All Darling Children

Katrina Monroe. Red Adept, , $12.99 ISBN 978-1-940215-78-5
Monroe (A Tale Du Mort) turns Neverland into a frightening, violent place in this tense extension of J.M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan. Madge Darling just wants to be free from her overprotective and abusive grandmother, Wendy. During her latest attempt to run away, she meets a strange boy who promises to take her to her long-lost mother. Once they arrive in a degraded, depopulated Neverland, Peter forces Madge to be “mother” to the feral and cruel Lost Boys. Madge recoils from the violent games they pursue and vainly attempts to control Peter’s sadistic, authoritarian personality. Her thought processes and reactions do not realistically match a young adolescent girl’s, but they are appropriate to the horror she encounters. Madge’s growing realization of her family’s connection to Neverland answers questions from her past but opens new wounds. To end Peter’s dominion, she teams up with Tiger Lily, who’s now chief of Neverland’s Indians, and the ghost of Captain Hook. Monroe effectively weaves in excerpts from Wendy’s diary to ominously expose Neverland’s truth. The grimness of this version will repel some who prefer the Disney version of Peter Pan over Barrie’s surreal original work, but Monroe’s fascinating reimagining brings out all the creepy undertones of never wanting to grow up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/21/2016
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