Author: Austin Chant
Title: Peter Darling
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Pairing: M/M, Trans
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.
But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.
I received this book as an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Born as Wendy, Peter always knew he was a boy. His family, however, refused to see him as anything but a little girl to the extent that they belittled and hurt Peter at every turn. Afraid for his life, Peter runs back to Neverland where he can be Peter Pan and have grand adventures as only a boy is allowed to do. Except, Peter is older now and the adventures of a little boy are no longer as much fun. That is, until Captain Hook starts playing.
I didn't expect this story. Peter Pan is a theme that has been written and rewritten dozens of different ways, so I was prepared for something ordinary. I was so unbelievably glad when that wasn't what I found. The plot was so vivid and unique that in my wildest imaginings I could never have come up with something so wonderful. The dynamic of Wendy versus Peter and the impact Neverland provided to allow Peter to figure out who he was as a boy was beautifully written with twists and turns I couldn't foresee that had me completely unable to put this book down.
This story was part of Less Than Three Press' "My Dearest Enemy" collection which pitted two enemies against each other until hate eventually became love. Peter's enemy has always been Captain Hook, and that is no different in this story, but the way their relationship weaves from hate, to respect, to love, is beautifully written. I couldn't help thinking back on every other Peter Pan book and movie and wondering if there might have been something in those other stories between them that I missed.
This story is wonderful. I was surprised to find something so unique that still fits into the trope of Peter Pan. The way it was written with the plot twists and the love story had me completed hooked all the way through. I absolutely recommend this book.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.