Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reflections: Peter and the Starcatchers

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers:

"Peter and the Starcatchers is not a book I would have picked up and read on my own without external motivation.  Thousanders voted that Peter and the Starcatchers, a prequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, be the book of the month for June so I had enough reason to read it.  Having done so, I think the book should be applauded for what it does well; however, it also has some significant problems that dissuade me from continuing the series, which includes two other books.

Peter and the Starcatchers is, of course, written for a younger audience; therefore, I'm not applying the same level of scrutiny and expectations that I would for books written for a more mature audience.  The book still does some things pretty well, especially toward the beginning of the book.  I think the authors did a relatively good job establishing a sense of mystery and intrigue as well as giving the reader a handful of characters to care about.  There are some fun moments, certainly not laugh-out-loud moments, to be had, and the book moves along at a very quick pace.  Younger audiences I think would respond well to the pacing and the intrigue.

But that's where Peter and the Starcatchers tends to break down in my mind.  The pace is so quick most of the characters get left behind.  My biggest gripe about the book is that it becomes a checklist of how things came to be in Never Land.  How Black Stache (soon to be Hook) lost his hand.  Check.  How Never Land got its name.  Check.  Why Peter can fly and never gets old.  Check.  Where Tinker Bell came from.  Check.  It's hard to avoid this, I suppose, when writing a prequel to an extremely well-known story, but it makes for very stilted plot development.  By the end of the book, I had lost most of my interest in the characters and the story and haven't had much reason to look back after sailing away from Never Land.

Younger audiences might enjoy this book and its sequels.  It wasn't one I ended up enjoying all that much, although initially I did.  I guess this wasn't a great candidate for my liking since I've never had an enormous love for the original Peter Pan story (even the Disney film never did much for me when I was a child).  Peter and the Starcatchers is a quick read, but I wouldn't take the time."

No comments:

Post a Comment