Review: Planet Neverland by J.M. Page and Juno Wells

Posted May 27, 2017 by Lola in My To-Be Read List, Review, Romance, Sci-Fi / 12 Comments


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and on the last saturday of the month I’ll post my review of the book.

Planet NeverlandPlanet Neverland
by J.M. Page and Juno Wells

Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Fairytale Retelling/ Science Fiction Romance

Welcome to Planet Neverland, where all your dreams become reality and responsibilities are a worry of the past.

Wendy Darling has always been the dutiful, doting sister to her twin brothers, John and Michael, but she’s been so wrapped up in protecting them from themselves, that she never realized she wasn’t living her own life.

The boys are tired of being stifled by Wendy’s smothering and long for adventure and excitement. They get more than they bargained for when they meet Peter, a street performer from another planet, on Earth seeking new additions to his show.

Peter’s been in dire straits for a while now, after most of his crew disappeared without a trace. He’s desperate for more performers and happily accepts the twins into his crew — even if it means their bossy sister tags along. She insists.

But Neverland isn’t as worry-free as Peter promised. His wasn’t the only show in town that had people mysteriously vanish and despite his burgeoning romance with Wendy, Peter knows his days are numbered.

When her brothers are the ones in danger and Wendy risks herself to save them, Peter will have to face his demons once and for all, or lose everything.

My Review:
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

Planet Neverland was a great read! My rating is more towards a 3.5 star and it’s my favorite book by this author so far! For anyone looking for a good Peter Pan retelling I would recommend you give this book a try.

I am slowly beginning to think that the less well known I am with a story or the more an author gives her own twist on the story, the more I am able to enjoy the retelling. Peter Pan never was one of my favorite fairytales. I can visualize how the Disney characters looked like and a bit of the story, but that’s it. I think that’s partly why I was able to enjoy this book so much. It felt like a completely different story for the most parts with some hints to the original story.

It did bother me a bit how at times I could only visualize the characters with how they looked in the Disney movie, but I think that’s because they all had the same names as in the original story. And while the characters definitely have strong similarities with the Disney characters, visualizing them as cartoon character still threw me off a bit.

Planet Neverland tells the story of Wendy who follows her two brothers to a new planet called Neverland as Peter Pan promises the boys a chance to be part of his show. Neverland is a planet focused on entertainment with shows and casino’s. And while it’s said first that there are no responsibilities, we quickly find out that’s not really true. As Peter Pan has his own troubles and not everything in Neverland is as fun at it seems at first. While the tone of the story is light for most of the story, the story also touches lightly on some more serious topics like grief, debts and substance abuse.

At first I struggled a bit getting into the story. Wendy seemed super overprotective of her brother’s in a way that felt annoying and almost overdone. Peter Pan seemed like this carefree guy who didn’t have a care in the world and just wanted to have fun. And the twins, Wendy’s brothers, were the characters I could relate to the most.

But as the book progressed I got more into the story and there’s this scene about halfway through when we finally find out why Wendy is so overprotective and it suddenly made sense. Peter Pan matured a lot as the story progressed and got some more depth. I was pleasantly surprised to find both main characters had more depth than I expected at fist and I started to like them more by then. I also liked seeing the changes in both characters as the story progressed.

It’s first and foremost a romance story and a fairytale retelling. The romance takes center stage, but there’s enough room for the other plot liens as well. The romance is even a bit of a slow burn with Wendy and Peter strongly disliking each other at first. It took me a bit to warm up towards the romance, but by the time I was reading the restaurant scene I was sold. I also appreciated the fact that there is no big drama or break up scene. They do have some arguments and jump to conclusions, but they resolved things in a mature and realistic way.

The world building and sci-fi elements are very minimal, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but don’t read this book for the sci-fi parts as I think you’ll be disappointed then. Then again the authors make more than up for that with a good story, interesting characters and some nice hints back to the original fairytale.

There was a scene at the start of the book were they were in a spaceship and I couldn’t help but think how it didn’t make sense that with artificial gravity on they could still be blown to the other side of the ship when they took turns. It didn’t make sense to me. We get a bit of a feel for planet Neverland, but for me it never really came alive. And I would’ve liked to know a bit more about how the dust worked as at first it seemed to work a certain way and then at the end it just seemed something else.

To summarize: if you’re looking for a great Peter Pan retelling, give this book a try! It was a great read and while Peter Pan isn’t my favorite fairytale, I did enjoy this retelling. I did sometimes visualize the characters as the Disney movie characters from Peter Pan, which was a bit jarring. The start was a bit off for me and the character seemed a bit one dimensional, but that vasty improved when I continued reading. Both main characters had a nice bit of depth and character development throughout the book. The tone was mostly light, but also touches on some more serious topics. The romance was a nice slow burn and from a certain scene onward I could really appreciate their romance. I also liked that there were no big argument or big communications between them. The focus is mostly on the romance and the retelling part, while the sci-fi aspect and world building is very limited. All in all I thought this was a great retelling and would recommend this one to people who are looking for a fun retelling with a bit of a light sci-fi.

It’s only $0.99 on Amazon at the moment!

You can also read my review on Goodreads and Amazon.

What’s your favorite fairytale retelling book?

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12 responses to “Review: Planet Neverland by J.M. Page and Juno Wells

  1. Oh neat! Glad the retelling part worked for you. I am glad you mentioned the sci-fi was not strong b/c I probably would have gone in looking for that. Good that characters and romance were well developed. I’ve got this series on my list already. Thanks for the review, Lola!
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Sorry, but we can’t finish these books!My Profile

    • I am looking forward to hear what you think of this one if you decide to read it :). The book was good, but I thought it was important to mention the sci-fi aspect is very light. The characters and romance were well done.

  2. I’ve been waiting for this review so I could see your thoughts. I’m kind of tempted to read this one since I don’t think I’ve ever come across a legit *retelling* of the Peter Pan story. Like, it’s always just the characters from Peter Pan in a sequel or prequel type thing. Which I do enjoy, but this sounds interesting too. And ok Wendy sounds a bit annoying with the overprotectiveness, but the others sounds like good characters!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Real Vampires Take No Prisoners (Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle Book 3) by Amy FecteauMy Profile

    • I think you might enjoy this one as you usually enjoy retellings more than me. The book is only $0.99 at the moment if you want to give it a try ;). This was really a retelling instead of a prequel or sequel indeed. Wendy was a bit annoying at first, but later it makes more sense why she’s so overprotective and she also changes a lot throughout the book, which was great.

    • It was an interesting read for sure :). I’ve read a few beauty and the beast retellings, but it isn’t my favorite fairytale.

  3. I’m not sure about this one… I fell in love with the original play and story by J.M. Barrie as a small child and vividly recall being taken to see Peter Pan at the theatre as a child aged 8 for a Christmas treat… I don’t think this retelling is sufficiently close to the original for me not to find it jarring, while it sounds entertaining and well written. Thank you for a comprehensive and informative review that allowed me to make that decision – it is awesome:)
    sjhigbee recently posted…While the Morning Stars SingMy Profile

    • I actually can’t remember too many details of the original tale (or actually the Disney version is the only I’ve seen), so it’s hard to say how close it is. I actually like retellings more if I either don’t remember the original tale as much or the retelling is more distant from it. As I find it more jarring when the retelling is too similar :). Interesting how for you that seems to be the opposite.

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