Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blog Tour Review: Wendy Darling Volume #3 - Shadow by Colleen Oakes

Book info:
Author:  Colleen Oakes
SeriesWendy Darling #3
Genre:  YA Fairy Tale retelling/fantasy
Release Date:  July 18th, 2017
Publisher:  Sparkpress, SparkPoint Studio
Source:  ARC from publisher for review
My rating:  5 stars


Wendy Darling has found herself once again in the arms of charming Peter Pan, the god-child who desires power above all things. This time, though, Wendy burns not with passion but with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the evil that holds all Neverland hostage—the Shadow.

To do this, Wendy must quietly undo Peter from inside his heart while at the same time convincing Tink to betray the twisted love that binds them together. This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game—a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life. 

As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the Shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, pirates, mermaids, Lost Boys, and the Darling family will all rise—but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, they will all be destroyed by Peter’s dark soul. War has come to paradise, and Neverland will never be the same.

My Review:
If you've followed me for a while, you know that I am a big fan of fairy tale retellings.  This series is one that I got the chance to read about a year ago, starting with the second book.  While I haven't gone back and picked up the first, even though I do have a copy, I was able to get right in with book two, Seas.    If you go click that link and check out my review, you'll see that I really enjoyed it.  So when I heard from the publisher about the chance to read the final book in the series, I jumped on the offer.  What is really fun about reading it right now, is that I actually was on a family vacation to Disneyworld when I started it this past weekend.  Even more funny is that the first ride I rode at the Magic Kingdom was the Peter Pan ride.  

In this final book in the trilogy, Colleen Oakes has taken the well-loved story of Peter Pan, and turned it around, while completely staying true to the original ideas and characters in such a way that you still feel you are in that original Neverland written about by JM Barrie.  If you haven't finished the first two books, you might want to quit reading for my final paragraphs of the review, just know that I highly recommend this whole series.

While we have come to root against both Peter Pan and Tinkerbell in this story, Wendy is able to still see the good in Peter, as well as Tink,  and be able to hope that not only will Wendy be able to defeat the Shadow that is destroying Neverland, but that somehow she can also redeem both Peter and Tink, and help them to be the characters that everyone can love once again.  I rooted for Wendy's love from back home, Booth, to understand when she had to play up to Peter, to make him believe she loved him instead of Booth, in order to save his life.  I love that what I feel is more realistic, for her explanation to convince Booth without a ton of distrust like you so often find in these situations.  While there were those who sacrificed in the end to defeat the shadow, it wasn't in a way that everyone just gave up and became good, no, it worked the way that it needed to.  Many beloved characters may have lost their lives in this story, but they did it in ways that pulled at my heart, and kept the story as rich as could be.  There were no easy out solutions for this, and there were still surprises at each and every turn of the tale.  

If you like a good retelling, or are a fan of Peter Pan, this is the book you need to pick up and read next!