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Everland #1

Everland

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The only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.

Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?

312 pages, Hardcover

First published May 10, 2016

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About the author

Wendy Spinale

4 books511 followers
Wendy is the author of the Everland series. She is a former Disneyland actress and online journalist. She currently resides in California with her three sons, two dogs, a chinchilla, and hamster.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,149 reviews
Profile Image for Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles).
225 reviews455 followers
March 24, 2016
Everland has everything you love about Peter Pan but reimagined to include a dark, steampunk, dystopian-like world. My heart is absolutely soaring after reading this book, and I love all of the new twists that were added to the story. Though I haven't read the original Peter Pan novel (and shame on me for that) but I think that J.M. Barrie would be proud of this retelling. It even incorporates some of the original lines from Peter Pan, which just makes me extremely giddy. I had so much fun reading Everland, that I wish that I could read it again for the first time. Everland is definitely one of my favorite retellings and by far one of the best steampunk novels I've ever read!

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Read my full review of Everland ^_^
Profile Image for Kimber Silver.
Author 1 book189 followers
June 12, 2019
"Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it." ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

3.5 rounded up to 4 for a good concept and an interesting ending.

In this Peter Pan-meets-steampunk-Mad-Max, Everland is a new twist on the original fairytale. As with the prototype, Pete is our hero; a cocky bit of fun with all manner of tricks up his sleeve. His sidekick, Bella, the Tinkerbelle of this yarn, adds a bit of pre-teen lovelorn angst with a large helping of attitude. And, of course, we have the villain, Hook.

While the players are reminiscent of the original, this is set in a dark, dystopian society without the magic of pixie dust and fairies. A bomb containing the Horologia virus has been dropped on London, quickly decimating the population, beginning with the adults. Children are less susceptible, though not immune, and must now find a way to live as orphans. What’s left of humanity splits into hunters and the hunted. Fifteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mike, believe they are among the last survivors. Hiding from Hook and his marauders they scavenge to stay alive. Gwen happens upon Pete and Bella while searching for food, and so the adventure begins. Pete introduces his new-found friends to the city of ‘lost boys’ where a semblance of civilization has been restored, including running water and light via some steam-powered tinkering. But, as with any good tale, there is a looming secret…

Everland is a cute story and, though I guessed what was going to happen, I didn't lose interest. I would suggest, that it might better-suit a younger audience.
Profile Image for Vikki.
269 reviews46 followers
February 26, 2017
I was not entirely sold on this book when it came in my Owlcrate box last year since I am not into Peter Pan and retellings are usually hit-and-miss with me but decided to give it a try for Owlcrate-a-thon (Owlcrate readathon). I am glad I did. It is sort of like The Walking Dead meets Lord of the Flies.

This story revolves around Gwen (never called Wendy in this retelling) trying to keep her siblings, Joanna and Mikey, alive after a plague wipes out almost everyone in England and possibly the world except for young children especially boys. This plague started after Queen Katherina of Germany had her son, Captain Herman Otto Oswald Kretschmer, or Captain HOOK, invade England and destroy a weapons lab that contained the virus that killed or sickened just about everyone. Captain HOOK and his Marauders now search for survivors which are mostly young boys so they can be experimented on in hopes of finding a cure. When out scavenging for food one day in Everland (old London), Gwen runs into Pete and Bella when trying to hid from Marauders and they follow her home to discover Joanna has been taken by Marauders. Gwen and Mikey decide to join Pete's group, the Lost Boys in the Lost City, in order to get help rescuing Joanna. Gwen, despite her age and gender, appears to be showing none of the virus' flesh-eating symptoms which leads them to think she is immune and the key to finding a cure that is starting to affect a third of the Lost Boys. Once Captain HOOK finds out about the possible "Immune" he will stop at nothing to get Gwen so he can return home a hero.

It was more of a dystopian novel (one of my favorite genre) than steampunk to me and the references to the retelling of the Disney movie Peter Pan were the famous lines reused in a totally difference context most times than in the original story.

