Cover Image: Surviving Tiger Lily

Surviving Tiger Lily

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A dark retelling of the beloved children's story. This isn't the Neverland we remember. Haunting, beautiful and bittersweet. As a child, Peter Pan was my first crush. I longed for the boy who could fly to appear in my window and whisk me away to a land of endless childhood. But in Surviving Tiger Lily, the boy who never grows up is much darker, the island is haunted by shadows and secrets. You can feel Tiger Lily's pain and rage and the reader is instantly grabbed by her plight after the death of her sister. Ashtara was killed by the Neversaber, and Tiger Lily has vowed to avenge her death by hunting it down and killing it. But as she treks across Neverland, she realizes that her sister's death wasn't just caused by one animal. Neverland is no longer a place of immortality. People are now growing old and dying. At the center of the mystery is Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Tinker Bell. This is a very grown up book with a healthy dose of nostalgia. We rarely see Tiger Lily as a main character and I loved having a book with her unique POV.

Trigger warnings: sibling death, violence, severe injury/illness, some animal torture, alcoholism, grief. Some NSFW content.

Tiger Lily is a fantastic character with so much depth. She is tough, yet vulnerable and emotionally raw. She is driven and determined, but it is spurred on by a rage and hate that darkens her. It is a great retelling, with a strong plot, vivid storytelling, and the world-building is elaborate and original instead of feeling like a carbon copy of the tale we know and love. There is a LGTBQIA+ side character with they/them pronouns who I hope gets more page time in upcoming books, and a truly platonic friendship without romance between Tiger Lily and Ghost Panther. The ending seemed a bit rushed and was left very open ended, but there is a sequel so hopefully things get explained more there.
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"The day I laid my baby sister to rest was the day I started hunting Peter Pan. I just didn't know it then."

Mourning the death of her younger sister, Ashtara, Tiger Lily vows to avenge her by hunting the creature that killed her. The Neversabre is the ultimate predator, but it doesn’t usually attack people. Tiger Lily sets out to track it across the forest, deserts, and beaches of Neverland, but the closer she gets, the more she realizes that there’s more at work here than one animal. Neverland was once a timeless place, but people are now aging and dying more rapidly than ever before. Somehow, it all ties in to Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and the traitorous fairy, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily will have to risk losing everything if she’s going to avenge her sister and save her people and her home. I received a free e-ARC from the author through NetGalley. Trigger warnings: character death (on-page), child/sibling death, violence, severe injury/illness, some animal torture, alcoholism, grief. Some NSFW content.

What a first line, right? I gravitate toward Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland retellings, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone interested in the former category from picking this up. It’s strong in plot and storytelling, and the world-building is more elaborate and original than we usually get from adaptations, which by nature often rely on a world and characters we’re already familiar with. In a sea of retellings, Surviving Tiger Lily is a fresh take on this story, and I really love the direction Nachampassack-Maloney goes with her story. The plot gradually ropes in all the familiar characters in new ways, and it was the mystery of what was happening to Neverland, more than anything else, that kept me turning pages.

Tiger Lily is a strong main character, and by that I mean she’s three-dimensional as well as tough. We have her vulnerability when it comes to her sister and her people, and her strength, determination, and aggression when it comes to everything else. It’s easy to be on her side, if not always so easy to like her–and who says that all female characters have to be likeable all the time? I like the way her relationship with Ghost Panther develops over the course of the novel and the way it never crosses the boundaries into romance, although it easily could have. There’s an intersex side character with they/them pronouns, and while I was sorry not to see more of them in this book, there’s every indication they might play a bigger role in the next one. (I also enjoyed the Neversabre’s personality because Team Monster every time.)

