Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publish Date: September 14, 2010
Sixteen-year-old Wendy and her insecure freshman brother, John are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: The Book of Gates, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real -- when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new RA named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe.
The best descriptor I can think of when it comes to the Another books is strange. It’s a good kind of strange that makes me keep reading to find out what crazy odd-ball thing will be thrown at me next, though. This one, for instance, Another Pan is obviously a Peter Pan spin-off/retelling, but it’s also about an old Egyptian curse. I certainly never would have put those two things together, but it works.
I loved drawing the connections between the original Pan story (well, at least the Disney version that I know) and this one. The Nayeri’s definitely had some ingenious tricks for the correlations. Pointing them out wouldn’t necessarily be spoilers, but I think it takes a little of the fun away, so I’ll just say that my favorite one was their reimagining of the crocodile.
I found some of the characters to be absolutely infuriating, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way I was meant to feel and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. Plus, a few of them even had redeeming moments. I’m starting to think Peter is a terrible boy after all the versions of the story that I’ve read, though.
I really appreciated Wendy’s internal struggles. At times I wanted to pull her aside and knock some sense into her, but it felt genuine.
The Nutshell: If you’re a fan of retellings with a little strange thrown into the mix, then you should probably give Another Pan a try as well as its predecessor. They can easily be read separately without missing a thing, but if you like one, it’s highly likely that you’ll enjoy the other as well.
Series: Another #2