Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
YA fiction. 482 pp.
from the flap copy:
In this action-packed conclusion to the Starcatchers trilogy, Peter and Molly find themselves in the dangerous land of Rundoon, ruled by the evil King Zarboff, who takes great delight in watching his pet snake, Kundalini, consume anyone who displeases him. But that's just the start of the trouble acing our heroes, who once again find themselves pitted in a struggle to save themselves and Molly's father—not to mention the entire planet—from an unthinkable end. Meanwhile, back in Never Land, a tribal war is under way, and while Peter is off fighting to save the world, a young Mollusk princess has no choice but to join forces with sinister pirates to save her island from the vicious Scorpions.
I seem to have read the two previous books in this series at times when I wasn't regularly reviewing the books I'd read. Happens, I guess. Basically, the series functions as a prequel to Peter Pan, explaining how Peter came to be Peter and all that good stuff. The first book was quite good and enjoyable. I know that I approached it a bit skeptically, considering that I was unsure of what to expect in terms of tone with Dave Barry as one of the authors. But this is one of those good coauthorships. The second book was rather a disappointment. The story and villain were intriguing, but the writing likely fell to the fate of nearly all sequels.
This third book, though, brought things back up to par. The story is interesting, the characters are well developed, and the plotlines are pulled together. There is enough tension to maintain suspense throughout. I am very happy that this is only a trilogy, as I think the authors would have to grasp at straws to make a fourth book worth reading (in terms of reasonable plot and all).