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Wendy Darling: Volume 2: Seas Paperback – September 20, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This second installment in the series picks up the action without missing a pounding heartbeat. With Wendy and Michael now in the clutches of Hook, the pirate captain becomes the focal point of this volume. Life on board Hook's boat, the Sudden Night, is harsh and cruel. Hook sees in Wendy a solution to his long-running feud with Peter Pan. He now possesses what Peter desperately desires: Wendy. But as Hook and Wendy plot a revenge that satisfies both of them, the heroine begins to see the cracks in Hook's fierce facade. As the two scheme, and Michael sweetly worms his way into the affections of the crew, the pirate captain's backstory emerges. Years ago, a mysterious client tricked his father into sailing through a portal leading to Neverland. Young Hook, aboard the ship, became friends with Peter Pan, until he realized that Peter intended to possess Hook's father for himself. When the friendship ended in tragedy, the pirate swore revenge on Peter. The crux of the novel centers on the one element that keeps the battles between the pirates and Pan from being nothing more than a game of strategy: Pan's shadow. Only when the identity of the shadow is revealed and conquered can Peter be defeated for good. Fully nuanced characters balance the riveting plot. The shocking ending will leave breathless readers anxious for the next book. VERDICT This series just gets better. But readers should start at the beginning to fully enjoy the ride.—Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA
Praise for Wendy Darling Vol 2:
"This second installment in the series picks up the action without missing a pounding heartbeat…This series just gets better."
― School Library Journal
“For readers craving a whimsical adventure and an unforgettable sequel to the first Wendy Darling, this swashbuckling plot will leave readers stunned well beyond the last page."
―The Reading Room
"If you love Once Upon a Time, read Wendy Darling: Seas . . . In this extraordinary, stunningly written adventure, readers will encounter a darkly suspenseful twist on an old tale which reminds readers of every age of a Neverland-lesson: we never truly grow up."
"Top 10 YA Fall Reads by Authors We Love."
Featured in “9 Imaginative Fairy Tale Retellings" by Portalist
Featured on Girls' Life Fall Reading List
"This twisted spinoff of a famous children's tale is filled with richly developed characters and fast-paced, eloquent writing. With Seas, Oakes delivers a stunning sequel to her Wendy Darling series. Stuck on board a pirate ship with the infamous Captain Hook, Wendy must quickly learn to face her true nature, and choose what kind of heroine she will be: sappy or strong, as she is swept inexorably toward a showdown with a chilling and maniacal Peter Pan. Oakes does a marvelous job slowly chipping away at her characters’ exteriors to reveal what lies beneath, be it true heroism or malignant evil."
―Alane Adams, award-winning author of The Legends of Orkney series
"If the first Wendy Darling pulled me away from familiar adventures in Neverland, Book 2 has me sprinting away from them… and I didn’t know how badly I wanted that deviancy until it was too late. Oakes’ delicious plot twists and rich revelations leave you just the right amount of full, but they mostly leave you crying out for the final installment in this micro-epic where Wendy’s authenticity is the unquestionable star. Oakes’ signature style of dark fantasy retellings is intoxicating, and the much awaited Captain Hook does not disappoint."
–Mason J. Torall, author of The Dark Element
Praise for the Wendy Darling series
“A dark twist on a familiar tale that readers will have difficulty putting down."
―School Library Journal
"Oakes superbly crafts both a story with wings and a Neverland with teeth, a story that will tempt any reader into never growing up.”
―Brianna Shrum, author of Never and Never and How to Make Out
“Described in lush, lingering detail, Neverland is all that Peter Pan promises: vibrant, gorgeous, filled with magic and excitement. But it also harbors unexpected dangers . . . perhaps none greater than Peter himself. While she is initially intoxicated by his charisma, Wendy's practical good sense, stubborn loyalty, and newly liberated fire give her the courage to defy Peter . . . only to land, in a stunning cliffhanger, in even worse peril. Dark, even horrific in its graphic bloodshed and psychological menace; but the nuanced portrayals―of a hero frequently excused by his whimsical glamour and a heroine too often dismissed as girlishly insipid―are riveting.”
“We are all familiar with the story of Peter Pan, whether from J.M. Barries’ original 1911 novel or the many film versions it inspired. Oakes’ tale, told from Wendy’s point of view, breathes new life into Peter’s story and makes it her own. This Neverland is far more mesmerizing and dangerous than Barries’, and I was pulled in by the lyrical writing. Every time I opened the cover, I felt completely transported into Wendy’s world. The perilous call of the mermaids, Tinker Bell’s violent obsession with Peter, sinister Captain Hook ― all compelling reasons to read Wendy Darling.”
―Middle Shelf Magazine
Past Praise and Awards for Colleen Oakes
Winner―2014 Next Generation Independent Book Awards―Young Adult
Award-Winning Finalist―2014 International Book Awards―Fiction: Young Adult
“Most Cinematic Indie Books of 2014”
2014 “Best Indie Books of the Year”
"Oakes continues to weave literary magic as she pulls you down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland like you've never read before. Experience the world anew as you learn how a young princess becomes the villainous Queen of Hearts."
