I just read Neverland Falling and Breaking Neverland by Brittany Fichter. Together they’re one of my favourite stories that I’ve read this year. I’ve read some fun books, but this one was heart touching.
I love Wendy Darling and related so much. She wants adventures and children and that basically is me. or it was until I became a cynic and terrified of relationships. Wendy is brave and kind and can’t help but speak her mind. She loves, loves, loves children and she’s not willing to settle for just any relationship. (Yes, our Wendy is nearly grown up.)
Peter is everything Peter Pan should be. A child but beginning to grow up and be responsible even though he’s not meant to. A boy just two step away from coming a man. He’s self sacrificing, but also terribly thick-headed at times and not at all cautious.
We meet Jay, a captain, well yes, we know he’s basically Captain Hook, but he’s also not. He’s a delightfully complex character with with a very relatable motivation and the ability to admit to his faults.
Then there’s the world building, the why and how of Neverland. it’s an unchanging refuge for the fae and that’s why people mustn’t grow up. It’s an idea that works quite well. Tink is about a terrible as classic Tinkerbell ever was, but maybe even more complex. Tiger Lily is also a fae because we don’t stick Native Americans in our fantasy dream world these days and this isn’t even a dream world. Besides we need fae. The fae are very important to this story.
This is a story about dreams, family, growing up and why we need stories. It’s very familiar to anyone who’s read (or watched) Peter Pan, but I never knew quite where it would go and who should be trusted. It’s in this beautiful place between childhood and adulthood, but in an old fashion style, not in our modern angsty YA style.
These two books are part of the larger classical kingdoms series. I haven’t read any others yet and. though I suspect they fit loosely into a larger story, Neverland Falling and Breaking Neverland stand very well as a duology. If there’s more information about the world and the fae though, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series
Content Warning: Nothing explicit, but there’s death, loss of a body part, and someone being possibly eaten by a crocodile. Also hints of someone being tortured in the past, people being kidnapped, and a couple of when Wendy is approached by men of ill-intent. A tiny bit of discussion about details of marriage. It’s not a children’s book, but I wouldn’t worry too much about them reading it.
Neverland is dying.
And it’s all Wendy’s fault.
Wendy’s parents have finally chosen her prospective husband, and her world is falling apart. So when the mysterious, handsome Peter invites Wendy and her little brothers to run away to a place called Neverland, she accepts.
At first, Neverland is more wonderful than anything Wendy could have imagined. So are the variety of interesting characters who live there, from the Lost Boys to the mermaids to the fae to the misunderstood privateer, Captain Jay. But as time rolls on, Wendy realizes that growing up might not be so bad…if she had the right person to do it with. The only problem is that in Neverland, growing up is forbidden. And the farther she gets from childhood, the more she endangers them all.
Unfortunately, when the fae decide she’s gone too far, both Peter and Wendy must decide where their love and loyalty lie and how far they’re willing to chase it. For if they’re not careful, Neverland and everyone in it will fall.
About Brittany Fichter
“An Air Force wife, mommy of a little fairy, and Las Vegas native, my life is far from boring. I’ve written stories since I could hold a pen, so writing for a living is a dream come true, one that I carry out while staying at home with my baby girl. When I’m not writing or blogging, I can be found having fun with my family (husband, daughter, and spoiled black Labrador), doing chores (would much prefer writing), reading, going to church, belting out Disney princess songs, exercising, or decorating cakes.
“I’m in love with stories. I’ve been narrating life in my head since I was little. It helps me to better understand life if I can hear it as if it were a story. Because if it is a story, it means, thanks the grace of God, there will be a happy ending. Living with Tourette Syndrome, chronic anxiety, and OCD tendencies (which I write about extensively on my other website, BrittanyFichterWrites.com), gives me the need to put life in perspective again on days when I struggle with my disorders. Writing fantasy helps me to do just that.”
You can find Brittany at her website https://www.brittanyfichterfiction.com/