Book Review by Mel: Peter Darling, by Austin Chant

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peter darling austin chant

Peter Darlin, by Austin Chant
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: February 15, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars4-of-5


Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Peter Darling is a queer, trans reimagining of the Peter Pan story.


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Trans Character
Fantasy/Fairy Tale
(Reimagining of Peter Pan)
Enemies to Lovers

Content Warnings for:
Death of Secondary Charater
Gender Dysphoria
Use of Dead Name

Review by Mel

“Clothes, adventure, and a worthy opponent,” Hook said, shooting him a look. “Who could ask for more?”

This book made me happy 🙂 I have fond memories of Peter Pan—mainly, I think, from the movie with Robin Williams—and Peter Darling managed to bring the feelings back to life for me. Neverland felt real and atmospheric and just like I remembered.

But not only could I enjoy the lighthearted silly adventures in a dreamworld where nothing bad can really happen, this queer and trans reimagining of Peter Pan smartly plays with the original story and gives it another, yet very fitting meaning. I was especially positively surprised by this in the second half of the book that tied everything up in a very satisfying and plausible way.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here about the plot and everything, because I think it’s one of the joys of reading this book, the discovering and seeing how everything fits together and why and who Peter and Hook are and all. I will say, though, that I absolutely love how both characters evolve. Their character development is quite remarkable, and the slow burning love between these two opponents was a joy, I tell you. I really, really loved it *sigh*

Everyone else had followed [Peter] at best, at worst tried to stop him or change him. Hook had matched him, and had never tried to protect Peter, had always done his worst. That was what felt so good.

However, what I found a little confusing and annoying is that the memory/flashback scenes of Peter’s life aren’t indicated in the text and it always took me some paragraphs to figure out that there was an interruption in the chronological story telling.

But all in all, I am really happy that I had such a good time with this book and I definitely recommend it to fans of Peter Pan and people looking for cool stories with a trans character. Uh well, and to all others as well 😉 Hope you’ll give this a try and enjoy.

I stumbled upon this blog post by the author on obligatory scenes in trans romance and found it to be so good and enlightening that I wanted to share it with you here as well.


Austin is a bitter millennial, passable chef, and a queer, trans writer of romance and speculative fiction. Austin cohosts the Hopeless Romantic, a podcast dedicated to exploring LGBTQIA+ love stories and the art of writing romance. He currently lives in Seattle, in a household of wildly creative freelancers who all spend too much time playing video games.


You can purchase Peter Darling from:
Less Then Three Press

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.


10 thoughts on “Book Review by Mel: Peter Darling, by Austin Chant

    • No, there is no classical age gap going on here. That’s because Peter comes back to Neverland when he is older, and Neverland being Neverland, Hook hasn’t really aged or anything.
      Age didn’t even occur to me as an issue or anything, to be honest, that’s why I didn’t mention or tag for it. It’s definitely not what the story is about and since the story mainly plays in Neverland it’s also nothing that I found inconsistent…

      I hope you’ll like it, cleo!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just finished it and I did enjoy it! I especially loved the 2nd half developments. And the fairies!

        I didn’t have trouble with the flashbacks but I got a little confused by the chronology in another way – it wasn’t clear to me how long Peter was in Neverland the 2nd time. It seemed really short to me but the connection between Peter and Hook made it seem like he’d been there longer.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: TRANS BOOK MONTH: Mel Recommends Books with Trans Characters | Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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