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The Neverland Wars

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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.

302 pages, Paperback

First published May 9, 2016

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About the author

Audrey Greathouse

7 books185 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 259 reviews
Profile Image for TJ.
977 reviews118 followers
May 9, 2016
Received from: Clean Teen Publishing
Received Via: NetGalley.com


Why this book?
I'm interested in anything having to do with peter pan

What I thought

This is unlike any peter pan retelling I have read. This was a magical and captivating read. The characters are well written and well developed. Especially Gwen she’s an interesting character you see her character growth as she contemplates the magic of Neverland and reality. There were some weird parts though like her eating a star. That being said this was full of action, magic and adventure. I hope there’s a sequel because the ending makes you want more. Overall an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for beautyliterate.
311 reviews1,384 followers
May 10, 2016
3/5 stars

Video Review: https://youtu.be/HI3BXxxLctQ

If you don't know I absolutely LOVE Peter Pan and any Peter Pan retelling I just need in my life. I was really excited for this one since it has a modern twist to it but felt the whole "twist" lacked development! I liked the book but found I didn't enjoy the fact the War part was pushed aside and the ending felt rushed. I enjoyed the writing style and especially loved the creativity with Neverland. Overall, if you are looking for a YA Peter Pan retelling check this one out if you are interested!

***I was sent this book by Clean Teen Publishing, in exchange for an honest review because of Booktube tours***
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,092 reviews1,509 followers
May 8, 2016
Sixteen year old Gwen is pretty much a normal teenager caught in that inbetween of being a child and becoming an adult. She's worried about what to wear to the upcoming dance, will the boy she likes finally ask her out and all other normal teenage worries. But when Gwen's younger sister turns up missing after a window is left open Gwen learns of a world of magic that her parents were aware of and had hidden from her.

The night after Gwen's sister disappeared she returns begging Gwen to come with her and Peter to Neverland to continue to tell her the bedtime stories Gwen had been telling for years. Upon arriving in Neverland Gwen finds there is a war between the adults and the children of Neverland.

It's usually pretty hard to make me dislike any kind of retelling that revisits one of the tales of my childhood but breathes new life into the story. The Neverland Wars did not disappoint on that in the least. Instead of focusing on Peter and the original story this focuses on a girl named Gwen who is on the verge of adulthood who followed her younger sister.

There are many adventures and action taking place in this read that will remind you of the original but take all on a life of their own. Gwen with her struggle between wanting to grow up and enjoying the childish nature of Neverland was a fun character to go on this journey with. With fairies, crocs, mermaids, Indians along with many other fun things I found this one quite fun to read.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for NayaReadsAndSmiles.
16 reviews5,019 followers
May 11, 2016

I absolutely loved it!! This story has the magic and wonder of the original Peter Pan classic we all know and love, but retold in a situation were Peter Pan in a teenager, and Wendy Darling is 16 and goes by the name Gwen. I read this book over one weekend, it was fantastic. Im a huge fan and avid reader of retelling stories, and this one has to be by far, one of the best. Can't wait until book 2!
Profile Image for Tori (InToriLex).
451 reviews359 followers
May 12, 2016
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

This book was packed with imaginative and whimsical moments in Neverland. However I was surprised that most of the book takes place there. Gwen is a protagonist that we can all relate too. She  wants to hold on to her childhood for as long as possible. Although she is 16 in the book, I did find the way she was described, read as much younger. The writing was really good, and  what I liked most about the book. The book has a great premise, but I think some of the story was lost in the execution. While Gwen is in Neverland, I was less engaged at  times because it was unclear how the plot would develop.

"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."

The world building did not fully explain how magic worked in reality and in Neverland. The magic involved in both worlds was glossed over as it focused on how Gwen experienced it. This was a character driven fantasy. The stories described, sometimes served little purpose to advance the book, although they were good. I wanted to learn more about Peter Pan and who else was involved with the Neverland War. However the war itself was not a major plot point, so there was limited action where the two worlds interacted.

"Age did not- it could not have any real effect against the nature of a human life."  

The author did a great job of capturing the fantastical elements of Neverland, which made it fun to re-imagine. The action that was included didn't mesh with the rest of the book, and was too sparse. The ending set up a possible sequel, but left too many questions unanswered. There is also no indication that this will be a series, so the loose ends were disappointing.  Overall I did enjoy some elements of this book, but was let down by others. I would suggest this for tween readers, who can relate to the struggles of growing up and are fans of Peter Pan.

I received this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynn.
199 reviews28 followers
May 31, 2016
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!

I must admit that I've never read Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It's been on my TBR for ages, and I even own a physical copy of it, but I've not picked it up yet (mainly because I usually read classics during August/July when I don't have anything to study). So, I can't really compare this retelling to the original one, but I can say that I've always been pretty obsessed by the Disney Peter Pan cartoon movie, I watched it countless time when I was younger and, omg, The Neverland Wars made me fell in love with this world all over again.