Where this book doesn’t quite hit home for me is in pacing and emotional connection. The beginning of the book lags, and while I enjoyed the world-building, it could occasionally be pared down to things that are more relevant to what’s actually happening. The action scenes are quick and engaging, but I found my attention wandering in the traveling/waiting/in-between parts. Some of the transitions are abrupt, and I never had a good sense of how much time was passing. For a book that’s steeped in grief, I also didn’t feel emotionally attached to any of the characters, which could easily be a me problem and not a book problem. (You know me– anything to avoid actually feeling my feelings.) I enjoyed the way the overarching plot pulls in elements of mythology and sets things up for future books, but I probably won’t continue with the series.

I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
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2.5
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book.
As always I keep expecting lots of things from Peter Pan retellings, especially when it's supposed to be about a 'dark' one and ends up not being so. The entire book feels like the main character just goes around whilst things are happening around her without any real structure. At no point, there's a factual plan (only the let's go there see if we find anything), I feel many of the conflicts could have been skipped as there was no progress whatsoever and the world-building is extremely weak too. Supposedly there's no contact with our world except for Peter but the expressions and everything they use made me pull out of the story lots of times as they didn't feel appropriate for the environment. I was also expecting this to be a stand-alone and was surprised when in the end absolutely nothing is resolved.
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Thank you to netgally and the publisher for letting me read this ARC for a honest review. 

The cover is beautiful. It instantly caught my attention and made me want to read this book. 
It started off a little slow but I was quickly within this books grasp and had to read it any spare moment.  I thoroughly enjoyed the take on Neverland and its inhabitants, I've read a few Peter pan retellings and I liked that this one was from Tiger lily's point of view instead of Peter. 

A girl sets out to find the monster that slayed her sister and her people exile her for it, thankfully she had a great friend who was willing to risk his life to go along with her.  On their journey they learn things about the island and find out this problem is bigger than expected. The entire island is in danger and it all revolves around Peter Pan and him staying healthy.  Will they save the island and all who call it home? I guess we will agave to wait for the next installment in this world. 

I gave it 4 stars because it was a truly great book but I felt like Tiger Lily was very flat as a character at points. I feel like there was more potential for her character and hopefully in "surviving Wendy darling" we'll get to see that character growth.
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I've always loved the story of Peter Pan, and this dark Neverland tale was everything I didn't know I needed. Magic has consequences, and to see the perils of aging - or not aging at all - cause so much suspense and agony was refreshing in an admittedly twisted way.

I loved the author's prose and absolutely flew through this story. I'm really looking forward to more.
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Retellings of classic fairy tales and Disney stories have been all the rage lately. Some are successful and well-received, while others leave the audience wondering if the new adaptation added anything new to the existing lore. With Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney’s new novel, there is a wealth of new, original lore and legend to explore, and you will be left in wonder of Neverland and its people once more. 

Surviving Tiger Lily follows the titular character of Tiger Lily (with the added moniker of Ivvaly) as she embarks on a harsh quest: finding and neutralizing the threat of the Neversabre, a fierce and bloodthirsty predator that killed her sister, Ashtara. What begins as a quest for revenge takes a shift into the sinister as Tiger Lily uncovers a troubling truth of those that inhabit the island and Neverland itself. 

If you know the story of Peter Pan, you may already be familiar with its characters - Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Captain Hook, and more. You may also be familiar with Neverland, of its landscape, creatures, and magic. It’s a tale that is known and beloved by many of us that grew up with this story, and returning to Neverland struck a nostalgic chord within me while I was reading this book. 

However, Surviving Tiger Lily’s rendition of Neverland feels similar to when you return home after a long time away: it is recognizable, but it is also incredibly changed. Neverland in Surviving Tiger Lily feels darker, more heartbreaking, and more of a grown-up version of the world we knew before. Nachampassack-Maloney’s story is a wonderful blend of nostalgia mixed with maturity, and we get to experience Neverland like never before.

Tiger Lily goes through a tremendous amount of turmoil and heartache throughout this novel, but she perseveres every time. We get to know Tiger Lily extremely well throughout this book and she proves herself to be a ferocious fighter and a natural leader. In short, she is a badass, and I’m delighted to have followed her story in this retelling.

