Sunday, June 9, 2019
Off the Bookshelf: PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
This one has been out for a while, and I admit I've been tempted a number of times when I saw it in the bookstore, but I think about the books waiting to be read -- just print, not even considering all the ebooks waiting on my tablet ... *sigh*
Honestly, have you noticed how many AUDIOBOOKS I've been reviewing lately? That's because I can snatch 10 minutes, 20 minutes at a time when I'm out running errands. And even longer chunks of reading when I'm driving to meetings on the other side of the state. I used to be able to read 1 or 2 books a week. Lately I'm lucky if it's 1 book a month! Except for audiobooks ...
Who is Peter? The boy who eventually becomes Peter Pan, of course.
Granted, the authors come up with some great twists and changes in the "origin" story of the Boy Who Never Grew Up. In the plays and movies -- yeah, I'm thinking of the Robin Williams version, too -- Peter says he ran away as a baby, when he heard his parents talking about the boring future he had ahead of him. He didn't want to grow up.
Here, however, eternal youth hits Peter entirely by accident. He and his four friends are orphans, and find out after they've been loaded on board a disgusting wreck of a ship that they've essentially been sold into slavery, sent to serve a tyrant in a foreign country. On the same ship is a girl named Molly, daughter of the queen's ambassador to this foreign kingdom, and a mysterious trunk full of star stuff. That's what it's called. I am not making it up.
Everybody wants the trunk. The tyrant king, the pirates chasing the ship, Molly, her father, and assorted various others. Including mermaids and a native tribe and porpoises. The starcatchers of the title are an ancient society that makes sure the magical star stuff doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
The adventures and twists and turns as the trunk changes hands again and again, and different sides fight for it and lose it and are tricked and return for another try are hilarious at times, and nail-biting at others. Who will win? Who will end up controlling the star stuff?
Read or listen and find out. Majorly fun romp!