Not exactly a sequel and not exactly a retelling of the Peter Pan story, Peter David’s “Tigerheart” is more of a reimagined modernization of the classic story along the lines of his King Arthur trilogy and “Howling Mad.”
David succeeds beautifully at weaving the story of Peter Pan for a modern audience. But instead of focusing on Peter as the central character, David creates his own, Paul Dear. Early in the story, Paul’s baby sister dies, causing a rift between his parents and their separation. Determined to make his mother happy again, Paul sets out to Anywhere to find a new sister and bring her home to his mother. Along the way, he meet the Boy, who is the kind of Anywhere, refusing to grow up, self-centered and having fantastic adventures.
David tells the story in a omniscient narrator voice with brilliant asides to the audience. The story is modern but also timeless with references to modern day drugs to stop little boys from having fantastic adventures in their imagination. But while it does have those hints of the modern world, the storytelling and the universe are timeless.
If you’re familiar with Peter Pan either from the popular Disney movie or from the J.M. Barie original story, you’re in for a treat with David’s unique take on the story. Reading “Tigerheart,” I found myself wishing David had written this years ago so that it would have been adapted for the big-screen as “Hook” instead of the movie we got. Seeing Steven Spielberg create this world would have been wonderful.
While it’s marketed for young adults, I have to say that “Tigerheart” is a joy and delight for anyone who hasn’t or doesn’t want to lose touch with their inner child. One of the best books I’ve read this year and one that I heartily recommend.