This retelling of Peter Pan also explores the lore of the island of Neverland and its secrets, as well as the backstory of Peter Pan and how he came to be. The entire novel was rich with detail and imagery to encourage readers to envision Nachampassack-Maloney’s vision of Neverland and its inhabitants. It was an incredible and original take that fills in some of the gaps of this magical world and its secrets. 

Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney’s Surviving Tiger Lily is a stunning retelling of one of Disney’s well-known tales, but it is told in a way that feels more grown up, just as we are.
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ThiThis retelling of Peter Pan is probably going to be one of my favorites for a long time. Seen from the perspective of Princess Tiger Lily, the fierce huntress and daughter of the Dominant of her tribe, Tiger Lily must find avenge her sister and the other members of her tribe that have been killed in the most horrific way. Set on killing the monster and the one who controls it, Tiger Lily must decide who is the greater enemy, is killing the one she blames for the monster really the answer she seeks? Will her vengance put her people and all of Neverland at risk? 
I loved this book. I really hope to read more by Nachampassack-Maloney, she is a truely gifted auther. 

*Avenging Warrior Princess
*Avenging Sister 
*Finding true-self
*Enemies to lovers
*Best friends to die for

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. This review was completely mine and written in my words based on my opinion.
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Tiger Lily is reeling from the loss of a loved and decides that memories alone wouldn't be enough - she wants some sort of revenge/justice. From there, she makes a decision to seek that justice for herself, regardless of the consequences and impacts on her family. And then . . . the adventure in Neverland begins. 

Tiger Lily was a great lead character. She was independent and empowered - even to a fault, which created for a really human character flaw/arc in a magical world. 

My favorite parts were those with Peter -- personal preference though, because I just love the darker retellings of Peter Pan -- this certainly being no exception. And I mean . . . this quote -- "Peter is more than a boy. He's everything. He's safety. He's life. A curse much darker than the tainted dust will fall upon Neverland if. . ." Not to mention the Greek mythology tie-ins which brought me life. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.
I just reviewed Surviving Tiger Lily by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney. #SurvivingTigerLily #NetGalley
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This is an interesting premise and overall I am a fan of Peter Pan retellings but I found the pacing to be really off in this book. There were long stretches that felt like hardly anything was happening which also made the more active periods seem extra fast. Towards the end of the book the pacing evened out and enjoyed the story much more. The concept is well done and I liked the magic system. I am really interested in learning more about the magic system and how Peter Pan and Neverland are so intertwined.
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I am a sucker for Peter Pan retellings and this was no exception. I loved it. This is an extremely underrated author and her book was so so so good! I really recommend it
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<i>"I am no princess," I said as I took a tentative step over the mushrooms that made the perimeter of the circle.
"You are what you were born and what you've made yourself into," she argued, though I didn't grasp her meaning."</i>

TL;DR: Kick-ass, girl-power retelling of <i>Peter Pan</i> -- but from Tiger Lily's perspective. 
[Sidebar: I would love to know if this was written by a Native American author, but I can't find anything online...]

Vibes: Peter Pan meets Pocahontas meets...Buffy the Vampire Slayer. IDK why but I got major Buffy vibes. 

Genre: New Adult Retelling
Not to say this couldn't be a YA book -- but the writing style and content definitely lean towards "older audience" for me. I think, in a sense, it's got a pretty timeless, ageless feel, but nothing screamed "adolescent issues" to me. 

Character MVP: I'm a sucker for a strong & sassy pixie, but I think Tiger Lily wins the title this go-round. 

Verdict: 4.5 / 5 stars for me. There's a romance plot at the end that just...IDK. Didn't work for me. More on that below.

