Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book 22: Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Pages: 557.

How it was obtained:
I got this for Susan as a Christmas present.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf:
3 years.

Days spent reading it:
1 week.

Why I read it:
Susan and I really enjoyed Peter and the Starcatchers, a interesting retelling of the Peter Pan story. So we picked up the sequel as well.

Brief review:
Let me start off by saying that I LOVED Peter and the Starcatchers. I thought it was a brilliant telling of the origins of Peter Pan. Peter and the Shadow Thieves is a continuation of that story.

At times Shadow Thieves is as good, if not better than its predecessor. At other times--not so much. The new enemy introduced, Lord Umbra, is a brilliant addition to the story. He is evil, cunning , and aware of his own power. Tinker Bell (who is introduced at the end of the first book) is also a great addition to the tale.
Captain Hook (another fun character), while still in this book, is relegated to a side-story with the other lost boys.

My biggest complaint about Shadow Thieves: the book is too long. Its dull at points, the story drags in others. I wish writers would learn to cull their works down to more manageable sizes. Has anyone else noticed that books keep getting unneccesarily longer and longer? But the nice thing about Shadow Thieves is that the chapters are blessedly short, a few pages at most. This keeps the story going, even in its slow times.

I enjoy this retelling of Peter Pan. Its more about his early years and its told in a fun way. It was not quite up to the bar set by Peter and the Starcatchers, but it was still fun. Lord Umbra was a great addition to this cast of characters and makes this installment much more interesting than if he was left out.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy the story of Peter Pan, and especially to those who enjoyed Peter and the Starcatchers. It's young adult, but it has enough going on for a full adult to enjoy.

Favorite quote:
About Captain Hook--"A glimmer of an idea began to glow in his sinister mind, and the more he pondered it, the brighter it grew...Finally, the rage that had engulfed him for days was gone, and the joy of pure evil filled his calloused heart."

4 out of 5.

Final Word:


Anonymous said...

It's not a "retelling" - it's a half baked attempt at writing prequels.
But the fact is that J.M. Barrie already has a backstory for Peter Pan and the Barrty/Pearson novels COMPLETELY ignore it. What's more, they'er riddled with tons of mistakes. It's like they never even read the original stories!

There is a Peter Pan novel that's faithful, however:!

Patrick said...

Hello Never Fairy, thanks for commenting. But I would like to stand by my statement that this is a retelling. According to Webster's a retelling is "A new account or an adaptation of a story" and I think this set of books fits into that category. Its not consistent with the original because its a whole new twist on the original. That's why they ignore the back-story that's you say is already there. They're making up new stuff for a new audience.

However, I admire your commitment to the original work. I appreciate loving originals. And I would say that Barry and Pearson probably do love the original story, but also wanted to update it and bring it to life in a new and different way. If you don't like it, that's alright. But I think you've got to admire their desire to give us something a little different.

Anonymous said...

But a re-telling implies the original story is being retold. It's not.

And there's no justification for them ignoring another author's work as it stands. Besides conceptual mistakes, simple fact-checking isn't even correct.

It seems like they wanted to make a prequel to the Disney movie (given the red hair and such) but they even go and contradict THAT.

Oh well. Just as long as you're aware of their disrespect. :)