ARC Review by Jude: Peter Darling by Austin Chant


Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Goodreads / Amazon / Less Than Three Press
Release Date: February 15th


4.5/5 stars

This book has so many commendable things happening. Lovely prose for one. Not only in  its beautiful formation of words (which there are plenty examples of), but also in a particularly keen way of providing insight into the characters complex motivations, actions, flaws and growth.

Based on the blurb, I was a little hesitant: there seemed to be a lot of things happening at once (actually, I was reminded of when my friend first told me to read Cinder). I was intrigued to see how the author would pull this off. The author did a fabulous job. I loved the way that Peter both remembers and willfully forgets his life and struggles as “Wendy” and why he chose to come back to Neverland. I love the way that the author gives us his complexity — his cruelty, his shortsightedness and the unraveling of events between himself, Hook, the pirates, the Lost Boys and the fairies that make him take a good look at who he is. There’s a haunting undertone carried throughout this book; thematically, this almost echo does precisely the work needed to support Peter and Hook’s selves, struggles and the ultimate story reveal and resolution.

Hook was such a surprise! I don’t want to give anything away there, but wow. Praise to the author for Hook’s slow reveal. The scenes in the cave with Pan and Hook and the revelations that occur– I could not put the book down, gosh. Fantastic.

My only complaint is that the ending felt rushed…or maybe I felt a little cheated? I wanted so much more of Earnest’s story — I’m still struggling to figure out what his place in the story was, based on his reveal. I don’t know if there is more of his story to come. If there is not, I would definitely have to wonder why he existed in the story at all, unless it was for the purpose of moving the plot in a direction that I feel could have been done without the introduction of his plot twist at all. However, I could be way off base since I don’t know the author’s motivations here.

I also wish we’d gotten a little more story, rather than what was in the epilogue.


Austin Chant is a bitter millennial, a decent chef, and a queer, trans writer of romance and speculative fiction. He co-hosts the Hopeless Romantic, a podcast dedicated to exploring LGBTQIA+ love stories and the art of writing romance. He currently lives in Seattle, in a household of wildly creative freelancers who all spend too much time playing video games.

Genre: Fantasy Identity: Transgender Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: LT3Press Review Tag: Enemies to Lovers

Jude Sierra View All →

Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.

Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for Queer Books Unbound. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.

Twitter: @JudeSierra
Instagram: /judemsierra/

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