Lost in the Never Woods | Aiden Thomas


Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

Swoon Reads; 2021; 384 pages

Content Warnings: Kidnapping, violence, death, allusions to alcoholism

About the Author: “Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling Author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, useless trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.” (Bio taken from the author website.)

“She knew those eyes. They were the same ones she’d drawn over and over again but could never get right. But that was impossible. It couldn’t be—”

Wendy Darling is best known in her small Oregon town for disappearing at age twelve with her two younger brothers, Michael and John—and being the only one to come back. With no memory of her time while missing, or the location of her brothers, Wendy spends the next five years trying to move on. That is, until more kids start disappearing, and others begin to suspect she knows something. Wendy remembers the stories of Peter Pan she read as a child, but when she stumbles across a vaguely familiar, starry-eyed boy who asks for her help rescuing the missing kids, she starts to wonder if they were more than just stories after all. 

Aiden Thomas’ reimagining of Peter Pan is a unique, suspenseful story full of mystery and magic, but at times leaves something to be desired. I loved the character of Peter: his ebullient charm and childlike attitudes highlight his personality as a caring and free-spirited soul. Peter works well as a companion character to Wendy because he represents the light and warmth that she needs to reconnect with her inner childboth emotionally and literally. However, the book is a little slow-paced for my taste. It took several attempts and failures for Peter and Wendy to successfully begin their search for the kidnapped children, which made some of the action sequences feel repetitive and the ending feel rushed. Though the action is sometimes slow, I loved the creative spin on Peter Pan’s shadow that Thomas utilizes to create an antagonist. Flaws and all, Lost in the Never Woods is a haunting, imaginative tale that puts a darker, emotional twist on the magic of Peter Pan.

PRR Writer, Grace Kennedy