The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse
Published May 9, 2016 by Clean Teen Publishing
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.
What an enchanting story! Multiple times I found myself comparing the book to the Peter Pan Disney movie, since I haven’t actually read the original Peter Pan story yet, I know, shame on me! It’s on my TBR though. Audrey Greathouse is wonderfully talented in the way that her writing was descriptive, but not overly so, there was enough for the reader to visualise, but not so much that the reader is forced to focus on smaller, insignificant details rather than the main story.
In comparison to the Disney movie, the Neverland Wars was refreshing in the way that the female protagonist (in this case, Gwen) wasn’t subject to the jealousy or pettiness of the fairy (in this case, Hollyhock) or the mermaids. I loved the sisterly bond between Gwen and her younger sister, Rosemary, it was so sweet. It was interesting to see this side of Peter, since most of the time he’s portrayed more or less the same, a happy-go-lucky child.
The story worked really well in the way that there was the mature theme of growing up, but the author was able to keep the story feeling lighthearted, overall. I also really enjoyed the little stories that the characters were telling, Audrey really put a lot of thought into them, and it paid off, since they helped me immerse myself into the book. I was happy with how things ended, but I wasn’t really happy with the way things played out, I felt it was too rushed and got a bit lost when things ended so abruptly.
All in all, a wonderful read and I wouldn’t mind a second installment 🙂
I received a review copy via NetGalley.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.