The end-of-the-world scenario reminded me of The Walking Dead in the way they had to fight for their survival against not only disease but other survivors and Lord of the Flies in the way that it is a colony of children and there is some in-fighting. I loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
Profile Image for Liz Kowal.
32 reviews85 followers
June 19, 2016
I actually finished this the other day, but for some reason my goodreads kept tweaking out whenever I would go to mark as finished.
SO anyways, this was a fun book! It didn't necessarily WOW me, hence the 4 stars but I still very much enjoyed it.
I loved the steampunk theme to it, and the plot is pretty creative. For all you retelling junkies out there, read this!
903 reviews
February 28, 2016
This wasn't one of my NEED TO READ books, but I'm always up for a good fairy tale retelling, so I thought I'd enjoy it. I also haven't read many Peter Pan retellings, so that was another plus; and I love England. Having read this, though, I'm mostly dissatisfied and disappointed.

I thought its greatest strength was that it was a very imaginative historical retelling of Peter Pan that sticks fairly close to the original (unlike, for example, Never Ever, which seems to be a more contemporary retelling).

I felt neutral about the writing; similes are really not Spinale’s strength. I felt like I was being clobbered with them in the first chapter (and in general they seem to go together—where there’s one, there are likely five in the next few pages), and again in the last few chapters. Examples: “Emotions collide inside me like a raging storm at sea” (301) and “He’s won, and that simple fact chokes me like his fat fingers wrapped around my neck, stealing my breath” (302). Some of the writing also felt surprisingly repetitive, considering this is such a short book. For example, “I see a flash of admiration in Doc’s eyes as he smiles timidly at Lily. My heart swells with hope for the brokenhearted Lost Boy. Since he has loved and lost once before, I wonder if another could mend his heart. Another like his first love, Gabrielle” (248).

But then there was the extremely occasional really gorgeous line, like when Peter tells Gwen, “‘What more is left here for you but faith?’” (35).

The greatest weakness was the emotion, and by extension, the characters and the romance. I never really felt for Gwen even at crucial points in the book—like when Joanna tells her she’s a terrible mom, and when Gwen starts to think she might really care for Pete—and when I went back and tried to think through why, I figured out it mostly comes down to this: Spinale relies heavily on telling, rather than showing, to get emotion, backstory, and character relationships across, and this is not terribly effective. When Pete thinks Gwen is so brave and is entranced, I don’t really get it, because I don’t really see Gwen being all that brave (just somewhat whiny--and not that the whiny is unmerited, but it's still the dominant trait). When Gwen is getting mad at Pete and saying he’s so arrogant and annoying, I felt distantly puzzled, because what Pete was doing on the page did not seem to warrant her overblown annoyed reaction. When Gwen starts to realize Pete is a nice guy and she might harbor some affection for him, I felt nothing, because I kind of thought he was a reasonably nice guy already. Also, even minor romances like Doc and Lily felt super, super awkward because Spinale kept describing it explicitly. For example, saying that they seem to have affection for each other—when they’ve just met! Attraction, sure. Affection, huh?