The story was very short, fast paced and easy to read, full of adventures and magical aspects. It wasn't a complex reading at all, which is really a plus, since it's supposed to be a YA version of a fable. I literally flew through it, and I found that this book had all the "magical athmosphere" of the Disney cartoon.

The way the author portrayed Neverland was just beutiful and fabulous. From the mermaids, to the Lost Boys and the fairies, this book had all the aspects that made me fall in love with this world when I was a child. The description really makes you want to visit Neverland and live all of the adventures.
But, even though the main part of the book was set in Neverland, the real world was pretty interesting too. We didn't manage to see too much, but I think that the whole parallelism between technology and magic, and the conspiracy of the adults to keep the magic for themselves was really fun and new, and totally believable for a fairy tale. Because, you know, in every fable the actual villains are always adults!

The only thing I didn't like about this book was the fact that I would have loved to know more about Peter Pan himself. There were a few conversations between him and Gwen, and maybe it was an author choice not to let us know too much about him (so he would have been more misterious, etc.), but I'm really curious to understand where he comes from, how he got to Neverland in the first place, and what that melancholy in his eyes it's about. It was the first time I saw a teenage version of him, and I think it could have been exploited better.

The finale wasn't as I expected either, and I'm a bit torn about it. The character that appeared in the end was really surprising, but I don't know if I liked that surprise. Anyways, this book was surely a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it! I would totally recommend to read it, if you're a fan of fairy tales and children stories!
Profile Image for Kaye.
Author 1 book170 followers
June 12, 2016

It could've have been better, but I felt like the magical element that was supposed to be in the writing was absent.

The characters were lovely especially the mermaids and the plot was good too. But as I said before, this is a fantasy novel that did not have the magical element in it to keep me interested and/or captivated.
Profile Image for Lauren.
342 reviews25 followers
May 12, 2016
Note: I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley

When I read the premise of this book, I was drawn in. I loved Peter Pan as a child (I still like the story even now), so when I saw this on Netgalley, I obviously had to request a copy! I was sorely disappointed, however, and ended up DNfing this book at about 26%.

There was no feeling or connection with the characters. I didn’t really care what happened to any of them because I felt nothing toward them. I wasn’t able to relate in any possible way. My dad was never that strict about bedtime routines, and I never faced the typical teenage problems that most others did because I was treated like an adult from a very early age. Plus, if I had acted like that, I would have been grounded until the end of time… and eventually chucked out!

Whilst there were some differences, I didn’t feel like there were enough to really fully call it a retelling… unless I just didn’t read far enough. The world building was also pretty non existent. There were some descriptions, but they were mostly superficial and only really hit the surface of what could have been some great world building, if the author had done it right.

I will say, however, that I liked the idea of Peter Pan becoming older overtime he visited our world - because it was taking a toll on him. I think this makes more sense, because this world and the sense of time runs differently to that in Neverland! If I had read further, I probably would have liked to explore this aspect the most further.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed. I felt like I was reading a book for middle schoolers rather than young adult. Having said that, I am pretty sure that there are people who do and would like this book, so don't let my review put you off if you have this on your TBR!! I gave this book 1/5 stars.
Profile Image for Grace.
128 reviews419 followers
April 28, 2016
I received this book from Clean Teen Publishing in exchange for an honest review!
I have to say, this book was better than I thought! The writing style was probably the best part of this book. Audrey Greathouse's writing style is perfect for a younger tween. (Which is who I would recommend this book to!!) But I have to say my least favorite part of the book would be, the plot. Unfortunately, there were situations that I really didn't understand and didn't keep me interested. The scene with eating stars and another scene with bombings were just odd and seemed out of character for the novel. The idea of magic existing in the world peaked my interest, but other parts of the novel did not! I think a tween might enjoy this book! The writing style would be perfect for them!
Profile Image for The Dragon Reads (Joyce).
48 reviews2 followers
November 1, 2016
Gwen's just a normal girl doing her normal teenage thing and reluctantly growing up when Peter Pan kidnaps her younger sister. Suddenly, Gwen's world is turned upside down. Her sister returns the next night to say that she flew away with Peter and purportedly to keep an eye on her sister, Gwen flies away with them to Neverland. Oh, and there's a war going on between Neverland and reality because the real world's been taking the magic of Neverland and reverse engineering it, then presenting their findings as technological advancements.

I tried. I really really really tried. I wanted to like this book because it was recommended to me and the recommender had loved it. And because the idea of reverse engineering magic and calling it technology development had potential. But I unfortunately couldn't even finish this book, and not for any of the reasons I thought (I stopped at page 160 or so).

The Neverland Wars started off promisingly enough. Gwen's obviously a teenager who's struggling with the idea of growing up and its attendant responsibilities. There's definitely a part of her that wants to stay a kid, and which she tries to do so, under the guise of entertaining her younger sister. She clearly cares about her sister and her family, pretty normal.