I've read a few Peter Pan retellings this summer, and this one is, I think, my favorite so far. (Liz Braswell's take on Peter Pan for the Twisted Tales is surprisingly up there as well.) The other two retellings I read...I'm not sure. They put a twist on the story, for sure, and I could see what the authors were going for, but the stories/twists didn't blow me away. In one book, nothing happened and the Neverland/Peter Pan action was minimal, and the other retelling just felt creepy in the way that betrayed the spirit of Peter Pan. 

I also don't think it's a coincidence that in both of the retellings I like, Peter Pan himself doesn't show up until 2/3 of the way through. All 4 books are told from female perspectives (3 from Wendy's, 1 from Tiger Lily's) but the ones I've enjoyed the most relegate Peter to a side character. 

Shifting the POV to Tiger Lily is an interesting choice, namely because she's such a minor character -- and one who often doesn't get treated well in film adapatations (or by Barrie himself, TBH). The "Indians" of Neverland are very much a one-dimensional, stereotypical image from a child's imagination: they are the antagonist in imaginative War Games of childhood. There has, historically, been little effort to portray them as anything other than that, let alone connect them to actual First Nation peoples of American History. 

So the prospect of a story told from Tiger Lily's POV is intriguing -- and potentially groundbreaking. Again, I would really love to know if Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney has Native ancestry. If she doesn't....I'd have to parse through those thoughts because it verges on Rooney-Mara-playing-Tiger-Lily-in-a-film-adaptation-territory -- a white woman speaking for and appropriating a Native woman's voice/story. 

And I really want to love this story uncomplicatedly, because it has a lot of things going for it:
✔︎ -- Strong Female Characters
Tiger Lily is the central character and she's bad-ass. She's a warrior and a huntress and a leader, but also empathetic and caring and kind-hearted. She follows her heart, but is also connected to her "pride" (people) and we can already see that she'll make a good ruler.

✘ -- I honestly thought she was going to be asexual, based on her reaction to Execro's pursuit of her. He was in love with her, but she wasn't interested in him -- or any man, really. (Okay, I actually thought she was going to be gay and fall for the impossibly-pretty-Willowbrooke, but when that didn't happen, I thought "asexual" was the way we were going to go.) And I really wanted that to happen -- a strong female character without a romantic subplot? YES. 
Buuuut, then she fell for Peter Pan and was attracted to him LIKE THAT (and it's okay, because he aged up from a boy to a man -- a little bit) and I found myself disappointed. 
Because it definitely reminded me of how Disney's Pocahontas doesn't want to marry Kokoum because he's too safe and comfortable, but falls for the first white man who comes along. 
Here, the argument is that Peter Pan doesn't want her to be a wife/mother -- he wants her (LIKE THAT) just the way she is -- kinda rough and tumble and strong and...IDK. It got weird a bit. And that just felt a bit weak to me. Like, would Execro really expect her to NOT be her? To be soft and weak and feminine? Didn't sit well with me. 

✔︎ --  There was some clear LGBTQIA+ representation: one of Tiger Lily's friends in the pride, Fang, uses they/them pronouns, and holds (or will hold) a position of power within the pride, that of Mystic. So that's a bonus.

✔︎ -- The big thing for me (especially with retellings) is how the author makes the story new and different, and yet also their own. I really liked the approach to Barrie's original story here. 
Yes, it was told from Tiger Lily's POV, but Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney also put her own twist on the mythology of Neverland. 
She drew on several different mythologies -- most notably the Greek God Pan (of the wild) and the Lakota God (personification) Etu (of time) -- and played with the idea that Peter Pan was so named not out of an allusion to the god Pan, but that his last name was "Pan" because he's the god's son. Pan created the island of Neverland to be a completely wild space (and also out of time, hence the connection to Etu) which wouldn't be touched by humanity's increasing urbanization and industrialization which, of course, were (and still are) destroying the wild green spaces. Nachampassack-Maloney also makes the fairies more fae-like (fairy circles, slightly dangerous) and there are elements of dark magic, which I hope we get answers to in the next book .

