Shadow by Kara Swanson Book Review

Y’all, I have waited for this book for what seems like FOREVER… and it was so, so hard! Well, I can confidently say, it was SO worth the wait!

First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to Kara Swanson for sending my an ARC of this beautiful book. She was so kind, and completely made my day! So thanks to her, I’m here to give you an early review! 😊

Note: Before reading the synopsis, you’ll want to read Dust first so you won’t be spoiled.

Synopsis:

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

My Review:

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was immediately immersed back into this world of mermaids, pixies, pirates, and Lost Boys— and it was wonderful.

The writing is stunning. GOODNESS. I absolutely love it. The descriptions are so colorful. I truly felt like I was in Neverland. It’s purely magical, and sprinkled with pixie dust. The way it’s written evokes so much emotion in me! It’s truly beautiful.

There’s so much imagination and thought given into each and every detail making it brilliant. So many things just sparked my imagination and the childhood wonder inside me!

The characters. OH my stars I love these character SO blooming much (as Peter would say. I’m telling you, I’ll probably be talking like Peter for a week!)

I have SO much love for Claire and Peter. These two are literally two character who have wholly taken my heart. They’re so real to me. They feel like friends. Goodness, someone take me to Neverland please!!!

Peter. I’m so stinkin proud of Peter. I love him so, so much. He grew so much. His character arc is one of the best I’ve ever read. It takes time for him to grow in a realistic way, and it made him so amazing. He’s hilarious. I love the way he talks. Goodness. I laughed so much at him. He’s just so great. AHH!

Claire was amazing. I love her so much. She has struggled and she has overcome. Her character is so beautiful. I want to be her friend and give her a hug.

Lily was incredible and the Lost Boys have my heart.

Conner was such an interesting, heartbreaking character. Same with Paige. I never liked her but I did find her interesting.

Peter and Claire *squeals, fangirls, grins like mad, tries to calm down* Ok, so these two are the best. I love them SO much. I shipped them in Dust, I shipped them in Shadow, I ship them FOREVA. They make my heart so happy. Their love story makes me wanna cry and smile and AHH, these two!!! Y’all!!! Pretty sure every love song I listen to in the next month will be about Peter and Claire. A Lost Boy and a Pixie Girl!! My heart!!

SO much happened in this book. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Twists and turns. I never knew what was gonna happen and it was epic.

The messages and themes in this book almost brought me to tears. It was beautiful. The light, the Hope, the beauty!

It reminded me that we can’t escape reality. We have to face it. We have to face our shadows. And when we do, we realize there is Light and Hope to be found. Not in ourselves but in One far greater. I find that in God and this book really made that hit home for me. For that, I’m so grateful.

This book was magical and beautiful, filled with light and hope. Yes, there were some dark times but in the end, the light shines all the brighter for it.

This reimagining of Peter Pan was absolutely incredible. I so highly recommend both Dust and Shadow! As I rarely read fantasy and am quite picky when it comes to it, these books swept me off my feet and reminded me that I do love fantasy.

I will now be dreaming of Neverland, Peter Pan, Claire, and the Lost Boys for a month or so. Not a bad daydream for this summer. The perfect one.☺️

*Thanks again to Kara Swanson for providing me with an ARC in exchange a review. All opinions are my own. 😊

Dust by Kara Swanson Book Review

I read and reviewed Dust by Kara Swanson on Goodreads back in October but for some reason I never reviewed it on my blog. Since I will be reviewing the sequel, Shadow, soon I thought I would review this amazing Peter Pan reimagining that ended up being one of my top favorite books of 2020!

Synopsis:

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.

My Review:

Note: I wrote this review back in October so I was quite upset and anxious for the second book. Fortunately, July is much closer now!😉

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows— but you have to choose to no longer let them define you. You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces.”

Oh. My. Goodness. This book was everything I wanted it to be, and so much more.

This whole book just felt sprinkled in pixie dust. Everything about it was whimsical and utterly beautiful! It’s just left me in a Peter Pan/ Neverland daydream and I love it so entirely.

The characters in this story were absolutely wonderful.
From the very start, I related soo hard to Claire because she’s a major introvert but she also has that side that she reserves for those she cares about. She was such a complex, beautiful character and I loved her and seeing her grow.
Peter blew me away. I was very curious to see how the author would pull off writing about a character like him. But she nailed it. I LOVED him (even though, yes, I wanted to shake him half the time)
I’ve never fully read the classic Peter Pan but I have seen the movie. I remember that I never really understood him, even if I did really like the story.
I love, LOVE how she crafted him. She made him everything we know about Peter Pan… childish, reckless, irresponsible, cocky, and careless. But she also tells us WHY he’s that way. I just really loved that she gave him a back story. It helped me understand him and see him in a way I never imagined. Also, seeing him as a nineteen year old was definitely interesting. And seeing him grow and change throughout the book was the best thing ever. He’s not quite there yet… but BOOK 2!!!!!!!
Tiger Lily was wonderful in so many ways. I also liked Officer Darling.
The villains were complete villains.

There’s so many other little things I love so much. The whole “Pixie-Girl” thing and the dancing with the pixies heart melts. The magic was beautifully done. The character-development was brilliant. Peter and Claire made me smile soo much.❤️ I could go on and on.

My only complaint? (Not really a complaint, just an impatient fangirl rant) THE CLIFFHANGER. BOOK 2 CANNOT GET HERE QUICK ENOUGH. Uhhhhhh I’m not okay. How can I wait until July??!?!? I don’t know. But I will be VERY anxiously waiting until then.

So to sum it up? This book was a whimsical, magical, golden work of art and went straight to my favorites. There are soo many beautiful quotes in here. I even got teared up because some of it really hit home. The beauty of this book goes beyond the cover.
Kara Swanson’s writing is soo beautiful and whimsical. Oh my goodness. I loved it so very much.

I really, really can’t wait until the next book. I need more of these characters ASAP. 🙂