Title: The Neverland Wars
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Pages: approx. 231
Release Date: 5/9/2016
Gwen’s stories are captivating and amazing. At least, that’s what her sister Rose would say. As much as she loves telling her little sister stories, Gwen has accepted that that’s all they are. Stories. Having already given into the inevitability of growing-up, her life gets turned upside down when Peter Pan steals her sister away during the night. It isn’t long until Peter and Rose come back to take Gwen with them to be a storyteller to the lost children. Unwilling to let her sister out of her sight, Gwen leaves with them without a second thought, when she’s sucked into the magical world of Neverland. A beautifully freeing place with mermaids and fairies seems all fun in games, but Neverland is being threatened. Is Gwen stuck in a doomed Neverland? Or can she team up with Peter and the lost children to fix everything?
I can honestly say that I’ve never actually read the original Peter Pan and what I remember is based solely on what I can remember from the Disney movie adaptation. This book is interesting instantly, because Gwen’s description of growing up and high school life is one of the most accurate that I’ve ever read. I loved how aware Gwen was with the world and accepting about how things play out. Peter was not what I expected. Again, basing my assumptions on the Disney movie, I expected a completely flighty (no pun intended) child that just wants to have fun, but Greathouse gives Peter’s character so much depth that it’s not hard to see what emotional traumas Peter’s been put through. The reader can obviously tell he’s struggling with keeping everyone safe, including Neverland. I was thrilled to see the controversy around the redskins. Before picking this up, I myself actually thought about that. As a child, it never occurred to me that that could be offensive, but society now has molded my mind to know that calling someone a redskin could be and most likely is entirely offensive, so I love how that was pinpointed! Gwen’s time with the mermaids was one of my favourite parts and something I would like to learn more about, I found them very interesting and they added greatly to the plot. The only thing that kept this from a solid 5 stars is the ending. In a way I like how open it was, because it leaves room for perhaps (I hope) another book in the future, but if there isn’t a next book, I’m left unsatisfied. It’s a toss-up, really, but overall I certainly recommend this book for lovers of Peter Pan and fairy tale retellings!