Then everything started to go downhill. We follow her to high school, she comes home to find her sister's disappeared, her father reveals the secret of their technology, her sister comes back with Peter Pan in tow and Gwen decides to go to Neverland, to keep an eye on her sister and bring her back, she tells herself. Hijinks in Neverland ensue.

I honestly think this book would have benefited from a better editor. There was a lot of potential in it, but there were errors in the printed text, the writing could have been tightened significantly, and it felt like everything was just meandering along for no apparent reason.

From the start, I was struggling with the unnecessarily ornate language being used. It didn't seem appropriate for a story told from the POV of a teenager. Also, some of those words don't mean what you think they mean. Just saying.

I found myself regularly questioning why certain scenes were included. Did we need to see her telling a story to the Lost Children (maybe)? Did she need to eat a star (I think no)? Did we need to see the whole process of the kids sorting out what to do with the feast (Eh)? And not just the inclusion, but how long it took to go through everything in the scenes. I understand the need to show how normal Gwen's life is, with all her high school worries and concerns. But we didn't need to be walked through the vast majority of her day and the inane conversations with her friends about homecoming and dresses and so on. Those interactions, by the way, also came off as exceptionally cliche and OTT; I felt like I was trapped in a bad teen movie. I really don't need to know Gwen's philosophical musings on every little aspect of Neverland and children and why they do what they do or the exact and elaborate reasons why she's reacting the way she is. This book could have done with an awful lot more show and an awful lot less tell.

While we're at it, what was going on with randomly dropping into third person omniscient? We started in Gwen's head in the form of third person limited, the random lapses into omniscient to (pointlessly) tell us about one of the Lost Children and why they are the way they are, or the history of the relationship between Hollyhock and Bramble or the vices of the respective fairies... quite frankly, that may add depth for some people, but I was too discombobulated by the POV shift to care.

But the final straw from me was the usage of "redskins". Oh sure, the author tried to handwave it and say it wasn't relevant because the people they were talking about weren't actually native to America so why would you call them Native Americans, and anyway they call us "kids" so how is "redskins" any different. I'm not going to go into a rant about the inappropriateness of trying to compare those two terms. All I'll say is that one doesn't carry the history of derogatory usage that the other does. That may not mean anything to you, but it means a lot to the people who have been on the receiving end of it or who have grown up dealing with it and the legacy of that history. And it actually means a lot to people of any colour and race who have been on the receiving end of similar terms.

Even then, EVEN THEN, I might have overlooked it except that the author fell into what, quite frankly, was just laziness as far as I can tell. Because all the old and distasteful stereotypes were trotted out in describing these characters. From living in tipis (something specific to only some Native American tribes), to the way the chief spoke (seen the Disney movie? It's like that), and all the spaces in between. There was a lot the author could've done to make those characters more than what the original portrayal made them out to be, even if they were just minor characters. But she didn't, and I was done at that point.

Pretty disappointing, all up. It could've been so much more, and it really really wasn't.
Profile Image for  ♥♥Mari♥♥ .
130 reviews95 followers
August 10, 2016
The tale of Peter Pan and the Lost Children in Neverland has always been one of my childhood favorites! I am especially fond of the Disney version, too. So I was very much interested when I discovered this contemporary retelling! I even bought the Kindle Edition for my Android phone, although YA Bound Book Tours had already sent me a complimentary e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, this new re-working of the beloved story simply was not a compelling read for me.

At first, I was pulled in, as the introduction to the main character, Gwen, when she was a toddler, was cute and enchanting. However, once the story fast-forwarded to sixteen-year-old Gwen, I began to lose interest. It didn't happen right away; I really enjoyed the initial interactions between Gwen and her little sister, Rosemary, who was a cute, lovable kid. Gwen was appropriately protective of her, and they related well as sisters. It was later, when Gwen decided to go off to Neverland to join Rosemary, who had been kidnapped by Peter Pan, that my interest began to seriously wane.

As the story develops, Gwen turns out to be a rather dull character, and her bond with Rosemary inexplicably becomes less important to her. She's supposed to look out for her little sister, as well as bring her back home, safe and sound, but, once in Neverland, Gwen becomes more interested in Peter and the kids there, as well as what's going on with them, which isn't that much, anyway. This is totally out of character. Besides, I can't really see why she likes Peter, as he's not a very interesting character, either.

This brings me to the plot itself. There's really not much of one; at least, not for the first 30 chapters. One fairly interesting event was the introduction of the little expedition, led by Peter, to visit the Indians, on the other side of Neverland. The reader is introduced to a bit of fascinating folklore in this part of the book. Beyond this, though, there's not much else going on. As to the supposed "war", there were just vague references to it. No actual conflict was involved.

The character of Peter Pan is another thing about this book I didn't like. Peter is supposed to be this very fun-loving, playful kid who doesn't want to grow up. In fact, the plot synopsis describes him as "impish and playful", but I saw little, if any, evidence of this in the novel. Instead, he's pretty serious most of the time, and even in a bad mood quite often. I also didn't like it that he would sometimes put Gwen down, as well as talk down to her. He just didn't come across as very likable, and I really couldn't see why the Lost Children stayed with him, when he really wasn't that much fun to be around.

I also disliked Gwen and Rosemary's parents. They came across as rather unpleasant, and much too strict with their kids. Plus, they really seemed to lack a good relationship with them.

Neverland itself was not that enchanting, either. In fact, it struck me as a very boring place to visit, let alone live in. There were mermaids and fairies, but they just didn't grab my interest, either, because they didn't do much of anything. Overall, the world-building was practically non-existent. I just couldn't really get much of a feeling for the place.

Speaking of fairies, the one who was always flying around Peter in this book was named "Hollyhock". I don't see why the author renamed this fairy. In the original version, her name was "Tinkerbell". If Peter retained his name, why couldn't his fairy sidekick have retained hers, as well? Besides, the original name is so much prettier! It also has a rather whimsical aspect to it, giving readers the picture of a dainty, very feminine little fairy that darts around playfully, producing little tinkling musical sounds as she does so. In contrast, the name "Hollyhock" just sounds like the name of some flower or plant. It conveys nothing at all to the imagination.

Another thing I disliked was the obvious Harry Potter influence, with Gwen's dad being involved in the use of magic for "business matters". This sounded too much like the type of thing the Ministry of Magic does in the HP series.

I kept struggling to finish the book, but finally gave up halfway through Chapter 32. (The book has a total of 48.)

In addition to all of the above, what really clinched it for me was reading a couple of negative reviews on Amazon, both of which stated that this book starts out as a young adult read, and ends up introducing very adult themes toward the end, such as underage drinking, cursing, and drugs. I decided not to stick around to find out more.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog, A NIGHT’S DREAM OF BOOKS.


Profile Image for Jade (Bedtime Bookworm).
157 reviews722 followers
September 9, 2016
This review was originally posted on Bedtime Bookworm I'm pretty picky about the ARCs I accept directly from authors - more so than when requesting from NetGalley for some reason (anybody else?). I think it's because I feel more of a personal connection without the middleman involved, and this makes me want to only accept books that I am truly interested in reading. So, when Audrey Greathouse offered me an eARC of The Neverland Wars, I did some research and made sure to read a sample before accepting it. The synopsis and the sample I read appealed to me, from the set up of the story to the writing style. The original Peter Pan is one of my favorite fairy tales and I've loved the various film adaptations I've seen, but I've never read a retelling of it before - so I was excited to try one out.

The Writing and The World
I have to say, I immediately fell in love with the writing style in this book! The writing style can really ruin a book for me if I don't like it, which is one reason I read a sample first. Audrey Greathouse really captured the fairy tale feel in her writing and gave the story a dream-like quality. I loved how the writing flowed and I even found it to be a bit lyrical - in a good way! It was very reminiscent of the original Peter Pan book and I could tell that it was a big influence on this story (which I loved). I also loved the way the story and magic of Neverland was integrated into our present day world. I thought the explanation of magic and technology in our world was really creative and well done!

The Story
Unfortunately, the plot of the story was the weakest part for me. I found the story was much more character-driven than plot-driven, which is something that often doesn't work for me and this definitely took away from my overall enjoyment. I enjoyed the writing style so much that I would get caught up in the flow of the words on the page, but eventually I would pause and realize that not a whole lot had happened plot-wise and be disappointed. While I was reading, I found myself wondering where the story was heading. However, after finishing the story I could look back and see how everything was leading to where it ended up. This story is really about Gwen and her inner struggle with growing up and deciding if growing up is "worth it" in the end. While there is a war going on between Neverland and our world, it didn't play as strong of a role in the story as I'd anticipated - the war was more a backdrop to the story instead of in the forefront of it. I wish the war had been more of a major plot point because it might have added more of the action I feel I was missing.

The Characters
I truly loved Gwen as a character - she was so thoughtful and introspective. As someone who feels the woes of #adulting, I really connected with Gwen's struggle with growing up. I think a lot of people, especially readers and day dreamers, wish we didn't have to grow up and will really connect to Gwen's character. I also loved the sister relationship between Gwen and her younger sister Rose, being an older sister myself. I have mixed feelings on the character of Peter. He was a little flat more flat than I expected, but honestly he was very similar to character the original Peter Pan. I thought the Audrey Greathouse really captured the whimsical nature of the original Peter Pan, but at the same time I wish he had been a little more complex than he was.

In Summary
Overall, there are elements of this story that I enjoyed and others I found lacking. I enjoyed the writing style and the character's exploration of growing up, which I found very thought provoking for myself. I thought the author captured the feel and themes of the original Peter Pan very well. However, at the same time, the plot didn't hold my interest and I wish it was filled with more action and adventure than it was. I think readers who like character-driven stories, are fans of the original Peter Pan, and connect with the idea of never wanting to grow up might enjoy this book and should give it a shot!
Profile Image for Laura  Hernandez.
788 reviews82 followers
May 23, 2016
This modern twist on a classic tale is simply well written and outstanding. Vivid imagery and beautiful characters quickly pull you in and keep you in the plot until the end. This is a clean retelling that people of all ages will love. This author's debut novel is off to a fantastic start and I can't wait for the next one.

{I received an eARC via Clean Teen Publishing Elite Reviewers which I am a member of. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own}.

Profile Image for Kirstie Ellen.
743 reviews101 followers
July 8, 2016
Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing
I loved this so much - this is such a beautiful retelling of Peter Pan and all lovers of the story should definitely read this! I can't wait for book 2!!! *waits patiently for release date to be revealed*

The Neverland Wars
This book was everything that I wanted and more. I’m so, so, so glad that I decided to read it because this book was basically written for me, I loved it.

The story follows Gwen, a 16 year old girl whose sister ends up following Peter Pan to Neverland. In this world, which is much like our own, some adults are aware of Neverland’s existence and the magic that is there. They want to capture this magic and use it to power various things - in fact, they’ve already started doing this. But this is destroying Neverland, and Peter and his Lost Boys have to fight back. If that’s not cool then I don’t know what is. Gwen ends up following Rose (her sister) to Neverland to bring her back, but I mean, when one goes to Neverland I suspect anyone would find it harder to leave than they imagined (there's an excitable child in all of us, you can't deny it).

The Neverland Wars is magical and completely captures your imagination - if you love fairytale retellings than I cannot even express enough how much you will enjoy this book. Just in case you hadn’t twigged, this is a retelling of Peter Pan. I’ve always found my devotion to that story to be an interesting one because I feel conflicted over the character of Peter. That being said, I haven’t actually read the original story (the shame) so I’m basing everything off the Disney adaptation. I find him to be often rude and horrible, particularly to Wendy, but I suppose that’s meant to just be his childishness?

I think that regardless of that it’s such a beautiful story - a place where no-one ever has to grow up?! An island full of adventures and ticking crocodiles and pirates?!! The only thing that could make this even better who be a dragon! Okay, actually my imagination fails when I try to insert a dragon into the Peter Pan story.

This book certainly shows that Greathouse is one heck of a fan of this story - one simply cannot write such a crazily fun piece of literature and not be an admirer of Neverland in particular. THIS is imagination on paper.
"Natural isn't the same as right. Normal isn't the same as moral. Everyone deserves a say in what happens to the world."

What I Loved
Greathouse’s representation of Neverland itself has to be the highlight of this book. It’s similar enough to be recognisable as the island we’re all so fond of but she’s made her own little adjustments that make it hers. Argh, it’s just magnificent.
"Their meal was illuminated by torches, which Gwen found were utterly without fire. What the children called torches were really just small platforms on tall, wooden poles. The reason they radiated light was because fairies had flown up to them to waltz and glow on the tiny dance floors."

The curious thing with this book is that it’s in the Young Adult genre - which you’re probably quizzically raising an eyebrow over (or perhaps you actually hadn’t wondered about this at all). Well, due to all these trips to and from Neverland, age has caught up with Peter. I don’t think we’re ever told exactly how old he is, but he’s somewhere around Gwen’s age. Which means, ladies, Peter Pan is now an eligible bachelor (sort of . . . oh just go with it). The friendship between both him and Gwen is certainly interesting throughout the book, it’s hesitant and cautious to trust, but I suspect as the series goes on they’ll because fast friends and maybe even more? Unless Peter turns out to be an complete idiot, incapable of being more grown up than he is . . . in which case, never mind.

The characters that we meet and the adventures that we go on are all so much fun and I think that’s why so many people really would enjoy this. There are so many fairytale retellings out there but I honestly think that this is one of the ones that people should be singing praises for. I won’t say too much more here about Neverland because it’s beautiful and something that I don’t want to spoil you for!!

When you read a good retelling.

Peter & the Lost Boys
This just absolutely has to be mentioned. Peter’s character was spot on. If we were to meet a Peter who had aged just slightly and kept his views on the outside world, then I don’t doubt for a moment that this is how he would have turned out. It’s very straight forward for him as to how the world should be and where reality can go (if you get my drift), but he has some excellent lines throughout the book that I think someone needs to make fan art for. So if that’s something you do, then quick! Go make something pretty so I can buy it.
"'Why spend your whole life on the high seas looking for treasure,' Peter asked, talking to the clouds as he scaled a rope up what remained of the half-crumbled mast, 'when you could have a promised pay check in exchange for all the life you'd live between nine-and-five.'"

When you realise that he has a point.