Side issue:
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,310 reviews95 followers
September 15, 2018
A steampunk retelling of Peter Pan. Not sure whether I would call it dystopian or an alternate reality.
The Blood Red Queen of Germany sent her armies to attack London. One of the targets is a building handling highly infectious diseases. A deadly virus is released that wipes out the adult population and most of the girls.
This has some very interesting twists on Barrie’s story. We have Captain Hook and Mr. Smyth. We have a little girl with mechanical wings who sprinkles gold dust, and we have the Darlings. Instead of Wendy, she is Gwen. Although we have overpasses and cars we also have hoop skirts and zeppelins. Like I said, very interesting twists on a beloved story.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
185 reviews34 followers
June 15, 2016
I genuinely loved reading this book and it was so much fun! I loved the steampunk aspect (obviously) but I also loved the fact that even though it was a retelling and I was comparing it to Peter Pan for a while, it definitely stands on it own. I love that Gwen starts off a little meek and timid but she's actually a badass. And even though he was the villain, when I was reading from Hook's perspective, he actually seemed very human. Not just some bad guy who hates everyone. I only gave this 4 stars though because the whole virus aspect reminded me A LOT of the Lunar Chronicles. If you've read this book and the lunar series, you'll get where I'm coming from. Overall though, such a fun read!!!
Profile Image for Nicole Alycia.
544 reviews28 followers
March 6, 2018
I love a good retelling and this is, by far, one of the better Peter Pan retellings out there. That’s my opinion at least.
This book followed the original storyline pretty darn closely but in its own little world. I could easily figure out who everyone was supposed to be (I mean, the names were pretty similar) but I could also picture scenes from the Disney movie that corresponded with what was actually going on. I loved it!
I liked the characters, I liked the world it was set in, and I liked that there wasn’t magic in it. I figured there would be with the type of story it was but it was just normal people who were incredibly smart and resourceful.
I’m really looking forward to reading the next book!
Profile Image for Karen ⊰✿.
1,346 reviews
August 24, 2018
I typically stay away from re-tellings because there are just so many that are poorly done and often lazy in execution. But I received the audio for free from audiobooksync this year and then it was chosen for a group read with NBRC so I began!
At the start I was really impressed. I loved the steampunk/dystopian take on the novel and I thought it was very clever. A great way to bring a classic story to today’s readers. But by about three quarters in I felt it dragged quite a bit and kind of limped along to the end.
Overall I’m glad I read it and I would recommend it to others wanting an easy read who are curious about this retelling.
It’s a 3.5 star book for me and I’m not really interested in finishing the series. I think this was enough 😉
Profile Image for Rissa.
1,380 reviews48 followers
June 19, 2017
3.5 ⭐️
Peter Pan is my favorite fairy tale but retelling are not usually interesting to me but her name is Wendy so i thought it was a sign. I really enjoyed the twist she brought to Neverland and the lost boys. I liked that she brought wonderland into this book with Hook doing the Bloodred Queens dirty work. It had new aspects to neverland and the lost boys, yet it stayed familiar/similar to the original
Profile Image for Rachel Patrick.
293 reviews210 followers
May 23, 2016
This review (and others) can be seen in all its properly formatted glory on my blog Beauty and the Bookshelf.

Peter Pan retellings are my kryptonite. Beauty and the Beast may be my favorite fairy tale and movie, but Peter Pan shit is my trash. Some retellings may not be as appealing as others, but I still want to read them because Peter fucking Pan. Everland fell into the category of retellings that I'm not super excited about (and honestly, I'm not a fan of that cover like at all), but I liked how it wasn't set in Neverland and how it had a sort of steampunk quality to it. Now, I can't really dislike a Peter Pan retelling. I just can't. But this is probably my least favorite.

My main problem with Everland is that it's not at the quality I like my books to be at. It's just not. It's not that it's too young; I like Middle Grade! But the writing wasn't my favorite, and it came off as kind of draftish to me. And don't even get me started on Hook's point of view. Once I realized what the writing style was--what level it would be--I got along with it and I liked Gwen's point of view. But Hook. It's like the stereotypical mean girl in a Lifetime movie who's trying too hard and is so over the top mean girl that you want to slap her. Hook's point of view was like that. It was not good, okay? Too sneery, too many exclamation points, too inconsistent in the characterization--just too much and not enough. It's like Hook told you everything instead of showing it to you. And Hook, honey? NO.

Aside from all that, Everland wasn't all that bad. Sure, it was a little obvious with some of the Peter Pan references, horrible things would happen and you wouldn't be emotionally invested enough in the story to be affected, a lot of things happened rather fast (I swear this all took place in like twenty-four hours and Gwen never slept for the entirety of the story), and I can't tell if this is a series and more is supposed to happen, and I'm not sure what the era is--or the world--but it's still a nice, fun, simple little story. It just wasn't my favorite.

The world of Everland is an...interesting one. London is no more, thanks to the Bloodred Queen of Germany (or something like that), the Horologia virus, and her soldiers the Marauders. London is in an apocalyptic state. The virus kills adults first, then females, then males are the last to get it. But one girl might be the cure and the only way to save everyone else. Hence where everyone's favorite characters come in. And despite the issues with this story, I did like Gwen and Peter, Gwen was the sister trying to save her siblings and just survive, and Peter's the boy who comes along and offers help right when it's needed. Some things were a little too fast--like, hello, stranger danger--and maybe their feelings for each other, much as I rooted for them, were awfully quick, they were likable. Although sometimes Peter's characterization seemed a bit off, and that kind of bothered me. Bella was a viable Tink, and I liked the different personalities and talents of the Lost Boys, though I would've liked to see more of where they were all holed up. And again, Hook--I'm just not even going to go there again.

