Readers, I am so excited right now.
One of my favorite classic tales retold by my favorite modern author has been republished.
Now available as an e-book, Straight on 'til Morning by Christopher Golden takes the tale of Peter Pan and re-imagines it as a coming-of-age horror story. Set in the summer of 1981, it follows Kevin Murphy as he bridges the gap between middle school and high school. Desperately, secretly in love with his friend Nikki, Kevin gets his heart broken when Nikki runs off when her new boyfriend, an older boy named Pete.
Then he realizes Nikki didn't leave willingly, and he decides to follow her. He is determined to find her. To save her. To get her back home. Little does he know what waits for him and his friends when they venture past the second star to the right...and straight on 'til morning.
Growing up is a scary thing. That's why there's something fitting about a horror story being a bildungsroman. Consider Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how the monsters were used as metaphors. The fears we conquer. The challenges we overcome. The ways we change as we grow up. The friends we make and lose along the way. Golden fuels this supernatural Stand By Me with realistic motivations and memorable characters.
Those of you who recently traveled to Neverland with the TV series Once Upon a Time this season are probably yearning for something to read during summer hiatus. Pick up Straight on 'til Morning by Christopher Golden. NOW.
But don't just listen to me... Check out these other reviews:
"Golden's dramatic and funny coming of age story evolv(es) into a horrific and ultimately sorrowful thriller. A bizarre combination of The Wonder Years and The Lost Boys, this fantastic tale entertains."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Christopher Golden . . . is an imaginative and prodigious talent who never lets genre boundaries hold him back."
-- Douglas Clegg, author Naomi and Mischief
"The print equivalent of From Dusk 'Til Dawn. High praise, indeed. A bizarre trip across the dark fantastic that really, really works. The Stand By Me-cum-The Outsiders feel of the first half of the novel is real, and honest, and a great read in and of itself; add the twisted fantasy element, and this book becomes perfectly unique. A grown up, odd, compelling journey through adolescence, and heartache, and of course, Neverland. A fascinating and completely engrossing book."
-- The 11th Hour web magazine
"I defy anyone to read a few of these scenes and not be swept up. Golden's imagination was working overtime when he crafted a way to blend this coming-of-age story with not just a bona fide childhood classic, but Gaelic mythology as well, as the novel progresses from the mundane to the weird to full-blown high fantasy. Golden keeps those pages flying by, without forgetting to bring it full circle and give your heart a tweak or two in the very end."
-- Brian Hodge, author of Wild Horses
"A clever and touching dark fantasy novel (that is) magic to read. As dark, and as mature, as any good fairy tale is at heart. Golden's storytelling is restrained as he finesses us down the plot's road, and though there is a moral to the story, it's a moral that aches with the revelations of coming of age, and of leaving an age behind."
Official book flap summary:
It is the summer after eighth grade, the last three months of freedom for Kevin Murphy and his friends before they begin high school. The last chance to hang at the mall and goof off. And Kevin's last chance to confess his unrequited love for Nicole French.
But Nikki has a new boyfriend -- a rough eighteen-year-old named Pete Starling. Kevin knows Pete's no good for Nikki. And now Pete and his gang have taken Nikki away. To rescue her, Kevin and his friends must follow them into a land they were never even meant to know about. A life they cannot imagine.
A place from which they may never return...
"He brings into being a world of haunted and perilous fantasy," hails Peter Straub of Christopher Golden, and it's never been truer than in this unique novel of dark fiction about the strange summer of a young boy coming of age.
Includes the bonus short story "Runaway."