The Lost Boys were ingenious. Some had been there for a while and some were new (like Rose) AND they were a mix of girls and boys. The personalities of them were hilarious and they all just gelled together so well. I’d’ve loved to run away to Neverland, I think, it would’ve been such fun and so carefree. Even Tinkerbell was great. All the adventures that everyone gets up to are so perfectly how a child would do things and the logic of Neverland was wonderful. I thought the mermaids were interesting characters and I’m keen to see where things go with them in the next book.

Some Musings
A continuation on the mermaids - I think their characters were really consistent with what we see in the Disney representation of them. They have that sort of vicious aloofness (which is totally a thing) and I thought Gwen’s interaction with them was interesting, fun, and just a little bit strange.

I think the plot itself, whilst greatly entertaining and marvellous, could have progressed more within this book. The whole story is mostly setting up the situation between Neverland and reality and the internal tug of war for Gwen. I’d’ve liked to have seen more of this war and more of a progression from the troubles at the beginning through to at least a partial resolution.

That being said, I’m really content with where things left off and I can’t wait to read the next book to find out more. Especially if the next book looks as pretty as this one!

Despite the interesting mix of reviews that I’ve seen on Goodreads, I think this was a really good story. It’s a lot of fun and such a beautiful representation of Neverland and Peter Pan. We’re all set up for a big adventure now and I can’t wait to see the ball really get rolling in the second book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so I definitely recommend it to you!

Profile Image for Tracy (Cornerfolds).
569 reviews199 followers
August 1, 2016
Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!

You may already know, if you've read a few of my reviews, that I tend to adore retellings. Two of my favorite stories to see retold are Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan. I feel like it's really hard to go wrong with either of these, so when I saw The Neverland Wars, I immediately added it to my TBR. How could I say no when I was presented with the opportunity to review an advance copy?

The Neverland Wars is a totally unique take on the Peter Pan story. The book has a modern day setting, but in this universe magic is real - and the adults know it. This comes as quite a shock to Gwen, who is honestly just concerned about getting to go to homecoming. Her sister disappears and it seems that everyone but her knows exactly what has happened. When she gets the chance to go after her sister, and just happens to get a fast pass to Neverland with Pan himself in the process, she takes it... to save her sister (or at least that's how she justifies it). Gwen learns that there's a war between Neverland and the Adults and she doesn't know which side she belongs on.

I really enjoyed Gwen as a character for the most part. Some retellings that I've read have struggled to convince me that the story is actually about Wendy (Gwen, in this case) growing up. This one made that point very clear from the beginning and I felt like I could easily sympathize with her unease over whether to remain a child or become like the adults surrounding her. I really liked going along with Gwen on her journey through Neverland and what was essentially finding herself.

Peter was also a character I generally enjoyed, although not quite as much as I would have liked. Some Peter Pan stories make it obvious whether Peter is a villain or a hero, but I felt like this one left it a little more ambiguous, which I liked. That's about where my feelings about him end, though. I do wish I had been able to get to know him a bit better, but honestly the omniscient narration made it a little difficult to really connect with any one character fully.

Audrey Greathouse's Neverland was definitely unique. There are classic Pan elements throughout the world building, of course, but there are little changes here and there to show that this is not exactly the same as the Neverland you've grown up with. For example, the second star to the right bit? Not quite. And there aren't any pirates in this Neverland, which was quite disappointing to me as a huge fan of Captain Hook. The mermaids were also quite a bit different. Some of these elements were really interesting, while some were a bit confusing and sometimes a little unnecessary.

What I really enjoyed, though, was the writing style! It felt incredibly whimsical and definitely like it would fit into a classic fairytale - Peter Pan, for instance. Still, good characters, whimsical writing, and unique setting couldn't completely save this from the rather odd storyline of the war itself. I never quite understood why there would need to be a war over magic, or why it was in limited supply, and perhaps a bit more background could have made it seem more plausible.

Overall The Neverland Wars was just an okay read for me. I feel like this story had a lot of potential but ultimately was not fleshed out enough to make it a great retelling. I'm sure it doesn't help that there have been so many Pan retellings released in the last couple years so this one had a lot to live up to. I would still recommend this to Peter Pan lovers because it definitely will transport you to Neverland for a few hundred pages!
Profile Image for Kristin.
967 reviews94 followers
May 7, 2017
Love peter pan and anything to do with it. I have been looking forward to read this and to see what it does with the story. Love the cover and I want to thank Netgalley and Clean Teen Publishing for the opportunity.
This novel is full of references back to the original novel, including their cat being named Tootles. I like that it defends fairy tales, many people look down on them for being unbelievable. In fact Einstein states that if you want intelligent children the best thing to do is to read them fairy tales. I love that we get to find out more about the world, for example that there is more than one route to get to Neverland.
The story is set in a universe where magic is real and peter pan exists, and is responsible for hundreds of children going missing. Magic is used to power things like mobile phones and the economy. The main characters little sister goes with peter to Neverland and she goes after them to save her sister. Once she gets to Neverland she realises that they are fighting against the adults in order to save Neverland.
The main character is a teenager, but I would say the writing is aimed at a young teenager possibly pre-teen. Interesting to set in teenage years, especially when there is a lot of pressure on teenagers to grow up and behave like adults. The character seems much younger than she actually is, she doesn’t seem old enough to drive. I feel she was about 13 or 14 rather than 16 or older.
The novel touches a lot on the differences between adults and children, why people have to grow up. The main character realises that she misses being a kid, when everything was easier. She also realises there is a difference between what is morally right and what is normal for adults to do.
I liked how the characters time in Neverland ended with the fairies, however I found the actual ending a bit sudden.
Profile Image for Kirsty.
598 reviews57 followers
May 16, 2016
I was provided a copy by Net Galley