―Chanda Hahn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series
Top customer reviews
Well, here we are at the next installment. My first snippet of praise is that this series was divided up very well. Despite the story being cut into volumes, each volume follows an arc (so Stars covered Wendy's time on pan island while Seas covers her time with the pirates) which means the volumes feel like there's a real focus and individual tale to be told, so by the end of the book there's feeling that the arc is wrapped up and we're given enough at the end to leave us hanging at the start of the next arc. I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger so much as I'd call it a teaser for what's to come.
One very good development in this book is the character development. Wendy started out pretty meek and obedient in Stars and by the end we see her start growing a spine and being brave. In Seas, she's expanding upon this even more, but without sacrificing all the qualities that made her good. She's still polite and dedicated to her family, but now she's changed. She's seen and done things that have affected her, causing inner turmoil and forcing her to think and act at times in ways she would never have considered before all the horrors of Pan's world. Her journey from polite Edwardian girl to home-bound survivor on a pirate ship is interesting and I felt it was well planned out. I have high hopes for who Wendy will become in book #3 after those last few pages. Colleen Oakes has definitely given a new strength and fire and dimension to the character of Wendy Darling. Captain Hook and Peter Pan are also equally well fleshed out as we learn more about both, watching Peter fall deeper into the role of villain while Hook rises in our minds from villain to anti-hero, not quite good, but not completely wicked either. Overall I'm quite pleased with the character development we're given in the volume.
As for the story... I'm sure you can imagine that with this volume's focus being on Wendy's journey after escaping, after rejecting Peter and incurring his wrath and becoming involved with Hook and his pirates that there would be a lot of action and some really tantalizing scenes with darkness and deception and blood and pain. It starts off with a sinister punch with a prologue, but then when the focus shifts back to Wendy it takes a few pages before we get anywhere since this is a new setting that needs introduction before we can just get into all that juicy, rich stuff. I wouldn't say that the book is slow by any means though; at 269 pages it's a pretty quick read, but this is one of the rare cases where I don't feel like it's length is a downside. It's well written enough with a satisfying balance between being detailed and full but propelling the story along its way.
We also start to get a wider scope of things; Stars had a pretty narrow focus, only touching on Neverland as a whole here and there, but now we're really getting into it with the introduction of mermaids and the natives and the pirates and peeking more into fairies and magic. There's more backstory given, we get a good dose of Wendy remembering things in London like memories of Booth (also did I mention that I am really happy that Wendy recognized that Peter was bad news and holds onto her healthy feelings for Booth? I have read far too many books where the heroine stays with the unhealthy, abusive one and leaves the good one, so when an author writes a heroine who doesn't fall for that "he's damaged so he needs to be loved" nonsense that traps girls into thinking it's noble and expected to love and endure someone who mistreats them and that they can't forgo such men in favor of healthy, happy relationships). Things also are starting to feel darker and more violent; we only touched upon it a few times in Stars, but in this one it seems like the whole book has shadows cast over it, some places darker than others.
There's some sensitive subject matter to be aware of; rape is mentioned several times (though it doesn't happen to Wendy nor are there scenes depicting it, but it is mentioned and inferred that its something the pirates do) and there's of course general violence and murder. These things are to be expected in a book about pirates, but since this is YA I just wanted to make sure potential readers are aware that this book is a bit higher on the maturity scale than the first one.
I don't have any real complaints to list. It's an engaging addition to the series and I look forward to the next one.
*It's late so I might return later to write some more stuff! But in short, if you liked the first volume but just wanted some more darkness and to see the plot get more complex then you'll love reading Wendy Darling Volume Two: Seas!
One of my favorite things about Oakes’ books are the wonderfully detailed descriptions that she paints with her words. I could see Neverland…I could felt as though I could sense the rocking of the pirate ship, feel the pearlescent sands of Port Duette under my feet, and there were even moments when my heart pounded with suspense. As I mentioned before, I felt that this installment had much more action than its predecessor, and I enjoyed watching Wendy develop into a strong woman willing to do whatever it takes to protect her brothers and herself, and to find their way back home.
Like its predecessor, this book ends with…not really a cliffhanger, but a surprising turn that will leave you wanting more! I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy to be released later this year!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.
This book is pretty much about Wendy trying to find her place on the ship the Sudden Night among Captain Hook and his frightening crew. But also about protecting her little brother Michael and finding out how Peter Pan got his powers and how she and Hook can defeat him.
Wendy in general is a bit of a Mary Sue but I liked how she tranformed a little in a tougher version of herself while on board with the pirates. After all she went through with Peter in the first book, she had no other choice but to toughen up.
Captain Hook was probably my newest favorite character. He was just like I expect Hook to be, ferocious and brutal but also had some goodness inside of him and also love. I also really liked Smee for some weird reason.
As this book was more about the pirates, Peter wasn't much in it this time around. He was more in it towards the ending. And god, that ending... I hadn't seen it coming at all. Which is why I want the next book so very badly.
Overall, Wendy Darling: Seas by Colleen Oakes was pretty good. It had savage pirates, lethal mermaids, some unexpected twists and one hell of an ending.
Most recent customer reviews
I think the thing that I liked the most about this series is that Peter is the villain and the pirates are the 'heroes'.Read more