Book Reviews

Book Review: Shadow

by Kara Swanson


Peter Pan and Claire have made it to Neverland–but it’s not the island they were expecting.

After arriving with Captain Hook, Claire finds herself a prisoner upon his pirate ship, forced to watch a shattered Neverland from afar and wonder where her brother is. When Claire manages to escape and find Connor, she realizes that he, like the island, is broken and not what she was expecting.

Determined to save Claire, Peter must confront and try to survive his island that has turned on him. And what broke Neverland may be more tied to Peter and forgotten memories than he realizes.

Shadows are ripping Neverland apart. Is a flicker of pixie dust enough light to save the island? What will Peter and Claire have to sacrifice to save Neverland and everyone on it?

Shadow is a beautiful conclusion to the Heirs of Neverland Duology. And it is the conclusion that the duology needs. There is pain and there is darkness, but at the core of it, there is light. At its heart, this is a story about light shining in and overcoming the darkness.

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve read Shadow, so my initial thoughts on it are a little fuzzy. But here are my thoughts on the book.

I’ll start off with the worldbuilding. Kara is a great job of taking Barry’s Neverland and making it her own, all while keeping it familiar. It was super cool to see her unique spin on the world. I also loved what she did for Tiger Lily’s tribe. So fun.

Because Kara was able to create the worldbuilding for Shadow, I enjoyed it a lot more than I did in Dust. While I love London, there were some elements in Dust that showed that Kara hasn’t been to London yet, and the setting felt a little small. However, in Shadow Kara was able to dive into and create the worldbuilding and know everything about it, giving it a nice expansive feeling.

As for the characters, they are still great. I love their narrative voices, especially Peter’s. Kara also did a nice job with their character arcs and growth. We also get a few new characters in Shadow, both good and evil, which was fun.

The plot was well done and, like I hinted at earlier, I loved the way Kara wove light and dark into the plot. I love that theme, and I think it is an important one.

Shadow was a great story that did not disappoint after the wonder of Dust.

The Heirs of Neverland is a duology that isn’t afraid to go into the darkness, but it is grounded in the light. And that results in a beautiful story, filled with the whimsy of fairy tales.

Cautions: several kisses; light/moderate romace; non-graphic moderate violence; several instance of “coarse” language; dark moments

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