Second Star begins with a mechanic taking down a ship to prevent his captain from continuing with a mission that would ensure death to the crew. Except things don’t go quite as planned, and the ship winds up crashing onto an uncharted planet. The ship was the Jolly Roger, the captain is the notorious Hooke, and the mechanic is none other than Pan himself.
Meanwhile back on Earth, we the readers meet a young prodigy being dropped off at the academy. The prodigy is Wendy Moira Angela Darling, and she is determined to become a captain worthy of her missing hero Captain James Hooke. I must say I loved Wendy. She’s introverted, but can size up a situation and people quickly. She is also loyal to those who she love which serves her well.
The plot of the book is quite simple. A mysterious transmission is received by the Londonierre Brigade from a captain that’s been missing, presumed dead for a hundred years. A newly promoted Wendy leads a small crew to Neverland on a rescue mission. However things are not as they seem, and it quickly becomes a mission to save themselves as much as the crew they were sent to save.
I think what I love most about Second Star is Sullivan’s references to the original story, and not just the Disney version. From characters like Tinc, a nanobot that Peter built, and SMEE, the captain’s Synthetic Maintenance Engineering Emissary, to the landscape of Neverland, it is clear the author loves Peter Pan as much as I do. I loved how Sullivan intertwined the original elements to tell her own story. I love the setting of a futuristic society and of course Neverland being it’s own microplanet.
My favorite thing about this story though is Wendy, Johns, and Michaels. Elias Johns is Wendy’s best friend from the academy. And it is clear the love they have for one another. It’s a sibling type love, and Johns is fiercely protective of Darling. I’ll be honest I may have shipped them just a little.
Overall Second Star is a fantastic read. I was left breathless and unable to read fast enough at times to needing to put the book aside and ruminate for a while at others. Alternating between Wendy and Pan’s points of view is genius and flows so well. I loved getting to see this world from both perspectives. And the Shadow, the big bad of the book, is not at all what I expected. If you are a fan of Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, I believe you will enjoy this. Second Star is a must-read for any Peter Pan fan!
*This review first appeared on Mom with a Reading Problem: https://www.momwithareadingproblem.com/2019/03/review-second-star-by-j-m-sullivan/
-Perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles