Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
Everland by Wendy Spinale is a Peter Pan retelling set in a post-war England where London has been completely decimated and the kids remaining are barely surviving. I was drawn in by that gorgeous cover immediately and am happy that the steampunk wings show up right away. However, this seems like a retelling that is a bit too gimmicky for my taste.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Everland from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Everland by Wendy Spinale
Published by Scholastic Press on May 10th, 2016
Genres: Alternative History, Steampunk
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
How is the writing style?
The writing is first person present tense from both Gwen and Hook’s perspectives. As is often the case with present tense, the style comes off as short and fast-paced. It is a bit odd to be getting the perspective of an adult villain along with our young heroine, but hopefully that means Hook will be a sympathetic character!
General tone of the beginning
Right away we are introduced to what London is now. Gwen is living in a ruin with her two siblings and just trying to find food and water to survive. Everyone is dying of virus that was released during the bombings. Things are grim and then a band of kids led by a boy with emerald eyes shows up just when Gwen needs them ;-).
Setting, genre, etc?
This doesn’t seem like it is really fantasy. It’s more post-apocalyptic steampunk. Definitely YA. I don’t think there is going to be magic from what I read, instead the wings and such are steampunk-esque technology.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
Everland is going to get two stars from me. I’m not really feeling all the ways that Peter Pan references are being shoved in and the writing isn’t grabbing me. If a steampunk Peter Pan retelling sounds good to you though, check it out!
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
Everland by Wendy Spinale
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