Just like for Camelot Burning, I have never read the original story of Peter Pan (Kathryn Rose's debut novel is based on King Arthur, not Peter Pan). I could have watched the musical on NBC on December 4, but I wasn't able to (okay, I did. But 10-15 minutes even count?), thus resulting in me walking into Anna Katmore's Neverland with very little knowledge about the original story (I know Hook is bad and Peter is the boy who never grow up and who the Lost Boys are... don't make fun of me!).
Regardless of my teeny little knowledge, Neverland is a delightful read. From early on in the book, Angelina (Angel) McFarland goes from a very normal life with two Disney-obsessed little sisters to falling off the balcony in her London home and straight into the land of Never. We meet quite a few characters in the beginnings of Neverland – Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, the infamously ruthless Captain Hook and his pirates, and Tameeka, the pixie who may or may not be Tinker Bell (Is Tinker in Peter Pan?).
Katmore definitely takes on an entirely different twist from the original story though. Even those who haven't read Peter Pan will be able to tell there's something different as Angel gets kidnapped by Hook. As Angel learns more about this so called ruthless pirate and gets closer to him, she finds out that Hook may not be so ruthless after all and that he's more human than what others believe him to be.
“Cap’n!” Fin Flannigan shouts out. “What the hell are you doing?”With the major role Hook plays in the book – we get a few chapters from his view! – and with Peter Pan's early actions, it's almost as though the pirate is the good guy compared to the joking Peter Pan. Very much similar to what the producers of Once Upon a Time is doing to the Captain Hook there. That, the characteristics from Emma that Angel seems to have, and the developing romance (I don't know what's going on between Emma and Hook now).
“Saving the girl.”
Smee squats beside me. His voice is low and anxious. “There’s nothing there to hold on to, James. If you slip, you’ll fall to your death.”
I consider his concern for a second then nod. “That’s exactly why someone has to get her out of there.”
The way Katmore gives the pirate a human side also seems to balance the subtle plot – Angel is having a normal life with her two little sisters, she falls off the balcony of her London home, and she falls into Neverland. Throughout the rest of the story, Angel and the other characters are focused on trying to get her home before Angel forgets about her life in London. In midst of all that, Hook and Peter are pretty much at each other's throats in trying to get to a treasure.
Katmore also leaves us at a cliffhanger – a note from Hook or Peter, several months after Angel first fell into Neverland. It doesn't feel like a cliffhanger, but it does seem pretty appropriate according the synopsis of the sequel, Pan's Revenge. Don't you just love the title to the sequel? It sounds so ominous! *happy squeal*
Apart from traveling around the world, her one big passion is writing. She says about herself that she has been a storyteller all her life. Already in kindergarten, she came up with the most exotic fantasies and tales. Her teacher used to call her a liar. Anna calls it the cornerstone of her writing career.
Inspired by authors such as Lisa Jane Smith, Stepheny Meyer, and Becca Fitzpatrick, she started writing her first novel in 2009. Excessive reading and analyzing the structure and characters of her favorite books helped her develop the necessary skills and her very own voice. Because of her love for the language, she writes stories in English first, and when she finds a few weeks to squeeze into her tight writing schedule, she translates them into German later.
Her preferred genres are YA and fantasy romance.
In late 2012, Anna debuted with her novella PLAY WITH ME and later made this the first book of a series called Grover Beach Team. PLAY WITH ME was a finalist in its category for the RONE (Reward Of Novel Excellence) Awards, hosted by the InD’Tale magazine at the Romance Novel Convention 2013 in Las Vegas.
One funny fact: People always told Anna that she can’t make a living with being a writer. So when PLAY WITH ME came out and sold more than 500 units every day during the first four weeks, she was thunderstruck. It took her a few days to realize what was going on.
Anna is married and has a 12-year-old son. She loves her two cats, Lily and Emma, as much as she loves her family, tries to stay fit with ZUMBA dancing twice a week, and usually spends 86% of her day writing. The remaining time is used up for food and inevitable sleep.