Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home. However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality. She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.
I love, love, love fairytale retellings or just about anything fairy tale ancillary. If I see it on NetGalley, I’ll request it.
The Good: The writing was crisp and suspenseful. There aren’t any questionable situations or swearing, so this is acceptable for all reading ages and levels. With so much description, I felt as if I was actually there.
The Bad: Which is also a bad thing. So much description! It wasn’t Steven King bad, but there was significant real estate dedicated to description. The emo Pan was a little bit annoying, but then again at least he wasn’t a villain as many Peter Pan retellings paint him. The writing was a bit odd. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was written by a British author trying to write American or vice versa.
The Beautiful: I’m not a fan of Peter Pan. I’ve always felt that as a fairy tale, he was pretty weak. I was really happy to find myself completely engrossed in Audrey Greathouse’s telling of the classic story, and would take a look at more of her work.
The Final Word: If you like fairy tales, you’ll like The Neverland Wars. If you’re looking for a fast-paced story that’s “clean” for younger readers, you’re golden. The Neverland Wars is a 3.5-star read. I waffled between awarding three and four stars, and in a fit of happiness, I rated this four stars.
Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophmore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays. After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies. Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She’s usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.