Monday, October 4, 2010

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

I just love going back to this Peter Pan series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon is the third book in what I think is a 4-book series that is a prequel to the events in the classic Peter Pan story by J.M. Barrie. As popular as these books are, however, I can see there being more of them still to come.

Essentially, this series describes Peter's back story. Things like how he is able to fly, how he meets the people who will become Wendy's parents, how he develops relationships with the Indians of Mollusk Island, and the mermaids there, etc. We also learn about the back stories of other major characters such as Captain Hook, as well as how shadows work, and most importantly, what is the origin of "Starstuff", that strange substance that makes things fly.

But what's really great about these books, is that they are clearly in the YA market but they certainly do not simplify or otherwise dumb down the plot. This is fast paced, exciting adventure story telling with lots of edge-of-your-seat thrills but also with a good dose of characterization. The language style is pleasant to read and the plot is full of imagination. Just what a good book needs!


  1. I didn't like that these have a TON of mistakes as compared to Barrie's original stories. It's like they didn't even try to be constistent. If they're part of the the same story, they should be. How can they have such disrespect?

    There is a faithful story based on Barrie's notes for more: Click!
    And there's a great "other path" tale for grown-ups: Click!
    Hope you like them...

  2. I appreciate your point of view. But I have to disagree that there are a "ton" of mistakes. Most of what is different here is just explanations of how things came to be in Barrie's story...things he never actually explained.

    I did look up the link you posted to the "other path" tale for grown ups and it seems like that takes things in an entirely different direction...Wendy romancing Capt Hook? Perhaps it makes for an intriguing read but would also seem to diminish your point about staying true to the original work...

  3. Actually, I can see why you'd be concerned about the "romance." I had been, too. It can be misleading, as that's not really what it's about. It's in there, yes, but it's also sensical in context of that book. Jones has a great respect for the original works themes and characters and stays to true to the 'vibe' of Barrie, despite steering someplace else.

    As for the Barry/Pearson books... even changing how things came to be is terrible - since it's supposed to be part of the same tale. But it's not jsut "came to be" - thematic and fact-checking errors abound. Have a look:
    List of Differences

  4. OK, OK, I bow to your superior knowledge of all things Peter Pan. I can also agree that I dislike authors/storytellers ignoring the cannon of a classical work. For example, while I can enjoy watching the BBC's "Merlin" TV show, I deplore the way they seem to ignore the legends. I guess I am not near the Peter Pan afficianado that I am for Arthur or for Robin Hood lore.

    But I still like to read these books, obviously more for the storytelling than for anything else.

    Thanks very much for bringing your comments to this forum :)


Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

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  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
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  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire