Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: Everland

Everland by Wendy Spinale
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Source: ALA Midwinter
Date Read: 6/19/16 to 6/22/16
312 pages

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a daredevil boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Everland was an interesting take on the story of Peter Pan. Rather than a land of fantasy, we're introduced to Everland, the post-apocalyptic London. Where the aftermath of a war has evolved into an airborne virus that affects all, but mainly girls.

BECAUSE WAR NEVER CHANGES. YEAH! (Val recently finished Fallout 4 and is not okay)

This is one of those books where I just rushed through, because of how fast paced it was. Because of that, I ended up not paying attention or analyzing everything I was reading. Though I can say that I liked it, there's a great possibility that I won't remember much of the details. (Hence why I'm having a hard time writing this review, whoops). But let's get on to what happened.

The story opens up to a ravaged London, where Gwen, her sister Joanna, and her brother Michael are scavenging for food and supplies. But everything falls apart when Marauders (or pirates really) kidnap Joanna, as girls are incredibly scarce due to the disease killing them all. It's believed that any girl even alive is considered immune to the virus, and therefore must be taken captive so a cure can be created. But everyone is mistaken unfortunately, because there's only one true immune out there.

Fast forward to Gwen meeting Peter Pan, who CAN'T FLY. Okay yes I was a little disappointed that this didn't end up being a fantasy, but hey at least Tinkerbell can fly! Or Bella in this book, who's only 12. But she has these mechanical wings that let her fly, and she carries gold dust (or pixie dust).

Just based on the cover alone, I expected a much darker story. And although it wasn't as light as say, the Disney animated version, it felt a little "cheesy" at times. Maybe cheesy isn't the right word to use. I guess I expected "Hook" here to be much more darker, more sinister, more cunning. And "Smee" was acting like a bumbling idiot everywhere trying to capture both Gwen and Bella. It just didn't give the sense of terror or evil.

I really don't have much else to say. This is one of the better Peter Pan retellings I have read, but then again I don't think this one was truly for me.
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