Retellings of classic fairy tales and Disney stories have been all the rage lately. Some are successful and well-received, while others leave the audience wondering if the new adaptation added anything new to the existing lore. With Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney’s new novel, Surviving Tiger Lily, there is a wealth of new, original lore and legend to explore, and you will be left in wonder of Neverland and its people once more.
The story follows the titular character of Tiger Lily (with the added moniker of Ivvaly) as she embarks on a harsh quest: finding and neutralizing the threat of the Neversabre, a fierce and bloodthirsty predator that killed her sister, Ashtara. What begins as a quest for revenge takes a shift into the sinister as Tiger Lily uncovers a troubling truth of those that inhabit the island and Neverland itself.
A strange kind of nostalgia
If you know the story of Peter Pan, you may already be familiar with its characters – Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Captain Hook, and more. You may also be familiar with Neverland, its landscape, creatures, and magic. It’s a tale that is known and beloved by many of us that grew up with this story, and returning to Neverland struck a nostalgic chord within me while I was reading this book.
However, Surviving Tiger Lily’s rendition of Neverland feels similar to when you return home after a long time away: it is recognizable, but it is also incredibly changed. Neverland in Surviving Tiger Lily feels darker, more heartbreaking, and more of a grown-up version of the world we knew before. Nachampassack-Maloney’s story is a wonderful blend of nostalgia and maturity, and we get to experience Neverland like never before.
Tiger Lily kicks ass
Tiger Lily goes through a tremendous amount of turmoil and heartache throughout this novel, but she perseveres every time. We get to know Tiger Lily extremely well throughout this book and she proves herself to be a ferocious fighter and a natural leader. In short, she is a badass, and I’m delighted to have followed her story in this retelling.
This retelling of Peter Pan also explores the lore of the island of Neverland and its secrets, as well as the backstory of Peter Pan and how he came to be. The entire novel was rich with detail and imagery to encourage readers to envision Nachampassack-Maloney’s vision of Neverland and its inhabitants. It was an incredible and original take that fills in some of the gaps of this magical world and its secrets. Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney’s Surviving Tiger Lily is a stunning retelling of one of Disney’s well-known tales, but it is told in a way that feels more grown up, just as we are.
Surviving Tiger Lily by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney was released September 16th, 2021.