ALC Review: ‘Lost in the Never Woods’

Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories – second only to my love for Alice in Wonderland – so when I heard Aiden Thomas, author of Cemetery Boys, was going to be doing a Peter Pan retelling, I was beside myself with excitement!

Thank you to for the advanced listening copy!

Title: Lost in the Never Woods
Author: Aiden Thomas
Narrated by: Avi Roque
Series: Standalone
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling

Goodreads Summary

I went into this story with high expectations. We all know the story of Peter Pan, and I expected certain events to happen. But this is a retelling, and retellings don’t need to follow the source material scene for scene – I think that’s the most important think to remember going into this story.

This story follows Wendy, a girl about to turn 18, the age of “growing up” or being considering an adult by most. She volunteers at the local hospital, reading to the children and helping out. She still blames herself for the fact both herself and her two brothers (John and Michael) went missing five years ago, and she was found but her brothers were not – which tore her family apart. She’s constantly drawing images that she isn’t conscious of drawing – and she keeps drawing a boy who looks awfully like Peter Pan, the bedtime story her mother told her as a child and she told her younger brothers.

Then suddenly a boy shows up in the hospital who knows Wendy’s name and claims he is Peter…Peter Pan. Wendy doesn’t know what to believe anymore, and tries not to panic that he looks exactly like her drawings. Children in town start going missing, just like what happened five years ago to Wendy and her brothers. And Wendy has a feeling Peter’s sudden appearance has something to do with this.

This story is a lot darker than I expect, quite frankly. It deals with grief of losing family members (siblings, and children in the case of her parents) and trauma. Wendy is clearly not well and her parents are too deep in their own grief to help their returned daughter. Even five years later, it’s clear this family is suffering.

Sadly, this book fell very flat for me. It felt like a plateau. I was waiting and waiting and WAITING for things to happen but nothing. ever. did. In the beginning a little happened, and the end things happened very quickly but this book was a plateau. It’s very mundane – Wendy and Peter go and get ice cream at one point, and that takes up a significant amount of time – and does not even more the plot forward. There was a lot of commonplace daily events happening in this book, but it barely moved the story forward. The town never really seems too concerned about missing children until multiple children go missing towards the end.

Honestly, this book bored me. I considering DNF-ing it more than once. It dragged on for far too long with far too little actually happening.

Author Aiden Thomas has said this was actually the first book they wrote, but Cemetery Boys is the book the publisher wanted to publish first and I can see why – that was a much stronger, much more interesting book. This is OK as far as Peter Pan retellings go, but it does not bring anything new or exciting to the table. If you were on the fence about this one, I would say give it a pass.

I look forward to what Aiden will write in the future though, as I enjoy their writing in Cemetery Boys, this book just felt like a sophomore slump.

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I absolutely ADORE Avi Roque as the audiobook narrator! They also narrated Aiden’s book Cemetery Boys and I loved them in that too. 10/10 recommend Avi’s narration and I look forward to hearing their voice more in the future!

I ended up listening to this on 2.7x speed by the end, which surprised even me! Avi has a smooth voice and it was easy to listen to on a quick speed.

My Rating:

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I debated giving this 3 stars, but I really didn’t enjoy it that much. I’m going with 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 stars on Goodreads. If you’re curious about a Peter Pan retelling, by all means, give this one a go. Nothing is wrong with it, it was just uneventful and boring to me. So if you’re undecided if you want to read this, I would have to give it a hard pass.

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5 thoughts on “ALC Review: ‘Lost in the Never Woods’

  1. Great review. I liked this book, but I also felt like you and almost stopped reading a couple times. I was definitely let down after reading Cemetery Boys. I think maybe my expectations were a bit too high. I did really enjoy half of the book or so which is why I rated it higher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a shame, because I *wanted* to like this book so much… Cemetery Boys was so strong and this felt like a letdown, but I look forward to reading more of Aiden’s books in the future! I’m glad you did enjoy at least half of it and gave it a higher rating 🙂 Thanks for reading my review! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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