Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

From Publisher: Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality.

My Take:  This was a mixed bag for me.  The authors, a brother/sister duo create the most intriguing story and world.  I could not predict what I would find from one page to the next.  As the underworld opens and spreads across the school, the authors describe in such amazing detail (but not too much) that I could visualize the transformation.  

Essentially the story is about John and Wendy Darling, also a brother/sister duo, who attend Marlowe, an upper crust private high school.  They attend because their father, George, is a professor teaching on campus, although they could never afford the tuition or housing.  Wendy has a great boyfriend who includes John, a social misfit, which pleases Wendy.  The mother ran off years ago with a younger, more attractive man.  

Enter Peter, the new resident assistant of a dorm.  He's young but connected.  He brings with him another RA named Tina (Tinkerbell) who will do anything for him.  She's a Latina bombshell but feels at home with Peter and the LB's, an intricately connected worldwide gang.  LB stands for Lost Boys.  

Professor Darling arranges for an Egyption exhibit to be shown at the school but it comes with some baggage.  There is a dangerous form attached along with a book that could open the gates.  There are 5 legends of loss.  Each legend tells of a person from the same lineage that lost everything and died with life in his/her bones.  

Simon, a pompous curator wannabe from the museum is included with the baggage of bones (pardon the pun).  Simon is an academic and social climber.  He just wants to rise in the ranks of Egyptionology.  He's the eptiome of the crocodile, waiting, watching and stealing bones.  

Captain Hook is also included as another character, although I don't recall Smeed.  

So the foundation of the story is pretty strong and the execution of the story is interesting yet I finished the book feeling unsatisfied.  It's taken me a couple of days to figure out why I didn't enjoy the book more.  I just didn't care about the characters.  None of them have any redeeming qualities.  In fact, none of them have any qualities that really stand out besides Peter's drive for eternal youth.  If any of the characters were to develop for me, I'd wish it was Tina.  She seemed to be the most interesting.  

Without feeling anything for the characters in the book, I felt like the story was only half told, although the story seemed to be complete.  So that leaves me feeling pretty ambivalent about the book.  It's a clean read which I like.  Minimal swearing and no sensuality.  

3 stars.

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

Hmmm. A Pan story. Intersting take, from the sounds of it. A definite maybe.