I bought this book 🙂
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Retelling, LGBT+, Adult Fiction, #ownvoices
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.
Hello, yes, this is indeed a Peter Pan retelling, and I. Am. So. Happy. I adore Peter Pan, so when I heard of Peter Darling I knew I had to have it. Even better, there is a romance with Captain James Hook, and I am 110% obsessed with it. So, without further ado, let’s get into it~ (cisclaimer: I am a cisgender queer female, so please let me know if I said anything wrong regarding gender and descriptions so I may correct myself)
I really really loved this retelling! I think Peter is totally darling, and I would ten out of ten want to be one of his lost boys. This novel dealt with a lot of dark feelings, Peter ran away to Neverland to escape the reality of the real world. In this version he runs away because he was designated as female at birth, and his family would not accept him as anyone other than “Wendy.” However, I did find that the novel barely scratched the surface. It was very short, and did not go into great detail, we just know Pan is upset and why, but it doesn’t explain it in great detail.
He is also older in this version, at twenty-years-old. I’m not sure how old Hook is, but I picture him as forever twenty-eight(ish) in my mind. By the way, I am 100% in love with Hook in this version. He’s flashy and vain, which is goals. He is looking for “buried” treasure, which turns out to be a very fashionable outfit an old pirate left behind. If I were looking for treasure in Neverland, I would probably be looking for the same thing. Hook is goals.
Plus Hook is so gay, and I just love how he basically conjured up a convenient lover to warm his bed (I mean, it’s deeper than that, but I won’t spoil it for you). So I think it would be safe to say, while I loved Peter, Hook is literally so relatable that he was the highlight of the book.
“Clothes, adventure, and a worthy opponent,” Hook said, shooting him a look. “Who ask for more?” -pg 132
On more thing, I like how it made contrasts to his past and present. Peter and I are the same age, so he kept making references to when he was ten-years-old; I like this because it shows how not everything is the same way we remember things. He remembers the lost boys and Hook, but everyone is different now, and he misses how they used to be when he was a naive boy. I often feel the same way about my life, so I could empathize with him here.
Anyway, I just really enjoyed the novel. Hook was superb, Peter was adorable and it was just a really nice quick read! I was filled with all the feels from start to finish!
My only complaint is that it was way to short, I wish it went into more depth–and I wish Pan and Hook could have had even more interaction than they did. There was a really nice make-out scene, but I wouldn’t have complained if there was more. The writing itself was done really well too, the imagery wasn’t too flowery (which I hate), but it was simple, sweet, and on point. Major kudos to Mr. Austin Chant!
On that note, this was promoted in the “adult” genre, but I feel like older teens (17 +) will really enjoy it. It could have been promoted as a New Adult novel, and done just as well!
“Is that not what they call it,” Hook said, “when two men can think of nothing but each other?” – pg 151
Obsessed is a good way to describe how I felt about this novel! I would highly recommend it!
Overall rating: 4.8/5 hearts!
Cover: 5 hearts
Plot: 5 hearts
Characters: 5 hearts
Pacing: 5 hearts
Writing: 4 hearts
Side note: WHO THE HECK IS ERNEST, AND WHAT IS HIS BACKSTORY AND WHEN AM I GETTING HIS SPIN-OFF?? Thank you, and please have a great day! Happy pride month everyone!!