And that's my biggest concern -- the end of the book comes barreling to a close, with different pacing than the previous 80%. There are lots of questions and plot threads left unresolved, but...the next book is titled <i>Surviving Wendy Darling</i>. Which...does that mean it will be told from Wendy's POV? Will there be a 3rd one from Tink's POV? Will they all converge? Are we done with Tiger Lily's story? I hope not; it doesn't seem that way...I want more of Tiger Lily's story, not another from Wendy's.
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DNF at 40%

I typically enjoy Peter Pan retelling, with Christina Henry's "Lost Boy" being my fave, so I was excited to read this. Unfortunately the pacing was super erratic and I found myself getting bored.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley

Actual Rating 4.5

A slightly dark twist on Peter Pan? Yes, please! Tiger Lily is on a revenge filled mission to avenge her sister's death from a terrifying beast, all while proving what a warrior queen she is in the process. What starts as a plan to track down the Neversabre to protect her pride suddenly becomes complicated, and everything begins to tie into dark magic that threatens the survival of Neverland. Battling raw grief, determination, and a feeling of responsibility for all the people that depend on her, Tiger Lily is brought to life as a complex character who is deserving of her own tale. Peter Pan, while in the story, is refreshingly not the main focus. So many different facets of Neverland are explored and brought to life in this book, I love this version of the world. If you are looking for a battle-capable female protagonist, a Peter Pan who may not be as childlike and innocent as he seems, a feline murdercat who radiates deathly vibes, fairies, and cannibals then this is a book you may enjoy as much as I did.
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have been really into Peter Pan retellings recently and this one was truly unique! Told from the perspective of the bad-ass warrior protagonist Tiger Lily. In short, she begins a quest across Neverland to kill a feline beast on the island to avenge her sister’s death. However, there ends up being more to the story than a mere accident. With her companion, Tiger Lily uncovers a somewhat sinister secret about Neverland that changes everything. Plus there is some surprising romance in this story that I really enjoyed. Nothing spicy, but it was a nice turn of events in the story. While in some retellings, Peter Pan is a complete monster and in others he’s a shining hero, I feel like he was very much a morally grey character here. I love it!

I really enjoyed the perspective of this story. Tiger Lily is no nonsense, independent, strong, fearless, and a character that you can’t help but become invested in. Her victories feel like your victory and her sorrows feel heart wrenching. I was so invested in her relationships with other characters, I physically smiled reading some parts, while also near tears in other parts. I also really loved the magic and description of Neverland. That’s one of those details that I just adore about retellings! 

My only complaint is that I sometimes found it hard to follow what was thought and what was actually happening. There were a few times where I had to go back and reread a few pages because I didn’t know where a character went or how something happened. 

For the most part, the book was solid! I truly cannot wait for the next book “Surviving Wendy Darling” to come out in 2022!
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*ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher, all thoughts, opinions and review are my own**

Big thanks to Netgalley for this beautiful story! I am a HUGE retelling fan. Be it beauty and the beast, cinderella, peter pan- you name it, i want to read it. I'm forever grateful for this chance. This was a beautiful, somewhat hauntingly at times- book. Tiger Lily in this retelling is reeling from heartbreak, raw and real and true. Neverland is familiar, but dying. Tiger Lily shows her strength, and sometimes her weakness throughout this retelling in a way that makes you believe you're there with her, trying to fix the land. She isnt overshadowed by the usual Peter characters, which makes this THAT much better, honestly. (Tiger Lily deserved better- always has.) Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney did a great job, and I cant wait to see what comes next from her. Be it in this story's world- or in more of their works!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. 

Wow, that’s all I can really say about this book. No matter how many retellings of Peter Pan I read, I’m always taken aback by the descriptions of Neverland—no matter how similar or different they might be. Surviving Tiger Lily was one of those different books, with a description of Neverland like I’d never seen before and a history that left me wanting to know more. Thankfully for me, this isn’t a standalone book and I’ll get to know more about this new Neverland that I’ve learned about. 