Everland had the makings to be a really unique and cool take on the Peter Pan tale, with steampunk elements, an apocalyptic London, and no actual Neverland. But as someone who's kryptonite is Peter Pan retellings, it pains me to look at this novel and not feel much joy or positivity. This novel just isn't at the level I like to read, and it needed to spend more than a day telling what could've been a very neat story and really worked on fleshing everything out. It wasn't a bad novel, and I didn't dislike it--honestly, I'm stingy and too nice when it comes to that--but it's just not my cup of tea. And I will not, unfortunately, be flying off to Everland.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachael ( RachaelRexds ).
178 reviews168 followers
April 9, 2017
Really enjoyed Everland! It's rather dark but it's also a quick read with a great cast of characters :)
Looking forward to the sequel coming out on 9th May!
Profile Image for Anniken Haga.
Author 10 books76 followers
March 4, 2017
After reading the two latest Owlcrate-books, and really liking them, I had some hope for this one.
Not only had I ''learned'' that owlcrate books were easily read and intriguing, but this one was a steampunk book.
I love a good steampunk book.
When I also opened it, and realised it was a retelling of Peter Pan, I was overjoyed, seeing how I'd just - the same day - finished listening to the original Peter Pan story.
But it did not live up to the expectations...

I was intrigued at the beginning.
Here was an author turning everything steampunk, and I loved it! Bella's wings, the gasmasks, gas-lamps and a dark and gloomy London.
But after a while this wasn't enough to save the book.
I had a had time feeling for any of the characters. They didn't seem real, and therefore I didn't believe in them.
The story also soon started to plummet, and everything went really slow.
The whole book is just, what, one day? two at the most? But I never got a real sense of time, and with everything that happened, but that wasn't nessesary for the story, it just draged.

I also had some other problems with the books.
'cause for it to be logical, everyone must have been children, or at most, teenagers. Even Hook. This was part of why I didn't believe in the characters.
As Gwen - the protagonist - actually say in the book; did the virus - that killed all the adults - only spare the geniuses? A child docter making a vaccine? Ingeneats not older than 13 years old creating a city?
And lets not forget Hook, whom bombed all of London, and set for the ''apocolypse''. He had to have been a child - or a teenager - as well, to not have died in the start.
Not plausible!

And what time was the book set in?
Steampunk is normally set in the victorian era, and so I assumed this one would be as well, but women could be doctors. And no one raised an eye if a female walked around in trousers. But then again, they find a corps in corsets and floppy scirts...

Nothing made sense to me!
So although I read this book fairly quick, I was deeply dissapointed. It was lacking in so many ways.
I know its supposed to be the first book in a series, but I will not be reading on, I think.
Profile Image for Lilian.
68 reviews
June 19, 2016
I can't. This book was amazing, especially the ending! I need the sequel ASAP! I'm excited to see where they're going to take the story.
Profile Image for Skylar.
21 reviews1 follower
May 25, 2016
I got this book in my owl crate and its......... Cute. not amazing. but cute. a nice little snuggle up read if you're looking for a interesting escape. A little cheesy at times....but cute.
August 23, 2018
I enjoyed this both more than I expected but also for different reasons that I thought I would. I went into the story expecting the steampunk but not quite ready for the dystopian edge to the story. I found the first couple chapters didn’t really pull me in and if it hadn’t been for the fact I had to write discussion questions for later in the book, I might not have pressed on. I am glad I did though as I began to find myself more and more intrigued. I really quite liked the way the author spun her tale around the peter pan tale and liked the mixture of both the obvious references I.e. bella’s Metal wings to the more subtle or clever I.e when pan asks Doc if he has lost his marbles.

Over all, I found myself drawn to the strange and intriguing story interested to how the story would play out. I am not completely sure if I will move on to book 2 as the ending left me kind of non plussed but overall I did enjoy the read.

I give this book a solid 4 stars.
Profile Image for Brittany.
334 reviews35 followers
April 28, 2016
Everland is a steam-punk/dystopian retelling of Peter Pan. A quite enjoyable one at that.
It takes place in a post-apocalyptic London that was destroyed by bombs and a deadly virus known as the Horologia virus.
The chapters alternate between Gwen and Hook's POV. While I would have liked to see a chapter or two from Pete or Bella's perspective I can understand why it focuses more on Gwen and Hook.

