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Initial Thoughts: When I saw this book on Netgalley, my first reaction was “hmm… this is interesting…” Lost Boy, Found Boy is a science fiction retelling of the classic tale of Peter Pan. I do have many books on my to-read list on Netgalley already, but since Lost Boy, Found Boy is a novella of approximately 21,000 words, I figured I’d be able to finish it in no time!

Summary

Lost Boy, Found BoyLost Boy, Found Boy by Jenn Polish

 

In a futuristic world, Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a cyborg, and Tinker Bell is an automated computer interface.

Peter is desperate to save his lover from a military draft that, unbeknownst to him, Mir volunteered for because they are desperate to be able to fly. So, naturally, Peter programs an entire island—Neverland—as a refuge where Mir can fly without having to fight in a war.

But he doesn’t locate Mir right away; instead, he fights for control of the island with automated interface Tinker Bell, and in his attempts to find Mir, others arrive on the island. But Peter’s single-minded focus on Mir generates repercussions for everyone.” – Goodreads

The Review

 Lost Boy, Found Boy is a science fiction reimagining of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan where Neverland is a computer program, and Tinker Bell, its interface. In Mir and Peter’s world, boys are snatched from their pods and enlisted into the army to fight in a dangerous battle against an unknown foe. Little did Peter know, Mir volunteered to join because those who are chosen are given the ability to fly. In order to save Mir from the dangers of battle, Peter creates Neverland, a place where Mir will be able to fly without jeopardizing Mir’s safety. But Neverland is more than what Peter imagined. Suddenly, the island takes on a life of its own, and its interface, Tinker Bell begins to open portals to the outside world. As Neverland’s population grows, Mir is nowhere to be found. As the island begins to develop, Tinker Bell becomes overloaded with data. Will Peter be able to find Mir and keep his island alive? 
This was a rather odd version of Peter Pan that infuses artificial intelligence and technology into a strange mixture. When I first began reading, the opening completely hooked me in. Boys are placed in pods for their safety as the oxygen is cut off for the night. The boys fear being branded and subsequently chosen to enter into the war. The dystopian setting blended with science fiction had me sold.  But, as the story went on, I found myself disconnected from the events with very little satisfaction when I reached the conclusion. I do believe the writing itself has great potential. The problem was in the execution.
As this novella is rather short, there really isn’t a great amount of character development or plot to encompass the entire storyline. The storyline would have fared better if Peter and Mir’s characters were a little more fleshed out.  I also wished I knew more about the war Mir decides to join. For instance, who are they fighting? Why are children/young adults chosen? Why does Mir want to fly so much even if it means that Mir might die as a result? I have no clue, and I will never know.

The secondary characters seemed to be just “there” without any real purpose. When James (Hook) was introduced into the story, I figured “it’s about time there was a villain.”  James is a half-human and half-robot who used to fight in the war. He has lost all sense of his identity, and his entire personality seems to be focused around his jealousy of Mir. In the end, it seemed as if he was only there to reinforce that this is a retelling of Peter Pan. Character with a hook? check. Honestly, this novella probably wouldn’t be readable if the reader had never heard of Peter Pan. While this is highly unlikely since Peter Pan is a well-known novel that has been adapted into various mediums many times. Yet, when a well-known story is retold, the story should be able to speak for itself without mooching off the original.

All in all, I was disappointed by Lost Boy, Found Boy. The idea of Neverland being a computer generated setting was very intriguing, but the overall world-building and lack of personality in the characters made this novella incomplete. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for representations of LGBTQ characters or are looking for a non-binary character.

*I received Lost Boy, Found Boy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Lost Boy, Found Boy will be published on March 19, 2018

Final Rating: 

satisfactory

About the Book 

Title: Lost Boy, Found Boy
Author: Jenn Polish
Type: Novella
Year Published: March 19, 2018
Genres & Subjects: young adult, fiction, dystopian, retelling, Peter Pan, LGBTQ, non-binary, science-fiction,

Where to Buy… 

Kobo

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (United States)

Barnes & Noble

Indigo

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Until Next Time, 

-Alice

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