*RC provided via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
“In Neverland, everything that occurred appeared to be a quantum supposition of fantasy and reality, and simply believing in an event seemed to change its outcome.”
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Release Date: May 9th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
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.
Might be that I grew up during the Disney-boom, spending a great part of my childhood buring up our VHS’ of what are now classics, begging my ma for “just one more time” with The Lion King, The Beauty and The Beast, or Pocahontas – really, anything Disney-related – spending all my pocket money on Disney memorabilia (still have my Simba and Nala stuffed animals, among other things): the Re-telling genre is definitely among my most favourite, most read. So, naturally, I eagerly leap on everything that takes me back to old times, because, just like anyone else (don’t deny it, people!), I suffer from Peter-Pan-Complex… So, yeah, that’s basically the reason I picked up The Neverland Wars.
I might dive head first into Re-tellings, but sadly they are not always to my liking. Sometimes they are obnoxious and silly, sometimes they are taken to far away from the original (and I do like to have at least a slight undercurrent of what I remember the story to be), a totally different thing, other times they are simply pornophications and that’s not all right with me.
Re-tellings are tricky beasts of literature and more often than not they are bound to go down the toilet really fast. It’s easy to mess it up.
I still try, though, and fortunatley I am then rewarded with an – albeit unpolished – gem like The Neverland Wars which, while keeping alive the original story and retaining the magic, manages to give a whole new, exciting and interesting twist to it, especially the way the story and magic of Neverland was integrated into our present-day world, and the link between magic and technology.
Short, fast paced and easy to read, full of adventures and magical aspects, this one’s a good book with a fundamental flaw that takes it down a few notches: the plot. Yes, I smell sequel where the in the title mentioned wars (THE WAR BETWEEN NEVERLAND AND REALITY HAS JUST BEGUN, reads the caption, so…) will have a front-row seat (hopefully), because the way this one ended, as a few other reviews have pointed out, seems to make of The Neverland Wars more of a character-driven book than anything else.
So, to me, not great but merely good. Like I said, an unpolished gem that I believe could be refined in the (possible) sequel.
MORE PETER PAN RETELLINGS:
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up
Hooked by Bobbi J.G. Weiss
He is not Captain Hook.
His name is Jonathan Stuart, and he’s just an ornery post-alcoholic bookstore owner from Pasadena with a mania for fencing and a bad habit of disappointing his girlfriend. He doesn’t want to be in the Neverland, impossibly trapped aboard the Jolly Roger with a horde of greedy stinking pirates. He was tricked there by Peter Pan.
Pan happily invites children to come to his wondrous magical island, but he has to trick adults. No adult in their right mind would go willingly. Adults, you see, don’t have a very good time in the Neverland. The fairies and mermaids are against them. The island itself is against them. Most of all, Peter Pan is against them.
In particular, Peter Pan is against Jonathan Stuart. Why? Jonathan had better figure that out, and he’d better do it fast before his mutating memories insist that, not only does he indeed belong in this nightmarish hell of bloodthirsty children, ticking crocodiles and vengeful boy gods, but he’s never existed anyplace else.
So you see, he’s definitely not Captain Hook.
Well, not yet.