Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum


James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up. When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up. But grow up he does. And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate. This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan. Except one.


This is the case of good concept, but sloppy execution. Judging by the summary alone this could have been a very compelling read because I am a fan of Once Upon a Time, it reminded me of the season 3A plot line when the characters are trapped in Neverland and Peter Pan is the villain of the story.

I did like the character of James Hook, who would grow up to become Captain Hook. I really liked that it was a story from his perspective and mainly because it is more of a personal because I love books told from the villains perspective.

I also felt that the story was a bit sloppy in a few areas mainly the character of Peter Pan. When reading the book I pictured him as the Peter Pan from Once Upon a Time, and in the beginning of the book I almost got that, but the problem is that he disappears in and out of story of I couldn’t get the compelling villain that I wanted.

Another major misstep is Hook’s relationship with Tiger Lily. I always felt that her character was there just to be the love interest in the story and she didn’t really have any personality or character to her.

While the action was good, especially the parts with the ship battles, I felt that the ending was very rushed and didn’t have enough breathe to the story.

In the end, this book was a disappointment as a fan of fairy tale retelling. It was the victim of a good concept but bad execution. It had good moments but the plot was very muddled.

Grade: 2.6/5


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