Another week, another review! This one is an author requested review. You may remember my review for The Neverland Wars several months back? (No?! What's wrong with you?! Read it here). The Pipers Prince is the second in this planned trilogy and I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC to read (thanks Audrey!), in exchange for an honest review.
Pipers Price picks up a couple of weeks after the first book left off; Gwen is back in Neverland and is collaborating with Peter and the Lost Boys in an effort to save Neverland once and for all from those in reality who are after it's magic. They have devised a plan to locate the Piper in an effort to (hopefully) garner his support and help in preparing for a final showdown with the grownups for the magic contained in Neverland. Gwen is tasked with traveling back to reality to locate missing pieces of the puzzle and ultimately summoning the Piper. Bargaining with the Piper turns out to be more tricky than Gwen had imagined and the stakes are raised when the Piper kidnaps someone close to Gwen. With the grownups on their trail and an army of children to round up, Gwen, Peter, and the Lost Boys attempt their last ditch, pixie dust filled effort to rally troops to save Neverland.
Knowing how much I loved Audrey's first book in this series, I came into this one with high hopes....and was not left wanting. Audrey has such a beautiful way with words, like they are chosen and arranged with the utmost of intention. The flow of the story line was seamless; I would venture to say even more so than in the first book. Gwen continues to struggle as she teeters on the cusp of adulthood yet still clinging to the remnants of carefree childhood abandon. She is such a strong and loyal character, one who you readily and eagerly cheer for from the outside of the pages. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Jay and Gwen deepen and flesh out more in this book, he really came alive much more as a character for me. This book also branched out from a strictly Peter Pan retelling to include other characters from some of our most well known fairy tales. The book club full of grown up princesses? Puss and Boots in lock up? Definitely a very nice touch! The tension and danger were definitely amped up a notch in this book which really lent to (what I hope is) setting the tone for a killer third book. The stakes have definitely been raised in this one people. Despite his gruffness, I actually really enjoyed the character of the Piper. An unlikely and dubious hero in his own right, but certainly dangerous. There were certainly more poignant moments this go around, including the scene with Foxglove near the end. That one tugged at the heartstrings a little (read: ALOT). Can't wait for book #3!!
See ya next week!