I’m sorry if this is a rant review and that it works best with some spoilers. So be warned.
I was provided a copy by the publisher/author via Netgalley. Thank you.
TITLE: Second Star
BY: J.M. Sullivan
SERIES: Neverland Transmission Novel
GENRE: Young Adult, Retelling, Sci-Fi
PUBLICATION: March 5th 2019 by Bleeding Ink Publishing
RATING: 2 stars
It was the cover that caught my interest and the first reason I requested this book on Netgalley. But then I read the description and I was immensely intrigued. A sci-fi retelling of Peter Pan set in space? I was completely sold with the idea.
But sadly, though the concept of this novel was really good, the execution wasn’t.
This tells the story of Wendy and Peter and how they survived the SHADOW in a planet called Neverland. The description said about Wendy as a new captain of a space ship and was given a task to rescue the legendary Captain James Hooke and his crew. The Brigade received a transmission from Hooke’s ship saying they found a planet when they followed the Second Star, and they call it, Neverland. Also James Hooke’s ship had been missing for a hundred years, thankfully the transmission explained that Neverland’s time isn’t like of Earth even though it looks like Earth.
My main problem is, there is no effing mystery or suspense in the plot even though the description promised it. Seriously, read the description and you’ll think oooohh, it’s gonna be one mysterious, interesting journey Wendy would take but no. First of all, the story started with Peter, one of Hooke’s crews, and before they crashed. And then when we get to Wendy, she’s just starting in the Academy. Yeah, the story basically started from the very beginning. How boring is that? I mean it would’ve been better if we started with Wendy taking off, and through her struggles in space, we’re given flashbacks on how hard it was for her in the Academy. Actually I didn’t see hardship in the Academy because she’s a genius. I didn’t see her geniuseness as well. We’re just told she’s amazing.
And giving Wendy the job is PREPOSTEROUS!!! A transmission from a legendary captain who’s been missing for a hundred years and you’ll give it to a newbie like Wendy and she’d been promoted just so she gets the job. The only explanation was as the Admiral says, she made a mistake of not trusting someone before who deserves it and so she’s not gonna make the same mistake again. Like what? It wasn’t explained. The Brigade should have other captains more suited and experienced for the task. It was a very important and dangerous task, for God’s sake.
And Wendy and Peter only met at 50% mark. And they fell in love in 55% mark. No fucking kidding. God!!!!!!! The romance was not really necessary, it can be hinted but making it as important as the main plot is just a bad idea. The thing is, the story followed the real story of Peter Pan so Strictly and when it came to Romance, the author should have followed the original. In real Peter Pan, the Romance is not a main theme. Some subplots are too cliché too.
And I know this is a retelling but like I said, the story followed the original too close, aside from the ships, AI and bots like TINC, Peter’s nano-bot, there’s no other differences in the plot which made the story predictable. It’s also filled with eye-roll inducing scenes.
The writing is not really for me. I was expecting for a deep, more complex writing since it’s sci-fi yet I found mediocre and juvenile. I get that maybe the author is trying to make her book more understandable unlike other sci-fi with words I usually don’t understand but really, it’s too ABC.
The dialogues are too cheesy and cliché like this one:
“Peter, can you hear me?”… “Say something.”
“Wendy.”… “You saved me.”
“Saved you?”….”But I’m just a girl.”
I know it’s a reference but ugh! Theres’ also dialogues like “I couldn’t have done this without you guys, seriously.”
Also I don’t really feel emotion, any emotion, while reading. It’s because the characterization of Wendy is so pretentious. I think she’s being shown as badass, smart and who’s someone that will think of her crew first before herself. What a pretentious ninny. I couldn’t feel her. I couldn’t feel her fear when she first came to the academy even though she has teary eyes when her parents left, I don’t feel her crush for captain Hooke or later her love for Peter because hey, she just described their physical looks. Ugh! I hate this Wendy.
And there’s one more thing, the use of the natives as the antagonists in the story. Don’t even let me start with this aspect.
Obviously, I don’t like this novel and my two stars are all for the main concept because a sci-fi retelling of Peter Pan set in space is really nice to think about. And the cover is pretty, for me
Hope you guys like this novel as much as I do.