Ridley with EarsI’m reading the latest in the Peter and the Starcatchers series – by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry – right now, and I can honestly barely put it down to write a blog post :-)  At the D23 Expo, I had the opportunity to attend a session with Ridley Pearson, in-person, and Dave Barry, via satellite.  It was awesome.  Ridley is the consummate charismatic thriller writer and Dave was just as hysterical as I had imagined he would be.  I think my favorite part of the session, though, was watching the interplay between the two writers and their description of how they pass back different portions of the Starcatchers novels when they are looking for different moods in the book.

When the story line calls for a dark, ominous sequence with Ombra, a shadow thief, Ridley steps in and takes the reigns… but when the intensity gets to be a little too much, the chapter volleys back to Dave who infuses his special brand of humor.  And so the story goes, so to speak.  While the novel hasn’t lost its flow for me, I can pick out distinctly different styles as I read and know exactly who wrote them after hearing the authors talk about the books.  I think, actually, that adds to the charm for me.

Dave with Ears

As an English major and an aspiring novelist, I tend to read with a different set of eyes than if I were purely reading for pleasure.  I am constantly trying to pick up on techniques and strategies that make novels enjoyable and I think that being able to pinpoint the personality of a specific author is a lot like one of Peter’s own treasure-hunting adventures.

Technique aside, the Starcatchers series is unprecedented – in my opinion – for pushing young adult fiction past the line for its genre, making the distinction blurred as to whether children or adults will enjoy the novel more… this is my kind of book.  There is something about the Harry Potters and Twilights of the world that captivate audiences of all ages.  Peter and the Starcatchers achieves this same effect, and, honestly, it disappoints me that these amazing books have not received the same acclaim as the wizards and vampires that bear the same appeal.

Disney fans and Peter Pan fans of any age will be mesmerized by the seamless blending of Ridley and Dave’s prequel to the classic tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up… if you ever wondered how Peter Pan met Wendy, Tinker Bell, and the like, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the Starcatchers.

It is also a great pleasure for me to know that the authors behind these wondrous works are the kind of people that, not only can I respect, but would feel completely comfortable with my children holding them in high regard.  It was a wonderful moment when I settled back in my seat at D23 and listened to Dave and Ridley weave the tale of how they became partners in the daunting task of telling the backstory of Sir James Barrie’s timeless work, and watching them do so with such child-like abandon that they weren’t afraid to don their own pairs of Mickey Ears just for the occasion.

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