Title: Peter and the Sword of Mercy
Series: Sequel to Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
Author: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Jim Dale
ISBN: 9781441802248
Pages: 515 pages
Discs: 10 CDs, 11 hours 32 minutes
Publisher/Date: Disney Hyperion Books (Brilliance Audio), c2009.

And then he saw Peter, a few hundred yards off, flying toward the ship erratically and low to the water, clearly in trouble.
“Smee,” said Hook.
“Aye, Cap’n.”
“Fetch my pistol.”
“Aye, Cap’n”
Smee disappeared below, returning moments later with the pistol, which he handed to Hook. Peter was now almost to the ship. Catching sight of Hook, he reacted with obvious surprise, and seemed about to veer away. But he had no strength left. With a last desperate lunge he swerved upward, landing precariously in the rigging above the ship’s lone fluttering sail.
He looked down at Hook, who looked back up at him.
“Hello, boy,” said Hook. Slowly, dramatically, he raised the pistol and pointed it at Peter.
“Good-bye, boy,” he said.
He pulled the trigger. (489)

Twenty years have passed since the adventures involving Molly, Peter, the Lost Boys, and the Starcatchers. Peter and the Boys have been sharing the island with the Mollusk tribe and the pirates, while Molly, her father, and George have been living in London. The peace and quiet is shattered however, when people start mysteriously disappearing from the London underground tunnels. James, one of Peter’s original friends, confides in Molly that he suspects one of the king’s advisors is linked to these kidnappings. When James, and then Molly go missing, Molly’s eleven-year-old daughter Wendy takes her mother’s place in discovering the cause. Wendy has a hard time believing in her mother’s tales of a flying boy, but he may be her mother’s only hope in conquering an enemy who has returned from the past.

I’ve fallen in love with the Peter and the Starcatchers series, and this was no different. Lots of fast-paced action and adventure sequences keep kids entertained. My favorite scenes still involve Smee and Hook’s interactions, with Smee continually causing Hook to call him an “IDJIT”.

The resulting sails were strong and supple, but Hook was not happy with the color. Not happy at all.
“Pink?” he said, upon first seeing them. “PINK?”
The sails were, in fact, an especially bright shade of pink.
“Yes, Cap’n,” said Smee, “I think they’re lovely.”
Hook slowly turned to face his first mate. This was usually a bad sign. (230)

Some of the scenes, including the one quoted above, leave me with the image of these two guys passing a notebook back and forth between each other. When one gets stuck, the other guy suggests the most off-the-wall thing they can come up with, and then gets stuck somehow working it in. And they’re actually successful at it! The same could be said for the very vocal and ever-opinionated Tinkerbell, who although her abrasive comments seem to conflict with her current “good-girl” image, they do appear to follow the original Disney version of Peter Pan. The narration is very easy to follow and engrossing. It almost sounds like you’re being told the story in person as opposed to reading/listening to it. The inflection, as always, is great.

The only complaint that I have with this book is that there are four or five plot lines going at one time, and there’s one portion of the book where they focus exclusively on one plot. This causes some confusion when they finally flip back to the other main story line, and I feel like this could have been avoided. However, other people might argue that they like the fact they weren’t flipping back and forth between scenes during this pivotal point in the narrative. I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself which way you’d prefer.

Highly recommended for any fantasy fans, especially boys, who liked Harry Potter or are waiting for the next book in the Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series.

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