Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

Posted November 5, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3)Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry
Series: Peter and the Starcatchers, 3
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Third in the Peter and the Starcatchers children’s fantasy-adventure series based upon the Peter Pan of James Barrie fame.

My Take

We learn a tiny bit about Peter’s parents as well as a wee bit about Peter himself. The important part of the story is saving the world from Lord Ombra and his Darkness and eliminating the slave trade between Rundoon and St. Norbert’s even as Peter fears the watchfulness of his own shadow. Is it even his own?

I do love how Barry and Pearson manage to tie in bits and pieces form Barrie’s Peter Pan from the clock inside the crocodile to the boys’ hideout from the pirates, the flying ship, and Molly’s darling future. Using fanciful parts of other tales such as the flying carpet just keeps the fun alive. The authors really have a handle on the gross humor of children—wait’ll you read how Hook trims his toenails—yuck!

Full of hazards and perils and a bit of seat-of-your-pants terror, you can’t help but gasp and laugh as you enjoy the adventure and remember a bit of your lost childhood as you read Peter and the Secret of Rundoon!

The Story

It’s a two-pronged attack with the Scorpion tribe scouting Never Land to invade the Mollusk people and Lord Ombra anxious to make up for his losses against Peter and the Starcatchers with his plan to snatch Peter. For it appears from what Molly and George Darling discovered, that Peter is a lot more than he seems.

New clues have risen up and the Starcatchers are concerned about the lack of communication from the Watcher. Never before in the history of the organization has the Watcher not warned them of a starfall and it takes Molly and George to discover why. Armed with this information, they hurriedly make plans to bring Peter back to London only to have everything go cockeyed.

The triumphant invasion by the Scorpions. Peter, the Lost Boys, and Hook get kidnapped. Still, there are some bright notes when Shining Pearl escapes her captors and hooks up with the remaining pirates. Lord Aster sets sail for Rundoon to rescue Peter with a couple of naughty stowaways, Molly and George. And Peter has Tink following him.

A Tinker Bell who can talk to animals and flit about unseen even as Lord Ombra meets his compatriots at the Jackal out in the desert. Capture and rescue and repeat until George and Peter each manages to steal a ship and confound everyone.

The Characters

Peter whose last name turns out to be Pan is the son of a Watcher. A special breed designated to pinpoint starfall leaking through the cosmic pipeline. After overdosing on starfall, Peter became much more than he was. He’ll never grow old. He can fly and he heals quickly. At first, Peter was jubilant about his fate. Now, he watches those around him grow older. As he watches Molly mature, he realizes his place is not with them.

The Lost Boys are getting older and becoming impatient with Never Land; Thomas, Prentiss, Tubby Ted, and James display some of that maturity with their kidnapping and the rescue of other boys sent by St. Norbert’s to be slaves for King Zarboff III: Slightly, Curly, Tootles, Nibs, and the twins. Fighting Prawn is the leader of the Mollusk people and Shining Pearl is his very resourceful daughter leading Mr. Grin in a sneak attack.

Molly Aster leads George Darling, her neighbor across the square in London, into more mischief than her father, Lord Leonard Aster, can handle even if it does create unexpected opportunities of help. We finally get to meet Bakari who managed to get the “beware the shadows” message out in the last book.

Lord Ombra struggles to rematerialize after his zapping in Peter and the Shadow Thieves. He must redeem himself in the eyes of his fellows for losing their diverted cargo of starfall. King Zarboff III is a nasty, little, despot of a king using his gigantic snake, Kundilini, to keep everyone in line. Hah! He who laughs last…

The Cover

The cover is gorgeous with a touch of the Russian lacquer box style with Peter and the Lost Boys in the flying carpet escape scene as King Zarboff the III screeches on his throne, the great snake, Kundalini, poised to strike while Molly and George Darling shout encouragement from atop their flying camel while a golden green swirl of holographic ink marks Tinker Bell’s trail. A deep red metallic holographic effect creates the names of the authors, the borders and the book title.

I’m not quite sure what Barry and Pearson believe is the secret of Rundoon as there seem to be so many. And, no, I’m not telling. It might give the game away!

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