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Peter Darling by Austin Chant
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Peter Darling (edition 2017)

by Austin Chant

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20517105,067 (4.03)2
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.… (more)
Member:KLHtet
Title:Peter Darling
Authors:Austin Chant
Info:[Castle Hayne, N.C.] : Less Than Three Press, LLC, 2017.
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:None

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Peter Darling by Austin Chant

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Title: Peter Darling
Author: Austin Chant

Synopsis:
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.

Initial thoughts:
With Peter Pan being my favorite book ever, I have read pretty much everything that has to do with Neverland and Pan. Somehow though, this book had flown from my radar until recently and, being the Pan fanatic that I am, had to read it. I knew from the back of the book that this was going to be a romance and that it held LGBTQ elements, so I wasn’t surprised at all by what I read.

Plot:
What I liked:
The representation of trans characters was spot on and never once did the author allude to Peter being anything more than simply a boy because he was. The body dysmorphia really hit home with me as Peter went through the change from Home to Neverland in what his family wanted and what he knew to be true about himself. I really loved the idea of Peter and Wendy being the same person to be honest. It made the story feel connected in a way I never had thought of before and Austin did a fantastic job of keeping the darkness that came with the original telling of Peter Pan when it came to how Peter viewed his place in Neverland.

What I didn't like:
The way that the book started felt very abrupt in my opinion. It felt as though everything was just jumped right into without a lot to back up what was happening until later on in the novel. The romance seemed a little odd to me with the age difference even though Peter was an adult in the book and I found myself rooting more for Ernest than Hook as I read through. Another qualm that I had with the story was the events seemed forced at times. Trouble seemed to simply appear when it was unnecessary to move the story along.

Characters:
Peter: I loved him and his mischievousness that came with his character. He was very much like the original Peter Pan and I loved that.
Tinkerbell: I loved how she was described as more insect like then how the original fairies were in the book.
The Fairy Queen: She seemed to care about the living people on Neverland and wanted them to be capable of making their own decisions when it came to whether they left or stayed.
James: He was a very complex character fighting with what was real and what wasn’t throughout the book. He was very good when meeting the real Peter and treated him no differently than when they were in Neverland together.
Ernest: I liked his way of thinking. He was a very kind hearted kid and tried to be understanding to both Peter and James and wanted there to be a happy medium.
Peter’s Family: I wished that they would have been more accepting toward Peter when he came out as a boy to his family and wanted to be addressed as such. I felt like John and Michael didn’t have a chance to develop toward the acceptance of their brother because of how Peter’s parents reacted to the change.
The Lost Boys and the Pirates: I felt kind of bad for them. They all deserved better and they spent most of the book cowering in fear.

Overall:
I really did enjoy this book and would consider it a light and quick read. I would recommend this book to people who want to understand the right way to treat someone who identifies as a transgender individual. Austin did a fantastic job with this book and I am glad to have read it. ( )
  klcarmack | Nov 12, 2021 |
I loathed Peter Pan in the Disney movie. He was an ass and even as a child I did not like ass holes.

But this story, I liked it so very much. Peter was still an ass but... he changed. And you got to know why.

I do think this is the kind that you will make your own. Everybody will recognize something different in it. Or takes something different out of it. I was not expecting much from it. And don't really know when I got it or why. But I'm glad it came on my path. ( )
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
Peter Pan left Neverland ten years ago, willing to give growing up a try, even if it was in a world where he never felt comfortable. But they say time will always tell, and in this case it told Peter that he could not leave his truth behind. So he returns to Neverland, only to find that the game has changed. In fact, there is far more danger than fun. And when he crosses paths with his arch-nemesis, Captain Hook, he finds that time has also brought about new feelings that he never experienced before...

I love a well-written adaptation. And I love fantasy. So this is an absolutely winning combination for me as a reader. This is also the first work by Austin Chant that I have read, but I am willing to label myself a fan. The complexity of the characters, the slow and organic reveals, and the ways of being true to the original while telling a new story demonstrate a skill in storytelling. We definitely need more well-written stories with transgender characters like this to reflect the diversity of human experience. And while this is a fantasy story, the humanity is universal. ( )
  crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
Peter Darling wrecked me in the best way. I'm going to need to put myself back together after this experience but I reckon it'll be worth it. ( )
  kittenelephant | Jul 29, 2021 |
This story is just plain fun, while also managing to be shockingly heart wrenching. It's a great and original take on Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and why the two found themselves in Neverland, at each other's throats. The rhythm and character building perfectly evoke the original Peter Pan, and the original world of Neverland is brought back to life in exquisite detail. I'm not even sure how to properly sell this to you because I can't put all the joy into words, but here's my attempt: I caught myself thinking about it while I worked, wishing I could read it. It's that good and that much fun.

If you like fairy-tale retellings, and happy endings this is a must read. My one complaint is that I need a tiny follow-up story of the two a year from the ending.

Warning for mention of homophobia, transphobia, and threatening to hospitalize a transboy for who he is. ( )
  lclclauren | Sep 12, 2020 |
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"This book is for every villain who ever inspired a queer awakening, and for every queer child who ever saw themself in the enemy.

It's also for Simone, who is definitely a villain of some kind."
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"James Hook was bored."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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