Shadow by Kara Swanson

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“If Peter Pan is going to die with this Neverland-it’s going to be by fighting until my last breath.” -Shadow, Page 266

Publication: July 13th 2021

Synopsis: Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

Review/Thoughts: Dust had swept me off my feet and kept me second guessing everything all at once. With this book Kara has managed to dive into the shadows of Neverland and show us the darker side of this tale, but don’t fret too much. There’s plenty of pixie dust to help illuminate the shadows at the same time.

For me, Shadow didn’t hold quite the same amount of appeal that Dust did. Don’t get me wrong now, Shadow is a great read, a perfect squeal and a wonderful ending to this duology. I wanted to untangle this story and see how it ended, but I didn’t mind if I took my time with if, where as Dust I plowed right through it. For me Dust kept me more on the edge of my seat, heart racing and me eagerly flipping the pages. I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next. It was enchanting and every turn I was pulled deeper into the story. With Shadow I didn’t feel that as much. That feeling was still present but it wasn’t as urgent. It wasn’t until more towards the end did that feeling really hit me again.

Peter doesn’t recognize this Neverland of his. It’s broken and hurting. It’s not as familiar to him as it once was. The Lost Boys hate him, and the rest of the island doesn’t really want anything to do with him either. I admire that even through all that he still tries to fix it. He stands with Claire, and is even willing to die fighting for his Neverland. He has plenty of character growth since we first met him in London. It has taken him a bit to get there, but I’m proud of this Peter for growing up, for willing to face his shadows to fix his mistakes. A lot of his growth comes in Shadow. And in the end, even though Peter’s grown, he still manages to retain the role of Peter Pan. Whisking lost kids away to Neverland for an adventure full of fun and Pixie Dust.

Claire also has had so much development throughout Dust and Shadow combined. By the end of this book you can clearly see she’s not the same afraid girl we first met. She’s confidant, and no longer scared of herself and what she can do. Her story is so interesting. Claire is not only part Pixie but Merfolk too. I love seeing her interact with the other Pixies. The joy she feels around them is noticeable, and her forming a friendship with little Glimmer is too precious. It reminds me of Peter and Tink.

I’m glad we got to spend some time with the Lost Boys. Granted we get most of it with Tootles but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I liked seeing the boys from Claire’s point of view when she was held captive by Hook and Paige. Tootles is the only Lost Boy who hasn’t joined Hook. He’s had to hide and survive this Neverland and knows it better than Peter himself. Him and Tiger Lily was such a cute idea and I was quite pleased when the two of them had something going in the end.

Tiger Lily is a fierce Princess. Her return to Neverland and her Village–her totally awesome treetop village!–was interesting. I loved getting to see the relationship between her and her sister. I loved she had the courage to stand up against her own mother for what she believed in. Lily would make an awesome Chieftain no question about it. She’d look out for her people and has a head on her shoulders for such a title too. Tiger Lilly ain’t exactly someone I’d want to tangle with.

I’ve always wanted to read a Peter Pan retelling with an ending like Shadow has. It’s always been a want, but with a story like Peter’s I never thought I’d actually get it. And Kara Swanson did it!! I was thrilled with this ending it was amazing and as precious as starlight. I can’t say how thankful I am that you, Kara, wrote your own amazing version of Peter Pan’s tale and the cherry on top is the fact you gave him an ending I’ve always wanted to see happen to him. This duology is lovely. You’ve added your own flair of Pixie Dust to it while still capturing the Peter Pan everyone knows. There’s plenty of Shadows, Pixie Dust and fun twists in the Heirs of Neverland Duology to read about.

~Till the next Chapter~

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