Author: Dan Elconin
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 295
My Rating: 5/5
Ricky has been dreaming about "the Island" for sometime now. When an Australian-accented lad by the name of Peter appears in his bedroom to take him to the Island, he thought why not? Life can't be any worse than it already is anyway, he needs an escape.
Except the Island is not a paradise. In fact, it is Ricky's worse nightmare as he and those trapped with him fight for their lives. From zombies to an enormous crocodile with a grudge, the Island is a dark and mythical place that is impossible to leave.
In a twisted universe of Peter Pan, Dan Elconin brings you a fascinating tale that will keep you on the edge and in fear of a world that was once about youth and fun.
The first chapter is where the story rocket is ready to launch. The second chapter is when it has sprung up at super speed where it becomes a thrill of a ride!
I am so intrigued by the author's take on this popular fairy tale. I was never a Peter Pan fan but when asked to review Never After personally by the author, I thought why the heck not? And man, I love this novel from beginning to end!
You have Peter, this evil guy who for some reason kidnaps teens from reality and brings them to his world for an unknown reason. There is a herd of mindless guards who protect him, in which Ricky and the gang call them "the Lost Boys/Girls". Hooke is the leader, who is desperate to get off the Island since he has been trapped there for quite some time. And the other teens, Nigel, Alex, and Mariah, all have their own reason why they wanted to escape reality. Each and every character brings a little something to the story, including Ricky himself. It was great to see the interaction of all the characters that made Never After what it is and each of their voice is unique. Not to mention, Elconin skillfully added in all the aspects of the original story to make it into his own! He transformed what used to be innocent in the tale and made it into something horrific. And those that were already bad, he just exaggerated them even further!
What I love most about the characters (well mainly Hooke and Ricky) is that they think about all the possibilities out there before acting upon anything. Most of the time in novels, the characters generally jump right into it and I would think, "Why did they not consider this before doing that?". So it was nice to see some characters out there that actually use their heads first.
There is one thing that caught me off-guard about this novel: the amount of profanity and sexual language used. I really did not expect it and when it came out all at once, it was a bit distracting. However, I got used to it as in no doubt, I would be swearing my head off too if I was in the characters' situation.
I highly recommend Never After for anyone who would like to try a retelling that would keep them reading until the very end! This one is also for the male readers out there because I am sure it would fit up your alley!
Review copy provided by Dan Elconin.