I received Everland by Wendy Spinale in my June Owlcrate box, and have only recently gotten around to reading and finishing it.

For starters, I put off reading this story because it excited me: a re-imagining of Peter Pan. Steampunk genre galore. A beautiful cover. I was anticipating a wonderful, magical ride and adventure.

Goodreads summary of Everland:

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.

Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil 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 might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?

 

My Review of Everland:

The characters in Everland seemed to be a little bit cookie-cutter to me. Now, I haven’t seen the Disney film Peter Pan in years, but I understand the basics of the characters’ personalities, and I feel like Spinale just gave them those characteristics and maybe amped them up a bit more (and tried to sexify them).

There was also a lot of unnecessary scenes and dialogue that I found myself just skimming through. There were a ton of pages dedicated to characterizing the “Lost Boys” and showing their social hierarchies. I skipped these because they were unnecessary to the plot and I didn’t care about the characters.

Plot:

It was okay. It wasn’t all that original. I mean, obviously it’s a retelling, but I feel like Spinale just kind of slapped on a typical dystopian-type plot over the magical world of Peter Pan to call it a retelling. I would’ve really loved to see more twisted around with the story, seen a new take on the original.

Because of the backstory and build-up, I believe Spinale wants to make this into a series. But personally, I don’t think that the ending of Everland allowed for that. Therefore, the story leaves readers with tons of extra details and information.

Characters:

I already touched on this a bit, but the characters were predictable. It ended up being pretty boring. Spinale made the character Pete very “sexy”, and Gwen was your typical tough-as-nails-mother-figure-but-also-has-a-heart-of-gold female protagonist.

“Captian Hook” was the most cliche villain I have ever read. I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading. He was totally like a caricature of every cartoon villain, complete with maniacal laughter. It was kind of hilarious.

Overall:

I wish I had more to say about this story. I wanted it to be so much better than it turned out to be.

Personally, if I’m going to read some kind of re-telling, I want the story to be unique. You can’t just take the same plot, the same characters, with the same names and call it something new. But again, that’s just my personal take.

Anyway, I give Everland 2.5/5 stars

2.5 stars

Everland by Wendy Spinale Book Cover Title

Have any of you read this story? What did you think? I would love to know if any of you enjoyed the story, and what you liked about it.

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