I was not entirely sold on this book when it came in my Owlcrate box last year since I am not into Peter Pan and retellings are usually hit-and-miss with me but decided to give it a try for Owlcrate-a-thon (Owlcrate readathon). I am glad I did. It is sort of like The Walking Dead meets Lord of the Flies.
This story revolves around Gwen (never called Wendy in this retelling) trying to keep her siblings, Joanna and Mikey, alive after a plague wipes out almost everyone in England and possibly the world except for young children especially boys. This plague started after Queen Katherina of Germany had her son, Captain Herman Otto Oswald Kretschmer, or Captain HOOK, invade England and destroy a weapons lab that contained the virus that killed or sickened just about everyone. Captain HOOK and his Marauders now search for survivors which are mostly young boys so they can be experimented on in hopes of finding a cure. When out scavenging for food one day in Everland (old London), Gwen runs into Pete and Bella when trying to hid from Marauders and they follow her home to discover Joanna has been taken by Marauders. Gwen and Mikey decide to join Pete’s group, the Lost Boys in the Lost City, in order to get help rescuing Joanna. Gwen, despite her age and gender, appears to be showing none of the virus’ flesh-eating symptoms which leads them to think she is immune and the key to finding a cure that is starting to affect a third of the Lost Boys. Once Captain HOOK finds out about the possible “Immune” he will stop at nothing to get Gwen so he can return home a hero.
It was more of a dystopian novel (one of my favorite genre) than steampunk to me and the references to the retelling of the Disney movie Peter Pan were the famous lines reused in a totally difference context most times than in the original story.
The end-of-the-world scenario reminded me of The Walking Dead in the way they had to fight for their survival against not only disease but other survivors and Lord of the Flies in the way that it is a colony of children and there is some in-fighting. I loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.