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Wendy Darling: Stars Volume One by Colleen Oakes: A Book Review

Wendy Darling: Stars Volume One
Author: Colleen Oakes
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: SparkPress
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Pages: 324
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller's son. But one night, while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children's nursery, and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning into Neverland, an intoxicating island of freedom.

     As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy's paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter's grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her, have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

      My Review: Peter Pan has been one of my favorite childhood stories. It is a timeless coming-of-age story that all kids can identify with about growing up and becoming adults. In this retelling of Peter Pan, it takes all the fun out of mermaids, fairies, Indians, pirates, and above all the most fascinating character and hero in Neverland, the boy who never wants to grow up. Instead it is a more mature and darker setting with a cunning and manipulative Peter Pan.

     The hero of this story is Wendy Darling. She is a teenager who must deal with issues of society. She wants to marry a boy beneath her status. Her parents and her family disapprove of him, and she must never see him again. She also does not get along with her brother, John, whom she fights with often. One day a teenage boy shows up at her nursery. He is Peter Pan, and he fascinates the Darling children with his ability to fly. He then takes them to Neverland, but all is not as it seems because Peter Pan has a plan for Wendy.

     I found Wendy to be a mature character. She is very responsible. Even though she in love with a boy beneath her status, she must make tough choices that are good for society and her family. It is her maturity that makes her a strong heroine. She is not a damsel in distress, and she has the ability to save those she loves. She is very intelligent, inquisitive, and observant. She sees the danger, the treachery, and the harsh reality of Neverland that others do not so she does not last easily fall under the spell of the magical land.

     Overall, this book is about family, sacrifices, and choices. While I find Wendy to be a round character, I found most of the characters to be very one-dimensional, especially her brother John. John is a very annoying character. Yet, I found the most interesting character in the story to be Peter Pan himself. He is a complex and mysterious character. This story is very enthralling and beautifully written. I loved the flight scene and the magic surrounding Neverland. This novel ended in a cliffhanger, and I look forward to reading the sequel. Maybe in the sequel, the characters will be more fleshed out and there will be more detail about Neverland and Peter Pan. I recommend this to anyone who wants to read a unique take on the tale of Peter Pan.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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