THE WENDY (Tales of Wendy #1) - by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

Published: January 2018 - Trash Dogs Media LLC. 
Genres: Young adult / romance / adventure / urban fantasy.    
Pages: 294.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild fantasy violence. 
Format: eBook. 
Source: Netgalley. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

London. 1789. More than anything in the world, Wendy Darling wants to be the captain of a ship, but women aren't allowed in the Royal Navy. When she learns the Home Office is accepting a handful of women into its ranks, she jumps at the chance, joining the fight against the most formidable threat England has ever faced. Magic. But the secret service isn't exactly what she hoped.

Accompanied by a reimagined cast of the original Peter Pan, Wendy soon discovers that her dreams are as far away as ever, that choosing sides isn't as simple as she thought, and that the only man who isn't blinded by her gender might be the worst friend anyone could ask for. Anyone, that is, except Wendy Darling.



I love retellings and I love the story of Peter Pan even more. But since I don't have particularly strong opinions on this book, which makes it hard to critique, I'll be dividing my review of the novel into pros and cons.


PROS:

- Sexism is obviously a big part of this story, considering the era and Wendy's situation. I actually love how the authors handle it. Wendy's feminist attitude never comes across contrived or unnatural, and the sexism she faces is shown rather than simply told. It feels real, integral to the plot, and never preachy. I appreciate that.

- The writing style is perfectly appropriate to the story and its origin. It rings so true to the original Peter Pan story and J. M. Barrie's prose, and the authors wield it effortlessly. It's very much old English, but not in a forced or overdone way. It's natural and beautifully classic.  Furthermore, the novel is so well written. I especially enjoyed the dry humour and strong personality of the third-person omniscient narrator.   

- The characters are fleshed-out from the start. Everyone, except for Wendy, is one-dimensional, but they're still compelling and vivid.  I love how their personalities shine through whether they're conversing, engaging in physical battle, or simply being present in a scene. Everyone is fully realised. 

- Wendy is a fantastic heroine. She's so proactive and clever, and she's always strategising and thinking intelligently about the steps she needs to take to get things done. She refuses to back down, and she's wise beyond her years. Her attitude is inspiring. 

- The story is strong. It's layered, multiple subplots are there, and something is always happening on the page. The locations move around a lot, the characters interact energetically, and it's all driven by Wendy's powerful presence.



Wendy knew, however, that sometimes the best way to win an argument was not to engage in it. 



CONS: 

- The ending is too abrupt. The story cuts off in what feels like a climatic moment, without delivering on the exciting confrontations it's been promising throughout the story. There is a sequel, but even so - it's hardly an acceptable ending for Book #1. 

- Although I found many positives within this book, it still didn't make me go "wow". It's a good book, certainly - well written, compelling characters, engaging plot - but I wouldn't read it again or list it among my favourite novels. It's a good novel - just not an amazing novel. 




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