Hook is looking for Gwen who he finds out is the only person who is truly immune to the virus so he needs her for a cure. Meanwhile, Gwen with the help of Pete and the Lost Boys sets out to rescue her sister who was captured by Hook and his marauders.

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone so I won't say any more than that but if you're a fan of retellings that manage to stay (somewhat) true to the original while also crafting an imaginative new story I'd suggest giving Everland a try.

*ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Richard Dominguez.
815 reviews99 followers
December 19, 2021
"The Only Way To Grow Up Is To Survive".

In this excellent retelling of the Peter Pan story, Pete is the leader of the Lost Boys, the survivors of a war in England that has destroyed their homes, killed their families and has released a virus that will in all probability killed every living person left behind.
The story revolves around Gwen one of a hand full of females left alive and possibly immune to the virus. She joins Pete and his Lost Boys to rescue her sister from Hook the leader of an army bent on taking over what is left of the world.
The reading starts rather off slowly, but soon it picks up turning into a roller coaster ride of action and adventure. Easy reading and short chapters make for a fast and enjoyable read.
The action is great and the suspense is palatable, with some great twist and turn from start to finish, including some terrific "cliff hanging" moments.
The book is part 1 of a trilogy,so while it does end neatly the story is not over by a long shot.
Profile Image for B.A. Wilson.
2,437 reviews304 followers
February 27, 2017
This wasn't for me. I wanted to love it, because it came in my OwlCrate box. I just couldn't. DNF.

Great cover, though. And I love the concept, so one star for each of those, plus effort. I just found the writing style and approach to be off-putting, which left me feeling at all times disconnected from the characters and story.
Profile Image for Azbaqiyah.
727 reviews49 followers
July 3, 2017
Wow....

Frankly speaking...I never enjoy Peter Pan and I never thought that I'll read any of it's retelling...until now...WOW!

Congrats and thank you to the author for this magnificient book!
Profile Image for Eldarwen.
561 reviews60 followers
September 4, 2018
It started out really enjoyable with an interesting setting and a cool take on the Peter Pan story. All the original elements were there, only woven together in a different way. The steampunk part of the story was well done and the story progressed nicely.

Unfortunately, the author then ruined it all with the ending. It was incoherent, illogical and took longer than necessary. Considering Hook's previous actions, it was simply incomprehensible why he acted the way he did in that final "stand", for lack of a better word.

There was something about the writing that bugged me every now and then but I can't place my finger on what it was. Some of the characters could have used a little more fleshing out but I liked most of them. Hook especially had a nice twisted side to him.

Ah well.. It was a decent story overall.
Profile Image for Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress).
373 reviews93 followers
May 25, 2020
Quick read, predictable. Appreciate this being a Peter Pan retelling. We don't have enough of them. There were some lulls in the first 100 pages. Felt more like it was a short story to me
Profile Image for Becky.
4,979 reviews91 followers
April 24, 2016
Everland is a dystopian, steam-punk retelling of Peter Pan.

If I was giving stars for premise, it would be five stars for sure. The premise is surely the most interesting and captivating thing about Everland. Gwen Darling is the heroine. Since a virus/plague killed off most--if not all--of the adults in England, Gwen is responsible for her younger siblings, Mikey, the youngest, and her sister Joanna. When Gwen is out scavenging one day, Joanna is kidnapped by the Marauders, the Marauders are led by Captain Hook, though Hook is just a nickname. His initials are H.O.O.K. Fortunately for Gwen, on the same scavenging trip, she caught her first glimpse of Pete and Bella. These two come to her rescue. Pete eagerly and generously. Bella with much protest and grumbling. Pete hopes that Gwen is truly IMMUNE, the one human on earth who is immune to the virus, the one whose blood or antibodies in the blood may hold the cure for saving those left alive. Pete takes Gwen and Mikey to the underworld--the underground remains of Everland, or London. She'll join the Lost Boys. Bella is the only other girl. Jack and Doc are two Lost Boys that seem to stand out from the rest.

So, as I mentioned earlier, the premise gets five stars from me. Unfortunately, I found the world-building, the storytelling (narration, plotting), and the characterization to all be lacking.

