- Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Trade ed. ISBN 9781250313973 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9781250313980 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys Ad Gr. 7–10
When kids start to go missing in Astoria, Oregon, people look to eighteen-year-old Wendy Darling, who disappeared with brothers Michael and John five years ago for six months and was the only one to return. Unfortunately, Wendy has no memory of the time she was gone. She loves stories of what she believes to be the fictional character of Peter Pan, sharing them with the kids at the hospital she volunteers at; when Peter himself arrives on the scene, rapidly growing up and losing his magic, he teams up with an initially startled Wendy to find the culprit behind the missing children. Though readers looking for a darker take on Peter Pan will find what they’re looking for here, Thomas does little to elevate this narrative above other retellings, such as Anderson’s Tiger Lily (BCCB 9/12). Clumsy prose often bogs down the text and the pacing is inconsistent, with the first half being much slower than the whip-fast second. Still, readers may take some delight (or horror) in some of the plot twists involved with Wendy’s past, and those who enjoyed the romance in Thomas’ Cemetery Boys (BCCB 9/20) will find similar dynamics here.