Saturday 9 October 2021

Book Review: The Land of Never After by R.L. Davennor (Fantasy)

Title: The Land of Never After
Author: R. L. Davennor
Publisher: Night Muse Press
Publication Date: 26 October 2021
Pages: 140
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

A Peter Pan Retelling

All my life, I’ve dreamed of the sea.

Mermaids, stormy skies, daring adventures, pirates…it was little wonder I sprinted to the docks the moment I left the orphanage. Eager to begin my new life, I searched for a ship that would have me—and found a thief instead. I chased the bastard.

Now I’m trapped.

I’m told this place is Neverland, but everything I touch is dead or dying; what’s left is hellbent on killing each other. Monsters lurk around every corner, and everyone I meet hides a damning secret. I’m thrust in the middle of a deadly feud, and the only one capable of unraveling the curse that plagues us.

Neverland is my home now. Until it’s done with me?

It will never let go.

Peter Pan meets Pirates of the Caribbean in A Land of Never After, but reader beware: this children’s tale has been reimagined for adult lovers of all things dark and deadly, with an LGBTQ+ positive twist. Content warnings include language, violence, and mentions of gender dysphoria and suicide.


There have been a plethora of Peter Pan retellings in recent times, and since I love the source material, I have tried to read any that come my way. From the blurb, this one looked like a winner -- a dark retelling with an LGBT twist -- but unfortunately, in my opinion, it missed its mark. First off the positives: the plot idea was interesting, as was the plot twist regarding Wendy's background, and I liked the LGBT take on Peter. It had great potential, but the writing didn't quite live up it. The LGBT plot line was introduced, but then never taken anywhere. There was some character development for Wendy, but nearly everyone else, even Peter, came across as very two-dimensional, and finally, the world building was lacking, with ideas and creatures introduced but never fully explained. This book only ran to 140 pages on my e-reader and I think a greater word count with more world building and character development would have been of benefit. I also think saying it is a story inspired by Peter Pan, rather than calling it a 'retelling', would be a better description. While Neverland and the key characters are present, there was no recognisable Peter Pan story line per se. As I said, the concept was great, but it didn't quite come together for me. I am thus giving this book 2.5 stars. Fans of Peter Pan might want to give it a read for interest, but, for me at least, it doesn't hit the mark the way some other recent retellings have.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

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