Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Peter and the Starcatchers #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Engaging story that starts quickly and never lets up
Cons: Sub-plot on the island intriguing but not essential
The Bottom Line
Pieces into place
In this epic conclusion
That's a page turner

Conclusion of a Trilogy Leaves the Pieces We Know

Since I have always loved Peter Pan, I knew I'd be reading the prequels by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson as soon as I heard about them.  Peter and the Secret of Rundoon is the third and final of those, and it was a great adventure befitting a finale.

It's been a few months since Peter, Molly, and the other Starcatchers defeated the evil shadow creature Ombra, or so they think.  In reality, he's been rebuilding strength and is now heading home to Rundoon.  The defeat he'd been handed is a setback, but a minor one.  And with powers Peter doesn't know he has, Ombra hopes to bring about his ultimate goal.  What is it?  And can anyone stop him?

Did that above paragraph not make much sense to you?  Then this book isn't for you - yet.  Each book in this trilogy is roughly 500 pages, and there's just no way to summarize 1000 pages for a newcomer.  While the authors do try, I was left a little hazy on a few things since it's been a year since I read the last one.  So I can't imagine you being able to truly follow and enjoy the story if you haven't read those books.  Fortunately, they are fun to read, so it's not pain at all.

Those who have read the first two books will find this one thrilling from page one until almost the last page.  That final chapter is concerned with putting the final pieces of the Peter Pan legend we know in place, so it basically does stuff I was expecting from early on in the book.  That's not to say it was bad, just that it wasn't exciting.  The rest of the book?  I had a hard time putting it down and was often in awe of how the authors could find more plot complications that made things worse without it feeling for a moment like they were trying to draw out the story.

The characters are previously been established, and there really isn't much done in the way of character development.  The characters feel real, so I'm not complaining.  Just don't expect any kind of growth as you read the book.

Like the last book, there is a pretty much pointless sub-plot taking place back on the island.  It was always exciting, so I was always glad to check back in and see what was happening, but it also wasn't really necessary except to help put those finishing touches to the Peter Pan legend in place.

The book is aimed at late elementary school and older, and I think that's about right.  The language isn't too difficult for them, and the villain, while certainly scary, won't be overly frightening.

It's always great to see a trilogy go out with a bang, and I think that's the case here.  Peter and the Secret of Rundoon might be the strongest of the Peter Pan prequels.

Check out more of the Peter and the Starcatchers book in order.

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