romance was handled delicately and very well. Peter is an adult in this book, thus the pairing is not problematic. It was interesting to read how Peter started to realise that he was in love and how he felt about being in love.
The title is amazing. It summarizes the entire story in two words.
All in all
If you enjoyed Peter Pan as a child, and you want to read an entertaining story about Peter Pan, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. This book is also a suitable reading choice, if you’ve never heard of Peter Pan before.
I’d love to read a short story or a sequel about Peter (and James) meeting Peter’s family after returning from Neverland.
Trigger warnings: suicide attempt, deadnaming, incorrect use of pronouns, transphobia.
Are you a fan of retellings? Do you enjoy sequels to old children’s stories? What do you think of Peter Darling? Do you think that Tiger Lily (and her tribe) should have been part of this story?