The world-building seemed all-surface and not much depth. Like flimsy props on a set that could potentially be tipped over leading to disaster. I never once forgot myself in the story or got lost in the story. And that's what you want in fantasy: to be swept into a whole new world, to become absorbed in it, fascinated even. It isn't that the world created doesn't have potential or promise. It does. But I don't want potential-fulfillment, I want actual fulfillment. One thing that bothered me was the depiction of this "war" between England and Germany. The German bad guys--led by the oh-so-evil Queen that we never once meet--didn't come across to me as well-executed.

The narration was an almost for me as well. I really did not enjoy the alternating narrators. Chapters alternate perspectives between Gwen and Hook. If I had to have alternating characters, I'd much rather have gotten to know Bella or Pete or if it absolutely had to be a bad guy, Smeeth. Seeing Captain Hook through Smeeth's eyes would have likely been more entertaining than being stuck in Hook's head. Still, I think readers didn't get to know Bella enough, and, it would have been great to have alternating chapters between Gwen and Bella. It would have made for a lively, tension-filled read. Because Bella seemed fierce, strong, stubborn.

The plot itself was okay, but, it was the little things that annoyed me. For example, the "need" to represent pixie dust leading to the gold dust powder that somehow, someway enables all the characters to see in the dark. That's just one example of how the need to represent as many details as possible from Peter Pan led to a weaker story. That being said, the surprise introduction of Lily was very much necessary. Now that I think about it, LILY would have made a good alternate narrator. What I was not thrilled with was the "instant" romance between Pete and Gwen.

The characterization. I personally found it on the weak side. If the premise wasn't so strong, would anyone really keep reading? Or, would I have kept reading?! (That would be the fairer question). Gwen, Pete, Bella, Hook, all the characters really felt like paper dolls. Some readers prefer action-driven novels. Some readers prefer character-driven novels. I happen to prefer character-driven novels. And I like my action novels to have a certain depth to their characters. I think the best villains should be fleshed-out villains. Even though we were in Captain Hook's head, I never once really thought of him as being a developed character.

Think of LOST. Tons of characters, plenty of action and drama, plenty of tension and suspense, plenty of mystery. Yet what hooks me is the DEPTH of the characterization. Every single character is fully fleshed out--past, present, everything in between. You may or may not "like" a character. But every action, every word seems to come from within a character, staying true to that character. The same could be said of Once Upon A Time. And that show put a WHOLE new spin and then some on Peter Pan and Captain Hook!!!!

Would a rereading at some point persuade me to reevaluate this one, and "like" it more??? Perhaps. After all, such has occurred before. But I'm not eager to do so now.
Profile Image for Abby Rose.
499 reviews38 followers
June 14, 2016
Wowie, wow, wow, wow!

What an amazing book! I have to say I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. I'd thought it might be another 3-star Peter Pan retelling to add to my list of Peter Pan retellings I've read, but it was SO much more than that!

The best way I can explain it is that while it's wholly original its a bit like Clockwork Angel, City of Ember, and Hunger Games with J.M. Barrie sprinkles on top.

I do have a couple (relatively small) gripes with the book, and feel a little petty for bringing them up but I'm going to do so anyway.

1) They just can't get Smee right CAN they? It seems like so many Peter Pan retellings these days do a terrible job when it comes to the Smee character. They make him so creepy and violent and cowardly and unlikable! It's like people have forgotten that in the original novel/play Smee was so likable the frightened lost boys actually ENJOYED playing with him while being held captive on Hook's ship. Wendy in particularly loved him; when he asked if she would join them (the pirates) the novel flat out says "she couldn't, not even for Smee". But in these kind of books (most notably Tiger Lily, the YA novel) Smee is the most unlikable son of a gun to crawl the earth! WHY?

I have to admit, in THIS book, it bothered me less than others that have done the same because it feels more distanced from the original. Smeeth isn't really Smee, even though that's where his name came from, and his character (while loathe worthy) was really interesting and cleverly written. Not to mention that showdown between him and Gwen/Wendy? MAN, THAT WAS SO COOL!

Honestly, I wouldn't say anything, save that this is a personal pet peeve of mine.

