Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: The Bridge to Never Land by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Peter and the Starcatchers #5)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun modern setting with the Starcatchers universe
Cons: Slow start, shallow characters
The Bottom Line:
A leap for series
But if you will climb on board
You will enjoy trip

What if Two Teens Found Starstuff Today?

I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up The Bridge to Never Land.  I knew it was connected to the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, but I wasn’t sure how.  The book might have stretched things a bit far, but I went along for the ride and really enjoyed it.

When Sarah and Aidan Cooper discover a secret compartment and a note in the old desk their father just bought, they aren’t quite sure what to make of it.  The name on the paper sounds familiar to Sarah, and then she connects it to the Peter and the Starcatchers books she’s read.  A family vacation to England gives them a chance to follow up on the note.  What will they find?  And what evil might it awaken?

So, the first thing you’ve got to believe is that all the events in the earlier “novels” were actually real.  And that’s before they start getting into some pretty weird physics stuff that would make Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory proud.  Don’t worry, it’s all explained at a level that works for the target middle age audience.  Personally, I went along for the ride.  after all, if you are going to buy the entire Starstuff and Starcatcher stuff that was in the earlier books, why not?

Speaking of which, while the book does stand on it’s own in some ways (modern setting and all), it really is a sequel to Peter and the Sword of Mercy.  It pretty much assumes you’ve read the previous books and understand some of the terms they use.  You could read this one by itself, but you’ll appreciate it more if you read it as book 5 in a 5 book series.

Plot wise, things started out a little slowly.  I knew where things were going for the first 100 pages or so.  Once the story finally got there, however, things picked up and I had a hard time putting it down?  Just how much of a hard time?  I read 200 pages on a lazy morning.

The characters never fully came alive for me.  They were developed enough to have some personalities and that I cared about the ending, but at times they felt flat.  Still, the target audience won’t care.

The book reads quickly.  While the chapters are mostly longer than the previous books, they are still short enough to provide plenty of breaks.  With lots of dialogue and action, it’s easy to fly through things.  This book also doesn’t jump storylines like the previous books did.  I found I didn’t miss it, although those sub-plots provided some great moments in the previous books.

So if you’ve been enjoying the Peter Pan prequels, you’ll enjoy the modern day entry in the series.  The Bridge to Never Land is another fun fantasy story.

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

This review of part of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.  For more entries, go here.


  1. Seems to be a lot of interest in the "Pan" man these days. Thanks for your review. I'm intrigued enough to search this one out.

    1. Everything goes in cycles, and this seems to be his. I wonder if the series is part of that inspiration right now.