Tiger Lily was such a beautiful character in this book, I loved the focus being on her rather than solely on Peter. Her strength and determination was admirable, even when it probably shouldn’t have been. She led the story well and I hope that we get to see more of her in the second book, even if she’s not the main narrator. I also hope that we get to explore Peter more, I felt like there was something about his character that felt missing—but I can’t exactly pinpoint what that is. We learned about his history, but not a lot about his own personal history. I do hope that he and the Lost Boys (and possibly even the pirates) are explored more in book two. 

Overall, this book was amazing. Not only did it tell the story of a character we don’t know too much about in the original story, but it did it in a way that kept the spirit of the original and of Neverland alive while keeping it entirely different from the original.
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Tiger Lily, the way the author portrayed her within these pages, is a no-nonsense, face the problem head on, heads will roll kind of gal. Maybe I'm biased because I always hated the way she was less than developed in the original Barrie novel. Is it possible to love Peter Pan but utterly hate the way Wendy, Tinkerbelle, and Tiger Lily were written in their origin forms? Must be, because I did. This book helps with a lot of that irritation. 
This Tiger Lily is reeling after finding her sister's body shredded by a massive predator, one that her people just happen to worship. She commits the ultimate sacrilege when she decides to hunt the beast to save other innocents from its claws. Her community thanks her by kicking her out of their town. It's harsh, but she's not surprised. 
One person volunteers to go with Tiger Lily into excommunication, and I really enjoyed the 'will they or won't they' of that relationship. The author doesn't skirt around sexual tension, but there's nothing graphic or offensive in the way it's done. Well, unless you find blood offensive. There's a lot of that in the novel, and Tiger Lily doesn't shy away from violence when necessary. 
The author teased a follow up story titled 'Surviving Wendy Darling'. I'll read that one, too.
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TLDR: The biggest sin this book commits is just being boring. Unskilled writing and an unlikable main character made me DNF after a few chapters. There are just things I would rather be reading than this. 2 stars for not being particularly offensive, but there are better Peter Pan retellings out there. 

Surviving Tiger Lily is a dark Peter Pan retelling told from Tiger Lily's point of view. The story starts with Tiger Lily's younger sister being brutally murdered by a mysterious beast and Tiger Lily vowing to avenge her death and murder the beast. I was pretty excited to pick up this book, as I love a good Peter Pan retelling, but this one did not do it for me. DNF after a few chapters.

This book is very slow. We are thrown into a funeral for the young girl right off the bat, but given absolutely no reason to care about the characters or their grief. The beginning events drag on and I found myself getting bored very quickly. What hints I did get of the grander plot were not enough for me to want to keep reading, and what I had read was dull and uninteresting.

Tiger Lily is the only character I got a good sense of, and I found her rather unlikable. To be fair to her we are not introduced to her at her best moment but even with that she is just not a very fun main character. The book tried to tell me she was fun and mischievous but the all we see of her is a dull, serious girl with nothing going for her to make me care about her story.

This connects to my main issue with this book, there is a lot of tell and absolutely no show. This book manages to both throw you into the world building with a lot of questions and no answers while still using entirely exposition to explain everything that is going on. The writing is just... not great in all honesty. 

None of the things I have outlined here are particularly egregious, beyond just making the beginning of this book a real drag. Unfortunately for this book, the beginning is the one chance you have to convince someone to read your book. While I typically give books I DNF one star, I just didn't have the drive to finish this book to decide if it really deserves one star. 2 stars and DNF.
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I read the first couple of chapters and then gave up.  While I am familiar with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and Neverland in general, the author makes a lot of assumptions about that knowledge and immediately starts referencing the different societies and creatures living in Neverland without any sort of set up.  The narration by the main character is confusing and switches back and forth between the past and present in the same sentences.  Where is the connection between the wild animal that killer her sister and Peter Pan?  I decided that I didn't care enough to keep reading and started something new.
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