Second Star (The Neverland Transmissions)
But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan--and she has to decide quickly...
Before the darkness consumes them all.
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
When a transmission comes in from Hooke's ship, who has been missing for a hundred years, a rescue mission is put together. Wendy, the newly appointed captain, is given the task to bring them home, but she has no idea what they're getting themselves into. There's a Shadow plaguing Neverland and it's already tried to possess Peter. While nearing Neverland, Wendy's ship is damaged and they crash land on Neverland with their means to get back home destroyed. Wendy meets Peter and his bot Tink, and they'll need each other if they're ever going to escape Neverland.
SECOND STAR brings our classic story of Neverland to space. I thought the idea of the story was very interesting, but I feel there could've been more mystery and emotion. This is a slow-paced story that reminds us the importance of loyalty and friendship. It has all of my favorite characters from Peter Pan in it, but they're also different in small ways that make them unique to J.M. Sullivan's story. I really like how Tink was a bot instead of a fairy because it fits the story's setting.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this story to fans of Peter Pan, space, and adventure.