Monday, January 23, 2023

MMGM and a review of NeverLore: Journey to Mt. Smolder by Taya & Nathan Okerlund

NeverLore:  Journey to Mt. Smolder by Taya and Nathan Okerlund
Format:  E-ARC
Publisher:  Bookerlunds
Number of pages:  278
Publishing:  Following Kickstarter campaign
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

Opening Line: "Taking a walk with a magician was never an ordinary stroll in the park, though it was no genie's wishing lamp either."  

Annabelle Silvers has always wished that she could spend more time with her father, the well-known magician.  Instead, she was left in the care of Aunt Mercy while attending a private school.  But now that Aunt Mercy has died, her father has suddenly reappeared, only to end up being imprisoned the very next day.  Even more shocking, he's been accused of stealing from the Queen and has been locked up tight in Childerbridge Tower.  Now penniless, Annabelle is thrown out of her school, and has been taken on as a servant for Mrs. Durham from The Ladies Aviary Goodwill Society, caring for her prized pigeons.  For 888 days, Annabelle cared for Mrs. Durham's pigeons but then something mysterious begins to happen while performing her daily chores, magic.  Annabelle then finds herself whisked away to Fairy with Tinsel, a pixie as her guide.  Soon Annabelle is being disguised as Alvina Appleblossom and going on a secret mission to Never for The Grand Dame, Potentate of Fairy to spy on the Lost Boys and find out what's been happening to Never.  

I think the last book I read about Neverland was Sisters of Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith which was a wonderful retelling of Peter Pan.  I like to see that Neverland is making a comeback, Saving Neverland by Abi Elphinstone was just published in the UK.  The Okerlund's story isn't so much a retelling but a reimaging with new characters and focuses more on Annabelle and her quest to find out the truth about her father and on the Lost Boys, who truthfully deserved a little storytime of their own.  It's an adventure across Never as you've never seen it before.  There are angry ants, fairies who have questionable intentions, hyena's, a dragon and pirates.  There's still pixie dust that helps you fly, and a crocodile enamored by the ticking of a clock, but it is its own story.  The story left me with a few unanswered questions, but still, it's a very promising first book in what's to be a series.  My review copy also included the prequel: Librarynth of the Lost; Peter Pan’s origin story within Fairy’s royal family, which I felt filled in some gaps.     And from the looks of it the backers on Kickstarter agree, because I see that it did get funded after all.  Kudos to the authors.  

**Again, thank you to Taya and Nathan Okerlund for the E-ARC and much success with your book series**      

I hope you'll check all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.   


Carol Baldwin said...

Another tie-in to Peter Pan's Never Land. I love it! Might have to snag this book for my grandkids.

Greg Pattridge said...

The word "Neverland" was all I needed to pique my interest in this book. Your critique has me even more interested. Thanks for featuring your post on today's MMGM.

Valinora Troy said...

The sounds sounds really good, as does Saving Neverland. I've never been a fan of Peter Pan (except for the movie Lost Boys!!) but it sounds like I need to read these retellings! Thanks for sharing!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I haven't read any Peter Pan retellings. This one sounds interesting, and I really like the cover. Thanks for sharing it with us this week.

Rosi said...

Very interesting premise. I always enjoy good retellings. Thanks for the heads up.

Patricia T. said...

A new retelling of Peter Pan and Neverland. This sounds like an interesting book. Great cover! Will have to check it out. Excellent review. Thanks for sharing!