Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
It's always interesting, at least to me, to read a book that is the retelling of a beloved childhood tale. Whether it be a retold fairy tale such as SNOW WHITE or SLEEPING BEAUTY, or a classic such as PETER PAN, these new spins on old stories usually fall into one of two categories--terribly bad remakes, or truly amazing, imaginative stories with new twists. Thankfully, authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS into the latter.
In this rendering, Peter is an orphan about the ship Never Land. He's become the leader of sorts to the other young orphans who have been sold into slavery to King Zarboff the Third, evil ruler of Rundoon. Not long after Peter and his boys board the boat, he meets Molly Aster. The fourteen-year old daughter of the new Ambassador of Rundoon is unlike any other girl Peter has ever met. Actually, the only other girl he remembers seeing in a very long time was the daughter of the Headmaster of St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys.
Peter's increasing infatuation with Molly is challenged when she lets him in on a secret--she is an apprentice Starcatcher, one who guards the magical starstuff from the Others who would use it to do harm. Starstuff is magic that, when it falls to Earth, it brings about increased intelligence, happiness, and even the ability to fly. Although Peter is, at first, quite skeptical of Molly and her Starcatcher business, he soon learns that she's being nothing but truthful.
Add to the story the dreaded Pirate Black Stache and the evil pirate crew of the ship the Sea Devil, and you have an interesting story. Throw in the a shipwreck, a missing cargo of starstuff, mermaids, a flying crocodile, and island dwellers that just may be cannibals, and the story goes from interesting to amazing. This is a remarkable retelling, or possibly even a prequel, to the well known story of PETER PAN. Kudos to both Mr. Barry and Mr. Pearson for a highly entertaining and thoroughly engrossing read!
We all know how the story of Peter Pan goes... now find out how the boy and his friends (and enemies) came to be.
I had trouble putting this book down once I got past page one, which made this a very fast read.
Hey! Do you have a child who asks 'Why?' When you read the bedtime story he/she asks, 'But how did they get there in the first place?' One whose curiosity bump isn't satisfied with 'That's the way the story goes'?
Get this book! Not at all what I expected with Ridley Pearson's name on it, this is a GREAT prequel to James Barrie's PETER PAN.
You learn why Captain Hook is so upset with Peter.
You learn why the crocodile really wants to taste Captain Hook.
You learn how it is that the lost boys can fly.
You learn where Tinkerbell came from.
And so much more...
Now you can answer some of those 'Why?' requests---and delightfully written, too.
So I was in the mood for something light and just a bit brainless, and dove into my daughters shelves for the first book in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearsons Peter Pan prequels, called Peter and the Starcatchers. And oh, what fun this was.
The story is essentially the adventure that got Peter and the Lost Boys to Neverland, introduced his pirate nemesis (here called The Black Stache, as hes pre-hook), and birthed Tinkerbell. Barry and Pearson did an awesome job of creating characters full of personality and a thirst for adventure, and villains worthy of the name.
This book was a joy to read. Its absolutely suitable for kids (for whom it was written) as well as adults craving light, fun adventure.
4 of 5 stars.
I loved this story! It was an easy read for myself (day or two) and I am now reading it to my 9yr old son. It was a bit too much for him to undertake himself but it is the perfect book to read to an older child that likes pirates and a little bit of freight. I wouldn't read it to my 6yr old quite yet.
I would definately recommend this book to others, adults and children alike.