Title: Never (A Pennymaker Tale)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 Pages
At a Glance: Another smash from a talented author that leaves you believing in the magic of the world.
Reviewed By: Jenn
Blurb: Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.
Review: I adore the Pennymaker series but was a little cautious about Never, as I wasn’t the biggest Peter Pan fan, but Tara Lain once again sucks you in and doesn’t let you escape until you’ve finished the story. I loved every word and got so very invested in the multitude of characters, both main and secondary. I want to see the next book already!
Wendall Darling puts the weight of the world on his shoulders when he takes on the guardianship of his brother and sister long before his parents have passed away, something you can tell from the very first chapter as the company fails to impress their best client, and he’s expected to pull them out of the fire. His steadiness is then contrasted with Peter’s flighty but caring nature.
I loved the tension and push and pull of the characters as they figured out how to fit together, both aided and hindered by their friends and family, who make the pages come alive as Peter helps Wen save the day, never really sure if it’s because of his attraction or simply concern for Wen’s family. The danger is intensified by our villain, Vadon Hooker, who oozes out of the pages to give you shivers down your neck.
Carstairs Pennymaker makes his eccentric appearance to help save the day, though really all he needed to do was make a suggestion and let our heroes do the rest. I always love the increasing imagery that is used to describe Pennymaker, and I have a new favourite from this book as Lain describes him using the stairs in Wen’s apartment block.
Another smash from a talented author that leaves you believing in the magic of the world.
You can buy Never here: