Title: The Wendy
Author: Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy-tale Retelling
My Rating: 5/5
THE WRONG KIND OF HERO.
“Girls can’t be in the navy! Girls take care of babies! You’re so stupid, you don’t know anything!”
London. 1783. Wendy Darling is an orphan, living in an overcrowded almshouse, ridiculed for believing in a future she can never have. More than anything in the world, she wants to be the captain of a ship. But that’s impossible. Isn’t it?
By 1789, she’s sixteen, old enough to be sold into service as a dressmaker or a servant. When she learns the Home Office is accepting a handful of women into its ranks, she jumps at the chance, joining the fight against the most formidable threat England has ever faced. Magic.
But the secret service isn’t exactly what she had hoped. Accompanied by a re-imagined cast of the original Peter Pan, Wendy soon discovers that her dreams are as far away as ever, that choosing sides isn’t as simple as she thought, and that the only man who isn’t blinded by her gender… might be her nation’s greatest enemy.
Ever wish you could be something other than life or society say you can be? Ever just want… more?
The Wendy is a fantastic retelling of J.M Barrie’s classic story, Peter Pan, and follows Wendy Darling’s pursuit in sailing the high sea’s. The problem, Wendy is a girl, and girls can’t join the navy. No, their place is in the home, raising children and tending to their husbands, right? Well, Wendy is just not willing to sit back and accept her fate.
This is definitely Peter Pan as you have never seen it before. Wendy is a diviner with the British Home Office and Clandestine Services, recruited to sense magic that no one really believes in. Peter Pan the leader of the everlost, with feathered wings and fearsome fangs and Hook is a young dashing sea captain with a mane of luscious locks, though his rivalry with Pan remains intact.
In a world that is full of misogyny, Wendy Darling is a total bad-ass. Never once in her life has she allowed the narrow-mindedness of her times get in the way of what she wants. She learns how to navigate the stars, the mathematics and science involved in sailing a ship and becomes a more adept marksmen and swordsmen than most men in her platoon. She is smart, determined and I just love her to pieces, solving her problems with her cutting intellect. LOVE HER!
When she is told to stay behind during the everlost raid, she refuses and dashes into the fray sword in hand and takes on Peter Pan himself.
I absolutely love this whole encounter, it would have to be one of my favorite scenes. It is Peter and Wendy’s first meeting and I could not have asked for anything more perfect. He wrongfully thinks she incapable because she is a woman, but the tables are soon turned and there and then he comes to respect her. I love it!
Next to Wendy, Peter is my absolute favorite. He is arrogant and cocky, yet there’s an innocence to him that is just so endearing and makes me just want to hug him. He simply says what he’s thinking and poor Wendy if oft at times left a little flustered.
There is an underlying flirtation between the two which I am absolutely ga ga for! But don’t worry, this is not one of those books. Wendy definitely does not need rescuing. She can rescue herself thank you very much. But there are a few innocent glances and touches that is definitely enough to make my little romantic’s heart beat a little faster.
There is a moment when she first board Peter’s ship and her shows her the kiss that helps the ship fly…(BTW, Wendy’s first time on Pan’s ship? my other favorite scene) Of course if you know the story it is actually a thimble enchanted by Tinker-Bell. (Yes, Tink is there too!) But Wendy takes a quick step away from him, it’s really quite funny. This scenario leads into what has to be my favorite line in the entire book.
A little later on in the book Peter is looking at her and “Wendy thought he might be about to thimble her…”
BEST LINE EVER!
The writing is witty and clever and very reminiscent of some of the classic novels I have read in the past. There were so many parts where I was just outright grinning as I read.
I especially enjoyed watching Wendy match wits and intellect with the illustrious Captain James Hook is everything I never knew I needed. Watching this experienced and, despite his narrow-minded misogyny, intelligent man get torn down by a seventeen year old girl who’s knowledge just about rivals his own was pure gold.
When the book came to a close, I was left feeling hopeful and excited. I cannot wait to see what Wendy’s next adventure brings!