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The Vicious Lost Boys by Nikki St. Crowe is a dark reimaging of Peter Pan and Wendy. So far, only two books have been released: The Never King and The Dark One. The books are fairly short reads, so you can easily read each of them in one sitting. They do have an enemy-to-lover and reverse harem vibe to them, as well as darker undertones. If those aren’t your vibe, then this series isn’t for you.
The Never King
The stories were all wrong — Hook was never the villain.
For two centuries, all of the Darling women have disappeared on their 18th birthday. Sometimes they’re gone for only a day, some a week or a month. But they always return broken.
Now, on the afternoon of my 18th birthday, my mother is running around the house making sure all the windows are barred and the doors locked.
But it’s pointless.
Because when night falls, he comes for me. And this time, the Never King and the Lost Boys aren’t willing to let me go.
- Page Count: 192 pages
- Published: February 24, 2022
The Dark One
I spent most of my life feeling dead inside — until I met Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.
It wasn’t until Pan and Neverland that I finally felt alive.
But things are not all full of magic and sunlight on the island. There’s something darker and more sinister haunting the forest.
And worse, the fae queen and Captain Hook are ready to fight for control of Neverland and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.
War is brewing—can the Never King get his shadow back and assume his rightful throne? And if he does, where will I fit?
Or will all of Neverland be in jeopardy right along with my dark, twisted heart?
- Page Count: 219 pages
- Published: April 26, 2022
Thoughts on the Series
The series follows Winnie Darling, the descendant of Wendy Darling who has been kidnapped by Peter Pan. A tradition in the women of the Darling family, since Peter Pan lost his shadow centuries ago. Only Winnie doesn’t believe it’s real, so when it turns out it’s true she’s shocked that she’s not just going to go mad like her mother overnight. I find it a little odd they all keep the same last night from one generation to the next when it follows the females. I get why Winnie has her mother’s last name, as her mother was unmarried but the rest I’m like “really 200 years and the last name didn’t change once?” I doubt all the other Darling descendants had children out of wedlock, even if the majority of them lose their minds due to what they undergo after their 18th birthday when their minds are searched using magic for the location of Peter’s shadow. But I get why St. Crowe kept it since it makes it closer to the original tale.
I won’t spoil what happens in the series (for the most part), but there are some more changes to the original tale.
The Twins are Fae Princes that have been banished, and the sons of Tinker Bell. Their sister Tilly is now the Queen of the Fae (Fairies). Only the royals have wings, but the twins (Kastian/Kas and Sebastian/Bash) lost theirs during their banishment. They also are the natives unlike in the original tale where there was Tiger Lily and the Indians. I do like that change in the story, so it’s not as problematic. Hook also has a sister named Cherry, who has been a hostage of the Lost Boys for years… though she really doesn’t mind as she is into Vane, one of the Lost Boys and The Dark One of another island.
Speaking of islands, there are seven in total. Each island has two shadows: one of life and one of death. The individual who claims the Life Shadow is known as the King, while the other is known as the Dark One. Peter Pan once had the Life Shadow for Neverland, but he lost it due to Wendy Darling and Tinker Bell. An event that left Tinker Bell dead after Peter said he didn’t believe in fairies. This is similar to the original tale, as Peter had lost his shadow in that one too when he met Wendy. However, losing one’s shadow (specifically the Life one) results in the island dying and the individual of the said shadow being unable to go into sunlight without it. This is what’s happening to Peter Pan, and he can sense that Winnie is his last chance of regaining his shadow or he will die.
While I thought the series had an interesting concept, I wish some things were more explored. The books are fairly short, so not a lot gets explored in depth. Things are rushed through including their relationships. While it’s described as enemy-to-lover, it’s not really. Winnie grew up with a prostitute mother, who has been telling her for years that Peter Pan will break her, and has more or less abused her by having people carve symbols into her body and perform various rituals that should prevent Pan from getting Winnie. Of course, it was all fake so Pan finds Winnie regardless. Winnie also takes after her mother and uses her body to get what she needs. So, she has no problems flirting and trying to sleep with Pan, Kas, Bash, and Vane. Even if they have a rule for themselves not to sleep with a Darling. Who eventually do… because shocker.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want spice this book is way more focused on that than the plot. There’s no true development of the relationships. It goes from “we’re not sleeping with you” to “you sleep with no one else” in a heartbeat. But in a “you’re our whore and we’ll do whatever we want with you” kind of way. This is where my main problem comes from for the book. I don’t like degrading language during sex scenes. Some people like it, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the series outside of that. I couldn’t set these books down as I read them, and want to read the third installment when it comes out later this year.
Overall, I give these books a 3.25 out of 5-star rating. The concept is interesting and they have a good hook to keep you interested even if it’s short/fast pace. There are some errors in the editing like Winnie will say Kas did something when it was Bash, but overall it wasn’t bad for an exotic novel that’s inspired by the Peter and Wendy fairy tale.
Some of the
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