When I heard about this book I was really excited as it is a retelling of Peter Pan. In this book, Peter is older as his visits to the real world have aged him. The adults know about magic and they want it for themselves, they want children to grow and they want to stop Peter. Our main character Gwen gets caught up in Peter's world when her sister follows him to Neverland.

I feel that the author captured the essence of Peter's character really well. I loved the descriptions of Neverland and all the characters that lived there. I really enjoyed the writing it seemed really poetic. I could relate to Gwen at the start as she was struggling with the fact that she needed to grow up. I think this something most people will relate to.

The story did start out a little bit slow but once Gwen got to Neverland I the pace really picked up and I couldn't put it down. The ending was a bit abrupt for my liking. It is left very open and I am hoping that there are plans for a sequel as I would love to revisit this world and the characters.
Profile Image for Kelly Roberson.
125 reviews176 followers
May 16, 2016
Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UKiw...
This book was everything I hoped it would be! I love everything about peter pan, so I was really wanting this book to be a very true to the story peter pan retelling. Luckily, thats exactly what I received. Unlike a lot of peter pan retellings, The Neverland Wars very much feels like a continuation of the peter pan we all know and love. Peter Pan is a main character and we get a taste of fairy, mermaids, the lost children, and more. I loved the twist on the plot in making it more of a Neverland versus reality sort of retelling, and I was a huge fan of all of the characters in the book. This Book was such a quick and easy read, and I would read it again in a heartbeat! Would highly recommend you pick it up, especially if you love peter pan!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, however this in no way effects my review of the book.
67 reviews6 followers
March 18, 2016
I have read Neverland Wars. Thanks to Goodreads and CleanTeen Publishing for providing me with an ARC.. i am torn between the audience that this book would appeal to. On the one hand i cant see a teenager getting into this story and would recommend it to the tween set. On the other, the vocabulary and some situations may be too advanced for tweens. I guess i would have to let them decide. Although the story played with my interest at first I have to admit it hooked me (no pun intended). I enjoyed the curios play on words and was looking forward to some of the familiar places first visited in Peter Pan. It adapted well to our present day. Did I hope Peter and Gwen would become a 'thing'? Yes, I did. And when the story did end I was turning the page in hopes of it continuing. Well done in a time where many authors are playing on our memories of past fairytales.
Profile Image for Kat.
70 reviews7 followers
July 24, 2016
To read or not to read: Read. I’m not sure if Greathouse is intending to write a sequel, but The Neverland Wars certainly feels part of a series. There are some monumental future-seeing events that hint at future books, and then there is the blatant fact that this book had so little fighting compared to its title. Despite this, I would recommend the story to anyone, especially those who love fairytales. It is fantastic at dealing with adolescence problems and the inevitable process of growing up, so is a great read for any tween not sure where they belong in the world.

Full review here
Profile Image for Yvonne (It's All About Books).
1,989 reviews250 followers
July 21, 2016
Finished reading: July 20th 2016
Rating 2qqq

“People think that only the serious is important. They forget how essential it is to remain whimsical.”

P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
Profile Image for Caroline Vaught.
338 reviews40 followers
March 30, 2016
Originally posted on: acrossthebookiverse.blogspot.com

4.5 rounded up to 5!

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 leave 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!
Profile Image for Sara.
416 reviews45 followers
August 29, 2016
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite stories, and ever since I was little I dreamed of traveling to Neverland and fighting pirates and meeting mermaids. I never really connected Neverland with the ‘real world’, it always felt different, like a dream. So, when Gwen follows Peter Pan to Neverland to save her sister, I completely understood her confusion and reluctance.

Neverland in this story is magical, but still feels broken, which is when we learn that there is a war going on between Neverland and Reality. I won’t say much more about the plot in this post to avoid any spoilers, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with some of the scenes, many parts were much more logical than I assumed Neverland would be, and the mermaids!! I’ve been on a mermaid kick lately (seriously, I outlined three mermaid short stories…) and this book made me mermaid happy.

As your classic Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up is suddenly showing signs of actually growing up. All his trips to reality are having an adverse effect on his desire to stay young forever. Our protagonist, Gwen, is a confused teenager who is just trying to live a normal life, but when she visits Neverland, her entire understanding of reality is changed. Rosemary is the epitome of innocence in this story and is so sure in what she wants, I’m jealous!

