fiction

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The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers #5) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

Published November 11, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

10552088

Goodreads Summary:

Aidan and Sarah Cooper have no idea what they’re getting into one afternoon when they discover a mysterious coded document in a secret compartment of an antique English desk their father recently brought at an auction. Something about the document seems familiar to Sarah, and that night she realizes what it is: the document seems to be referring to some books she has read – the Starcatchers series, about the origin of Peter Pan. But how could that be? The document seems far older than the books. And of course, the books are just stories….

Curious, Sarah and Aidan begin to decipher the mysterious document. At first it’s a game – unraveling the mystery piece by piece, each piece leading them to a new, deeper puzzle.

But soon the game turns strange – and scary. They discover that the “stories” are real, and that what they thought was a fictional battle between good and evil is still going on. And the scariest part is: They have become part of it.

Pursued by a being that can take any form and will stop at nothing to get what it wants from them, Aidan and Sarah embark on a desperate, thrilling quest for help – a quest that leads them to some unforgettable people in some unlikely places, including one that’s not supposed to exist at all. At each step they must solve new puzzles and escape new dangers, all the while knowing that is they fail, the evil they are fleeing will be let loose on an unsuspecting world.

My Thoughts:

This book is set in modern times, so about 100 years or so after the last book! Sarah and Aiden Cooper are siblings that have read the Peter and the Starcatchers books (kind of weird, like Inception of books.) One day they discover a hidden message in some old desk, and discover that it is taking about the Starcatchers.  At first they think it must be a hoax, because the books aren’t that old, and they are just stories, but they decide to investigate just in case.  They are going to London on a family vacation and decide to do some sleuthing to see if the note is real and if they can find the starstuff.  It wouldn’t be much of a book if they didn’t. After almost being devoured by Magill’s wolves they make it out with the starstuff. The problem is that Ombra is now after them having sensed the presence of starstuff. This was my least favorite of the series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  None of the characters we love are in the beginning half of the book, which is disappointing. Although it was interesting to see how modern people would handle starstuff.  I did like how they utilized the Peter Pan ride at Disney World, which I love! What happened to Neverland and why no one can find it now, that tied in quite nicely.  I felt like Peter was less like the Peter from the first 3 books and more like the Peter from the fourth book or the original Barrie novel.  I didn’t like Sarah and Aiden, and didn’t connect with them.  Their constant need to argue was annoying.  It is worth checking out, only if you are a completist.

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Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers #4) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Jim Dale (

Published November 10, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

6582080

Goodreads Summary:

The year is 1902 – it’s been twenty-three years since Peter and the Lost Boys returned from Rundoon. Since then, nobody on the island has grown a day older, and the Lost Boys continue their friendship with the Mollusk tribe, and their rivalry with Captain Hook. Meanwhile in London, Molly has married George Darling and is raising three children: Wendy, Michael, and John. One night a visitor appears at her door; it’s James, one of Peter’s original Lost Boys. He is now working for Scotland Yard and suspects that the heir to England’s throne, Prince Albert Edward, is under the influence of shadow creatures. These shadow creatures are determined to find a secret cache of startstuff which fell to London many centuries ago. The starstuff is hidden in an underground vault which has only one key: the Sword of Mercy, a legendary weapon kept with the crown jewels. Molly is determined to locate and protect the starstuff, but when she suddenly goes missing, it is up to her eleven-year-old daughter, Wendy, to keep it out of the Others’ clutches. Wendy has heard her mother’s stories of a flying boy named Peter Pan, and he may be her only hope in saving the world from a shadowy doom..

 

My Thoughts:

This book is set over 20 years after the last book.  Peter and the Lost Boys haven’t aged of course, but Molly and the boys that left the island have.  Molly and George are married (we knew that was coming) and have 3 children: Wendy, John, and Michael (duh!) James, one of the original lost boys, is now working for Scotland Yard, he brings Molly disturbing news, The Others are back.  Not only that but the heir to the thrown is under their control.  Molly decides to help, but when she goes missing Wendy knows she will have to get Peter to come back to London to save everyone.  This book is set in the same time and age of the original JM Barrie story, although Peter hasn’t aged he does seem to have gotten more selfish than he was previously. Perhaps because none of the Starcatchers have visited in over 20 years.  This is more of an origin story than a prequel, because this story does not fit in with the original Barrie tale.

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Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers #3) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call

Published November 9, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

555500

Goodreads Summary:

In this action-packed conclusion to the Starcatchers trilogy, Peter and Molly find themselves in the dangerous land of Rundoon, ruled by the evil King Zarboff, who takes great delight in watching his pet snake, Kundalini, consume anyone who displeases him. But that’s just the start of the trouble facing our heroes, who once again find themselves pitted against the evil shadow creature Lord Ombra, in a struggle to save themselves and Molly’s father – not to mention the entire planet – from an unthinkable end. Meanwhile, back in Never Land, a tribal war is under way, and while Peter is off fighting to save the world, a young Mollusk princess has no choice but to join forced with sinister pirates to save her island from the vicious Scorpions.

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon is a wild desert adventure – with flying camels, magic carpets, and evil shadows – that literally zooms toward an unforgettable and unimaginable climax. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have teamed together once again to pen a story with unrelenting action and adventure that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

My Thoughts:

This book was supposed to be the conclusion to the series, but the ended up writing two more books! YAY! Peter and Molly finally meet the ruler of Rundoon, King Zarboff, the third *raises hand in salute, lest I be eaten by Kundalini, his giant snake*

There is so much action in this series, and this book in particular.  Ombra is back and is as evil as ever.  There is a tribal war on Mollusk Island happening.  So much awesomeness! It is a very fast paced series, and this book is no different.  I was able to finish this book in one sitting.  There is so much excitement, it’s really hard to put this book down.  The whimsy and humor you’ve come to expect from the series doesn’t disappoint. On to book 4!

