"Another Pan" Review
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: Oct 26, 2010
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality.
"Another Pan" didn't have quite as much to do with the original Peter Pan story as I was expecting. Certain elements were definitely inspired by the story, like names and characters, but I think I wanted more of the actual plot to be like a modern retelling of the story.
That being said, I did like that certain aspects that mirrored the original story. I really enjoyed trying to figure out the nods to Barrie's "Peter Pan" because sometimes they weren't obvious. For instance, Tina, Peter's second in command was a great take on Tinkerbell. Tina was a tough girl in love with Peter, and definitely jealous of Wendy. Other moments I felt like I was uncovering a secret, such as-aha-that's the pixie dust!
I loved the five stories about ancient Egypt that held the clues to the mystery. The stories were fascinating and I'm glad authors told us the whole stories instead of just hinting or summarizing. I liked the Egyptian tie-in and the fact that the characters were involved in a museum exhibit. This reminded me of one of my favorite television shows, "Unnatural History." Sometimes I wasn't really sure how closely this related to the original "Peter Pan" though.
Sometimes, the villain's point of view slowed the story down, as did some of the adults' viewpoints. I really liked Wendy's father but reading about the villain got tiresome for me. I'd much rather see the story through Peter, Wendy, and John's eyes.
I liked the characters' "Happy Thoughts" compiled at the end of the chapters. It was another great homage to the original story.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Cover: 5/5 (this is exactly what a modern Peter Pan story would look like to me)
Bottom Line:This story is absorbing, and I enjoyed trying to uncover all of the references to "Peter Pan."
Posted by Carrie at In the Hammock Blog at 7:23 PM