Giuliana's Reviews > Seas

Seas by Colleen Oakes
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it was amazing

** spoiler alert ** Received Via: for review

Oh my God, I freaking loved this novel. I had a lot of expectations about this book because I already knew that my favorite pair wasn't going to end up together. Yell at me and do whatever you want: in every retelling of the story of Peter Pan, I always (always!) hope, that Wendy doesn't take the decision to return home and in fact stays with her first love.
But no more talk!
I applied to read the second novel after finishing the first two months earlier, and even then I did jumps through hoops to get it. In fact, I crossed continents (literally), made the request at a local bookshop, and finally got into my hands this book a few weeks later.
At the beginning of the novel we find Wendy and Michael prisoners of the frightening ship of Captain Hook. It seems she made a poor choice to leave Pan Island. Wendy is on the brink of despair but resists for love for Michael, John, her family and for herself.
Seas is a smooth, well-written, vivid detailed and colorful reading. It almost seems to be catapulted into Neverland's world. This is a detail that is missing in many retelling of the Peter Pan story: the inability to perpetrate Peter's world in all its colors, its facets and its inevitable wonder. Oakes was perfectly successful in the task.
Of all the characters, of course, Peter is the one that interests me and fascinates me the most. The boy who would not grow up is so detailed and complicated that it is impossible not to be charmed by him. Peter is really in love with Wendy and this is the thing that kept me from hating him, because you know that underneath all that darkness, it lurks a feeling that can love and then find the light. Wendy, however, uses his love to be Hook's ally. Perhaps this is the only thing that bothered me about the novel: using love for a different purpose. At the same time, however, I realized that there was no other way for the main character to go on.
Wendy can be called a feminist because she openly says that she doesn't belong to either Peter Pan to Hook neither any man, and this, in an Edwardian society, it's really very important. Moreover, in a modern world like ours, marked by a bitter struggle against the injustice of the female world, to put a secondary character, whenever subjected to the will of man as Wendy Darling, as a girl who thinks of herself and fights for what she believes in is something extraordinary. Wendy repeats a phrase several times in the book: "I don't belong to anyone." I think this is the line that changes her, lead her to mature and think. Although she has belonged to many men in her life, in a circumstance or another, she realizes that she actually belongs to herself. I think that in an sexist age like ours, reaffirming the values ​​of feminism, is a very important lesson to learn and coming from a YA and especially from a retelling of a classic tale ... well, the whole thing leaves me breathless.
What you feel for Hook is confusing. We move from liking him, to hate, love, and finally we don't understand how we feel. At the end of the book, one cannot help but wishing that he, more than anyone, gets his too long denied happy ending.
The pirates are fearless but appealing from the outset. They become attached to the girl and her small adorable brother. Despite their bloody nature is constantly shown the human side is often mentioned, making it all the more credible.
In all versions of Peter Pan, Smee was the most personable and friendly pirate; in this book is really rather unbearable at the beginning of the novel. When you slowly discover his character, in the end, you can't help but love him as a grumpy grandfather.
The stories told are a lot and are built in an ordinary and magical puzzle. The description of the characters is so well done that it actually feels like the plot of a movie. The language that Oakes uses is surreal, so enchanting to make you get goose skin.
What most strucks me was the description of places, characters, Neverlandish universe that usually doesn't appear in the other novels inspired by the original story. Oakes takes it all, mixes imagination, esoteric, mystery, magic and above all reality and creates a universe very close to our dreams, but so different that you can't help but be stunned by it. To take a small example, Hook's ship is frightening: there are bones that serve as stairs.
In Neverland, Wendy, John, Michael learn to see the world with different eyes, to take care of themselves, to take care of their family.
The relationship between Hook and Wendy is among the most complicated and the finest in the novel. It has often been suggested, narrated and dreamed of a love affair between the two, between these different extreme Victorian worlds, because a relationship between the female protagonist and the villain is always something well accepted. The relationship that is told however is very different. A sort of mutual respect is established between the two: Hook keeps her prisoner in his ship to his shady purposes against his enemy, but at the same time protects and saves her.
While reading, you completely identify yourself in the context, and you almost expect to live in contact with the situation that surrounds Wendy, who feels alone in the world, with a very heavy weight on her shoulders: protect her brothers and escape from Peter's love, who, despite being dangerous, nevertheless grants her a way out to her girl problems. He allows her to look at the world with eyes full of mischief, to not conceal her true nature, to be wild but mostly to be free. With him she dreams big. That's why I can't condemn at all this twisted love story.
When I found out what was behind the very essence of Peter, I hoped with all my heart that my ship would became canon. As explained by Hook, Peter can't love and feel with full feelings because the shadow would prevent that. I very much hope that Wendy is able to find that part of Peter preserved in humanity because Oakes confuses me, gives me hope, and throws me into panic. And then she writes these words "You are the fire that burns me alive." I really hope that Peter is free of his shadow to be with Wendy. That's why I'm afraid of the next volume. Please, don't disappoint me Colleen !!
If I could, I would ask the translation rights of the novel in Italy, because this novel is to be known and shared. The author has done an immense, courageous and above all magical work. So if you are looking for romance, adventure, courage, something that marks a wound in your heart, then you will have found the right novel in this one.

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Reading Progress

September 29, 2016 – Started Reading
September 29, 2016 – Shelved
October 8, 2016 – Finished Reading

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