Monday, July 17, 2006

Peter and the Shadow Thieves - by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Ok, let me get this straight, this novel is a sequel to Peter and the Starcatchers, both novels are prequels to Peter Pan, and this is the second in a series of five novels that Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have planned.

Now what is this book that I just saw on Amazon, Escape from Carnivale, a Never Land Book also by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson? Amazon says it's scheduled to be released in September and it's told from the perspective of Little Scallop, the princess of the natives on the island where Peter lives. I guess this is becoming quite the franchise. With a title like The Never Land Books I’m guessing it’s a series. I wonder if each book will follow a different character.

I finished Peter and the Shadow Thieves late Sunday night, but it wasn’t one of those books that I keep reading because I had to know what would happen, it was one of those books that I had to push through just to finish. The book was so long!

The book begins just where Peter and the Starcatchers left off; Peter and his friends are marooned on Mullosk Island under the protection of the Mollusk natives, while Captain Hook and his pirates scheme over how to capture the boys from their fort on the other side of the island. The arrival of a new ship of pirates marks the return of Slank led by a mysterious being called Lord Ombra; they are sorely disappointed to discover that the starstuff that transformed Peter into a flying boy who never ages is gone and they set off to find Lord Aster in London to use his daughter Molly as bait to find out where the starstuff is. Of course Peter wants to help Molly so he trails the pirates to London in hopes of finding Molly before the pirates and Lord Ombra do.

I was a bit surprised to find that parts of this novel seemed more like the work of Dickens. In fact, when Peter is lost and desperate in London an older boy finds him and brings him to his master, an old man who shelters orphans and expects them to beg for him in return and won’t let any of the children escape him (suddenly I thought I was reading Oliver Twist)

I was pleased with the addition of a few new characters like George Darling and my favorite, J.M. Barrie. The plot is fast paced and I suspect that those who enjoyed Peter and the Starcatchers will enjoy the sequel too.

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