This story, Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is the first book of the Peter and the Starcatchers series. In this teenage version of Peter Pan, orphaned Peter and 4 other orphan boys (James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted) set out on a journey from the dusty streets London across the ocean to a distant land called Rundoon, aboard a ship called the NeverLand. Once aboard, Peter and his friends have only one future ahead- becoming slaves for the king of Rundoon, His Royal Highness King Zarboff the Third. But one day, Peter learns about a mysterious trunk, and being curious, sneaks along the deck at night with a sailor called Alf, into the place where the trunk was kept. There, a girl called Molly tries to stop him from getting to the trunk. He had met Molly the first day aboard the ship, and knew that if she said she was going to do something, she meant it. But then, after posing a threat to Peter, Molly shows him what is inside the trunk: the legendary Starstuff. Molly flicks open the locket that hangs around her neck, and a golden glow fills the air. Molly demonstrates what she can do: hovering in the air, just a few feet above the deck of the NeverLand. Slowly, very slowly, the Starstuff wears off and Molly floats back down to earth.
Meanwhile, the most feared pirate in the world, Black Stache, and idiot Smee, and the rest of the pirate crew aboard the Sea Devil are hunting the Wasp, the fastest ship that has ever sailed. Aboard that ship is Molly’s father Lord Leonard Aster, senior Starcatcher. Lord Aster is in danger, and Stache is after a black trunk with the most powerful element on earth inside it- Starstuff.
Molly and Peter are warned of the Pirate by a porpoise named Ammm. But will they save Lord Aster in time? Will they be able to get hold of the Starstuff without being killed by it? And hardest of all- will they be able to warn everyone about the pirates and escape the jaws of Mr Grin, a feared crocodile who is the Savages‘ weapon on the island where they are washed ahore?
Later on in thier journey, the Neverland is shipwrecked on a small tropical island called Mollusk Island. Only a tribe of 'savages' lives there, along with an oversized crocodile named Mister Grin. The Mollusks do not approve of outsiders, but they eventually learn to befreind Peter. Due to the arrival of the Starstuff trunk on the island, Mollusk island changes. The Starstuff leaks into the waters around the island, causing fish to become mermaids.
Black Stache is also shipwrecked on the island in the same storm as the NeverLand after he captures Lord Aster and the 'Wasp'.
Once on the island, Peter, with Molly, must find a way to stop Black Stache and the Pirates from getting hold of the Starstuff. If they fail, Black Stache will have the power to exterminate the Mollusk tribe, and kill everyone else on the island.
One of my favourite scenes, which repeats itself through the book, is when Smee does something stupid again, (like tripping over a fort, or by doing the opposite of what Stache says). This is how one of the scenes would be like.
(Smee trips over the fort.)
Stache says "Smee, you are a supreme IDJIT!" (which is an extremely funny way to say blithering idiot in pirate language)
"Yes, Cap'n. I mean, no Cap'n. I mean-"
Another one of my favourite scenes is when Molly tries to talk porpoise to Ammm. She is not very skilled in speaking porpoise, and when she tries to say hello, or communicate, she can only manage “my teeth are green”. Ammm’s reaction to this is very funny, as he first looks very puzzled, but then politely says “your teeth are green.” It is a very interesting scene, which is why I like it. It can also appear to be a bit confusing!
I gave this book five stars because it is very well written. I have always liked the story of Peter Pan, but this story actually explains how Peter became a flyer, how he always stays young, and all of the adventures he has with Molly before Wendy enters the scene.