2) Really? They made the Tiger Lily character a Hindi Indian as opposed to native American to avoid people griping over the alleged "racist" overtone of her character? DUDE, I have friends who are Native Americans and they get less squirmy about this stuff than we do. It's like as a society we just love to slap offensive labels on everything. In fairness, it's not a BAD idea making "Lily" Hindi, but it IS a pointless gimmick, as well as one that's been done before for television VERY recently so was just not needed here.

Those two things said, I'm kind of torn as to my feelings about this being labeled a Peter Pan retelling at all. The allusions to it are VERY noticeable (you'd have to be COMPLETELY unfamiliar with anything Peter Pan not to see them) and add an extra sprinkling of fun to the story, yet this book was so good on it's OWN merits, the characters so vivid and real, I almost wonder if it's a dishonor to them making them all connect to Peter Pan characters.

Especially Pete. He has such an interesting backstory/personality/reason for acting immature, that I wonder if it isn't a bit unfair making him be the "Peter Pan" of the story. And Gwen is so kick-butt and awesome... Maybe making her another "Wendy" character (awesome as that is) isn't entirely fair?

All the same, would I have picked up this book if it WASN'T marketed as a Pan retelling? If I'm being honest with myself, considering the drudge of books out there about post end-of-the-world disasters and children fighting to survive, probably not. And it would have been a shame to miss out just because of that.

Not to mention, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it's the WENDY character (Gwen) in this book who cuts off Hook's hand, not Peter. It was just so unexpected and girlpowery and WOW!

Also it's kind of nice to see Hook as an outright VILLAIN again. In so so so many retellings he's the good guy to Peter's brat, here he's evil again. And I don't just mean a LITTLE evil, I mean A LOT evil. And Peter (Pete) is back to being the hero, which is refreshing. And it's not like Hook is cartoonishly evil in this -- it's really multi-layered, as he has his own POV and everything.

I just loved this book! So fun, with dazzling grimy darkness and sparkling dialogue. Highly recommended!


This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Maria.
227 reviews16 followers
August 2, 2016
Everland was a fun-filled ride of adventure as the reader is introduced to a different spin on the classic story of Peter Pan. I enjoyed the tale immensely as I've always loved Peter Pan. Now before you write this off that you know the whole story and don't need to read this, I disagree. While it was predictable for various reasons, it didn't lessen my enjoyment.

Spinale takes the world of Peter Pan and mixes it with an apocolypse. If this had been done before, I didn't read or watch it. I loved how the magic of Peter Pan was intertwined with an end of the world saga. The two went hand-in-hand. I won't delve any further into that as it was something I enjoyed unraveling on my own.

The characters are as anyone familiar with Peter Pan would expect, but they were well done. The story is told from alternating points of view between Gwen and Hook. I really enjoyed getting to see this Hook's backstory and showing him in a different light than previous stories.

Overall this was a nice, light read. The end had a good conclusion even though it is obvious this will become a series. I appreciated getting some satisfaction and closure out of the first book. I would rate this a solid 4-stars and recommend it to any Peter Pan fans or someone who enjoys an apocalypse story.
Profile Image for Dee☾.
385 reviews105 followers
February 6, 2017
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Not for me at all.
The concept sounded wonderful. Steampunk Peter Pan retelling? Sign me up! However, I quickly found that this just didn't fit the bill. The writing was dull, the characters were bland, the dialogue made me cringe, and the plot itself just confused me. I was not enjoying this and I gave it 100 pages to see if it would get better, but it didn't. Also, this book was incredibly sexist!

"Kill me? I hardly think anyone could leave a scratch on me, much less a girl like you.

Then, Pete basically tells Gwen that her gender is extinct so it's time for her to step up and do her duty. Excuse me? Plus the virus! What was that even about?

I just can't do this. I don't care about the ending enough to force myself to read this. Which I was already having to do.
Profile Image for Adriana Mather.
Author 5 books2,308 followers
March 20, 2016
Gold dust, pirates, zeppelins, crocodiles...oh, my!

This book is such a fabulous adventure. It is a beautiful, reimagined, steam-punk fairy tale. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic London wherein bombing released a virus that killed most of the adults and is slowly killing the children. Peter Pan and 15-year-old Gwen Darling take on Captain Hook to save Gwen's sister. This tale is so gripping that I finished it in a single day.

Oh, and the cover art is stunning and worthy of this adventure. Brava!
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