Friday, March 12, 2010

Peter and the Shadow Thieves

And we're back with the second and longest of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter Pan Pseudo-Prequels. Why pseudo-prequels? Because they mess around with a number of backstory details, offering a different explanation for several things than James Barrie did in his notes. I have been informed of this after posting my review for Peter and the Starcatchers, so there's my disclaimer for the series. It's more faithful than the Dune prequels, though.

With that said, here's Peter and the Shadow Thieves. Keep a weather eye on the horizon, mateys, thar be some spoilers ahead.

The world of Peter Pan becomes more complex as Peter embarks upon his second adventure. While Mollusk Island, also known as Neverland, is far from safe, it's better than London-- which, of course, is where Peter must go. Molly Aster needs his help, because there are some new terrors afoot. First is the ruthless pirate captain Nerezza, who has a mean streak that more than makes up for his lack of a nose. Second is Lord Ombra. The Master of Shadows, he is after all the remaining starstuff he can get his hands on, and boy, is he evil...

And that's all I'm going to tell you, plotwise. Suffice it to say Peter and Molly get into a lot of new scrapes, but the sense of danger is not the highest because of the knowledge that they survive. The little tweaks suggest an alternate plotline that could lead to the major characters actually dying, but we all know that won't happen. So Peter and the Shadow Thieves must derive its suspense from the uncharted territory. Namely, Ombra and Nerazza. And they're quite the motley crew of villains, making Captain Hook look like a fool by comparison.

It's nice to see some other ties into the more traditional Peter Pan universe. These include some simple Darling characters, as well as the development of Peter's relationship with the Mollusk tribe. While the book is a bit bloated at times, it is the longest in the series, so we can say thay Barry and Pearson learn from their mistakes. It's still a fun read, one that goes by pretty quickly. Next stop, Rundoon.

My rating: 8/10

Coming Soon: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon.

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