08 June 2017

Book Review: The Neverland Wars (The Neverland Wars #1), Audrey Greathouse

The Neverland Wars

Title: The Neverland Wars
Series: The Neverland Wars #1
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Published: 09/05/2017, Clean Teen Publishing
Pages: 302
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 2/5

"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."

As you can probably guess, The Neverland Wars is a modern-day retelling of Peter Pan. It had the main aspects of the original throughout the story, however, there were still many differences that helped keep the story original. It's a light and quick read.

The Neverland Wars is mainly set in Neverland (no surprise), but there are also significant parts of the story set in America (I'm not sure where exactly though). I think The Neverland Wars definitely captures the magic of Neverland and it holds true to the original too. We visit the mermaids and the natives, for instance, however, there is no sign of any pirates and I was kind of disappointed by this.

I thought the characters were okay. Peter's cockiness is definitely still a big part of his character, and there's a bit of a caring side. However, I did think he was a bit overly brash. Gwen is definitely based on Wendy (Peter even calls her Gwendy). She's definitely a concerned older sister, however, I just didn't really warm to her at all. She was pretty doom and gloom a lot of the time, especially in the first few chapters. She just didn't give a great first impression. I did find Rosemary pretty adorable though. Gwen and Rosemary were great at showing how our view of the world changes as we get older.

The Neverland Wars is told from the perspective of Gwen. I know she is only sixteen, but I felt the way the story was told was a lot more immature than her age. I just felt she was quite naive and her character should have been described as slightly younger. The story just had such an innocent feel to it and it made the setting of the climax feel so out of place.

I felt the pace of The Neverland Wars was a bit too slow. Not much really happens and I think the whole book is just an introduction for the sequel. There just wasn't much in the way of wars. However, I definitely found the ending climatic and action-packed - maybe a bit too much though as a lot is packed into so few chapters. The ending was a bit unexpected too and abrupt.

The Neverland Wars was an okay read. It was probably just a bit too immature for me now, unfortunately, but I would definitely still recommend it to teenagers though. This is also a series that I don't think I will be continuing.

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