The Pan: Experiencing Neverland by Matthew Eldridge (Review)

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Kindle Price: $7.88

Official Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis:

“Take a journey with one of the world’s most popular orphans, Peter Pan, as he leaves his native land, England, in search of adventure. Traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, Peter makes some new friends and villainous enemies as well. Eventually, he discovers the place where a boy should never ever be—Neverland: The land of pirates, natives, zombies, missionaries, and Wendy’s orphans, the Lost Boys.
And while Peter vows to never grow up, he can’t help but to mature into a young man, faced with the attraction of a beautiful young woman.
But Peter’s entrusted with a secret: He can stay young forever, after all. He only needs to discover the clues to finding and unlocking the Fountain of Youth, while battling the dreaded Captain Hook for the same prize.
Matthew Eldridge’s version of the Peter Pan story is a dark, humanistic, yet innocent adventure, dipped in realism with true settings and believable characters. Join Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, Tiger Lily, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook and many others as they fight their way from Neverland to the Fountain of Youth. This is not a fairy tale, but a historical action adventure following the life of the boy who refuses to grow up.

This special edition of The Pan benefits impoverished Native American children living on reservations. Many of these native children live in deplorable, third world country-like conditions.”

 

My Review:

I won’t lie, I picked up The Pan: Experiencing Neverland because of the promise of it being dark. Don’t get me wrong, I like Peter Pan and his childish innocent ways, but I most definitely wanted to see a dark version.

I was disappointed though, although it may be just me personally, I felt that it lacked the ‘darkness’ that I was looking for. Admittedly, I had wanted to see Peter be rather…well, bad. My interpretation of dark was that he wasn’t going to be the giggling boy who wouldn’t grow up, he was going to be a boy who knew so much that he had to.

Eldridge captured the child-like part of Peter, I would have to agree. I could hear his voice as I read, sometimes I would raise my eyebrow at his thoughts (which was the most movement the book could elicit from me (besides my eyes as they read)), and his juvenile thought process was realistic. I do wish Peter had grown up though. While yes, I know that he is supposed to be the boy who never grows up, I felt that with all the situations he went through, poorly detailed and obvious fillers as they were, he should have quickly lost his innocent state of mind.

The rest of the characters were simply okay. There were many extra people that I didn’t find necessary because they didn’t add much to the plot besides moving it along. I kept having to pause and try to remember “Who is this character?” and “Have I seen them before or are they new?” and “Why are they important?” Eventually I realized that it didn’t matter and that they would either never be introduced again or, if they were, I wouldn’t need to remember their name for long. Although Wendy was a recurring character, she was just as bland, which is unfortunate.

The pace was unbearably slow. I found that it took too long for the story to really start and once it did, it just never seemed like it was going to reach an end. There was always something new that was discovered or someone else he had to talk to or something else he had to do. While I know he’s supposed to have found Neverland…I honestly don’t know if he did.  

My main issue with the book was a specific scene. Peter pretends to (possible trigger warning) commit suicide in order to scare Wendy. It didn’t add any significance to the story, definitely didn’t fit the plot, and was a poor, borderline offensive, attempt at making Peter Pan “dark.” I was horrified as I read it and while relieved, even more horrified to find that it had been a joke. At Peter’s age (which I’m not quite sure of), is that the type of joke he would make? I found it to be incredibly inappropriate and I wish it had not been included.

Would I Recommend The Pan: Experiencing Neverland? No. Overall, I found The Pan: Experiencing Neverland to be boring. There was action, but most of it felt fake. In my opinion, it was only added in order to at least stay somewhat to the overall plot of Peter Pan. If it was free, I wouldn’t not recommend it, but for the astounding price of $7.88, I can only say you wouldn’t be getting your money’s worth.

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