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Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers #2) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call

Published November 8, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

9531

Goodreads:

In this riveting and adventure-packed follow-up to the award-winning New York Times bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island – along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell – for the dark and dangerous streets of London. On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the mysterious and deadly Lord Ombra, who is intent on recovering the missing starstuff – celestial dust that contains unimagined powers. In London, Peter attempts to track down the indomitable Molly, hoping that together they can combat Ombra’s determined forces. But London is not Mollusk Island; Peter is not the boy he used to be; and Lord Ombra – the Shadow Master – is unlike anything Peter, or the world, has ever seen.

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have done it again – written a compulsively readable, magical, impossible-to-put-down tale that will delight readers of all ages.

My Thoughts:

First book review. If you didn’t read book 1, you need to go do it now! I’ll wait.

Did you read it? Yes? Good. Did you love it!?! YES! Me too! Book 2 does not disappoint.  These books are sooooo good, and impossible to put down. You’ll want to make sure you have all 5 in the series before starting the first book, so that you don’t have to stop! In this book, Peter encounters the Others again at Mollusk Island.  He learns they are going to go after Molly and Lord Aster, so he decides to stow-away with Tink to save Molly.  There are several problems with this, because Lord Ombra, a shadow master, can sense him and Tinkerbell on the ship, and Peter doesn’t know where Molly lives once he actually gets to London!  It is interesting how they show how Molly has aged, and Peter hasn’t.  It isn’t super obvious, but noticeable all the same.  Black Stache is back and now known, as Captain Hook! I also liked how Molly is friends with George Darling alluding to the fact that they will eventually be Wendy’s parents.  Although, I didn’t like George, he is a pretentious jerk, but he is like that as a adult in the original story, so it makes sense.  And you can see how much he loves Molly.  Guest appearance by James Barrie was delightful! I highly recommend this book series.  It is captivating and takes you on an amazing adventure.

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Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call

Published November 7, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

34262

Goodreads Summary:

Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

My Thoughts:

I found this gem at Half Price Books and immediately went back and purchased the rest of the series.  It is a retelling of the classic Peter Pan tale. This is a fast paced adventure story that I could not put down! It starts off with Peter and his friends at the orphanage and they are being sent to serve King Zarboff the third.  They board The Neverland and their lives change right away.  This story explains the island we know as Neverland, and how it came to be called that, how Peter learned to fly, and how he gets Tinkerbell. This origin story for Peter Pan is so original.  On the ship with Peter and his mates is a strange trunk and a girl named Molly Aster, who can talk to porpoises.  They infamous pirate Black Stache is after The Neverland, because he is after the trunk, which is supposed to be (and does) hold the greatest treasure known to man. All of the characters are fully-developed and great! Peter and Molly must keep Black Stache from getting the starstuff in the trunk, because in the hands of the Others (not Starcatchers) it would mean terrible things for the world.  I loved this book, the whole series actually, and can not speak highly enough of it.  Please read it.

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Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Michael Hague Illustrated

Published November 5, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

34268

Goodreads Summary:

Peter Pan, the book based on J.M. Barrie’s famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children–Wendy, John, and Michael–who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks. Renowned children’s-book artist Michael Hague has brought the amazing adventures of Peter Pan to life. His beautiful illustrations capture the wild, seductive power of this classic book. This newly designed edition will be enjoyed by fans young and old alike.

My Thoughts:

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After I read the Peter and the Starcatcher series (review to come), I knew I had to go back and read the original story.  I really only know the Peter Pan story from the Disney cartoon, and various other movie renditions I have seen.  I love the Disney film, and most of the other movies too to be honest.  The story is fairly true to the Disney movie, with much of the violence removed.  I did like the story, however, I didn’t really love the writing style.  The language was no in keeping with modern times, because the book is so old, so I didn’t really enjoy it.  I did not like the narrative interjections at all, and it felt too much like reading a play, which I guess I’m not into, even though I really do enjoy watching plays.  I guess this is why I don’t really read classic novels.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Published October 23, 2016 by Kattie Sivley

22557272

Goodreads:

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My Thoughts:

Wow.

I loved this book.  This isn’t my go-to genre, but with all the hype  – even my bestie was telling me I had to read it (I actually borrowed it from her!) I’m not disappointed.  Finally a book that lives up to the hype! This book was compared to Gone Girl quite a bit, and for me it is far superior to Gone Girl.  It is about Rachel, who is an alcoholic, on her way to work.  She rides the same train every day and every day she passes by her old house.  The one her ex-husband, and his now wife, and their baby live in.  She also passes one of their neighbor’s houses, and she ends up having this imaginary scenario, where it seems like she knows them and how they are as people.  She imagines them as the perfect couple, until one of them goes missing.  It’s insane.  It is so interesting because she doesn’t know whether she is guilty of anything or completely innocent, because she often gets blackout drunk.  A lot of this book hit too close to home for me, because Rachel struggled with infertility. And I actually read passages of Rachel’s thoughts out to my husband, because they literally could have been my own words. Although I didn’t start drinking, it’s easy for me to see the way my life could have turned out, which is frankly haunting, even without the murder. Because Rachel doesn’t know what has happened, it really does keep you guessing, which is refreshing.  I can usually guess what is going on and what will happen pretty early in books, but this was not the case in this book.  I was surprised and then I felt like I should have known! Worth a read!

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