Everland by Wendy Spinale
Paperback ARC, 312 pages
Published by Scholastic Press
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Pre-Order: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, 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 are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders—the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy 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 will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
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!
1) If you were a kid like me who knew that Peter and Wendy were an item, then you need this book! It is the relationship confirmation we've all been dying for! I adore their chemistry, and how they bring the best out in each other. It was great, I love them!
2) I love how this is a fantasy turned steampunk. Wendy Spinale (and I can't get over how wonderfully fitting her name is for someone who wrote a Peter Pan retelling) has worked out all of the magical elements and somehow recreated and incorporated some awesome scientific elements—right down to the pixie dust!
3) The dual POVs from Gwen and Hook's perspectives are really great. You get to see how the heroine and villain's stories come together and it's incredibly well-executed.
4) I really like how Hook has a tragic backstory, but really, he is still a villain. I hate romanticized villains—the ones that do horrible things, but have a sad backstory that excuses every awful thing that they do, and that's not the case here.
5) Spinale really showcases many different types of familial relationships—both blood related and not. I love it when books have families that are created by choice, and not just because the characters are blood-related, and you get to see a lot of that in Everland.
1) I originally wasn't sure how I felt about the beginning of the book. There is a lot of information to take in at once, and it was a little overwhelming. However, in the end, it was definitely necessary for the world building.
Pickpocket clears his throat, reminding me of the audience around me, and I feel heat crawl up my neck, face, and ears. Mortified, I berate myself. I've been brave in the face of danger, dodged bombs and bullets, eluded soldiers, fought others for supplies, but a shirtless boy makes my legs feel weak.
"Pete?" I say, my voice crackling. "Please don't die."
Pete gives me a dazzling smile and bows. "To die will be an awfully big adventure." He blows me a kiss and pulls the heavy door shut with a metallic clank, leaving me alone in the dark.