T. A. Hernandez
Book Review: The Navigator by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown
Some of you may have heard or seen me talk about The Wendy before, which is the first book in this series and immediately became one of my favorites when I read it back in 2018. I've recommended it more times than I can count and will continue to do so until the end of time because the book is honestly just that good. So you could say my expectations for this second book in the series were very high and very hopeful.
Not only did the book live up to my hopes and expectations, it exceeded them in all the best ways. It was so much fun to dive back into this world and accompany these characters on their adventures into Neverland. I love Wendy here just as much as I did in the first book, and I loved watching her talk her way out of tricky situations with some very clever thinking. She faces new challenges in The Navigator, not only externally but also within herself as she is faced with some of the harsh realities of life in the military, particularly for a young woman. Other characters also get some good development here, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Tigerlilja, and others. If I had to pick a favorite character in this book, though (aside from Wendy herself), it would be Captain James Hook. Which was surprising to me, honestly, because I remember wanting to strangle him throughout pretty much the entirety of the first book. Here, he's forced to confront some of his own biases and rigidly-held beliefs, and that makes for some really interesting character development for him. Were there still times I wanted to slap him? Sure. But he is proving himself to be a more honorable man than I gave him credit for, and I absolutely love the layers of complexity that are woven into his character.
As with the previous book, the narration style here is a real treat, with the narrator acting almost as a character in their own right. I loved exploring Neverland and learning more about how it works, the various people and creatures who live there, how it's all tied to Peter Pan, and what's at stake for the world as it relates to Neverland. It was such a grand adventure, with never a dull moment and plenty of things to pique your curiosity along the way. There's a little twist at the end that really brought things from the first book and from this one together, and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to continue the story in the next book.