All in all, this book was good, but I was left feeling a bit dissatisfied. I wanted more but for the majority of the book I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be a middle-grade novel or a young adult. It was a bit too violent for middle-grade, but also a bit childish for young adult. That sounded more pretentious than I meant it. I did enjoy this book and I would encourage fantasy adventure fans as well as Peter Pan lovers to pick up this book, the second one will be out in February, I believe. Four out of five beans from me!
Profile Image for Mon.
581 reviews17 followers
June 14, 2016
I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley

Finally made it around to this and it was full of all the adventure I had hoped it would be! This is an incredibly refreshing retelling that showcases Peter Pan in a way I hadn't expected. The Neverland Wars has some great laugh out loud moments but I think it was let down overall by the lack of character/plot development - there is so much more you can do with Neverland. All in all it was definitely a fun read and it was nice to revisit my old friend Peter.
Profile Image for Nina.
138 reviews3 followers
June 18, 2016
Ahh that cover. If only I could love the book as much as I love that cover.

The Neverland Wars feels a bit incomplete - a lot of loose ends are left, and I still have so many questions, the foremost being: how in the world do "adults" transmute magic and funnel it into the "real world"? The last time I heard and read the word "transmute" was when I was a huge fan of Fullmetal Alchemist and suddenly it pops up here without a concrete explanation.

Also, I'm trying out a new-ish review format, so if you don't feel like reading through this review, there's a handy summary at the bottom! :D Skip to TL;DR, haha.

The Neverland Wars is a Peter Pan retelling, or at least based on the story of Peter Pan, and is about Gwen and Rosemary, sisters who go on an adventure in Neverland, and learn some things about "reality" along the way. Rosemary disappears one night, and the police that show up the next day aren't quite the ones that patrol the streets during the day - instead they gather dust from Rosemary's room, and question her father about his work. It turns out her father isn't an insurance salesman - he gathers magic from various sources around the world, and funnels them into real-world processes, like technology and the economy. Thus begins Gwen's constant questioning of reality, what becoming an adult really means (don’t we all), and if she really needs to age to grow up. When the time comes to go back to "reality", will Gwen choose to stay in Neverland, or resign herself to the possibility that she's too old for it?

Honestly, this is kind of all over the place - it picks up one storyline, leaves that for a while, then picks up another, explores that a bit, and then by the end the loose ends are all unresolved and a lot of components of the plot go unexplored. The magical realism part, for one, doesn't go fully explained. There's a love triangle that is started, but that just kind of gets left up in the air. There's an Antoine de Saint-Exupéry cameo near the end. And probably the biggest chunk of my puzzle that is this book: WHERE IS THE WAR???

A huge chunk of the book is spent with Rosemary and Gwen in Neverland, where they bond with the Lost Boys, meet the mermaids, and the redskins, and encounter a crocodile. All this time, there's a kind of build-up to a war - a tracker on the crocodile, a tree stump felled by an electrical storm of sorts from beyond - but nothing happens. The most that happens is a "reality storm", where newspaper headlines find themselves in Neverland and it serves as kindling for bombs. Peter goes on the trail of someone who could potentially help them win the war - but again, where is the war? And who was this person again?

Another plot point I’d like to dwell on is the fact that in this Gwen’s “reality”, magic is what basically keeps everything going, from the cellphones:

“Well, think about your smartphone."
“But that’s not magic,” Gwen insisted. “That’s technology."
“Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology,” her father told her. “It usually takes about ten or twenty years for science to catch up to magic. Scientists are just starting to understand how cell phones are constructed. Until now, they’ve been relying on magic to carry the signals and power the devices. [...]"

To the economy:

“What about it?"
“We’re more than 18 trillion dollars in debt. Don’t you think it’s a little odd that a country so beyond bankruptcy continues to function and prosper as well as the United States?"

And her father explains this by saying there are people who capture magic and channel it into the bureaucracy of the government.

There’s also the reality of Santa Claus but let’s skip that. The thing is, how the fuck?? How do you take something that has no currency (that is explained of) or no real world equivalent like magic and translate it into real world terms and make it so that it keeps the economy afloat? How do you assign value? How?? Am I supposed to accept this because ~*~magic~*~??

I would also like to add, that apparently magic is in limited supply (as it is with everything) here in reality, but “adults” continue to attack the place wherein magic is in supply aka Neverland. What? Why?

This is actually a pretty quick read, because despite the chapter count (48 chapters!) the chapters themselves are pretty short, and something happens in each one, even if they aren't anything earth-shattering or exciting. The book doesn’t really take off for me, but the Neverland portions are what I like best because I do love the imagery, and are thankfully a huge chunk of the book.

Gwen as a protagonist is okay - she’s a typical teenager, but somehow, in a Peter Pan retelling, it’s Peter Pan that is devoid of any personality and fun. I don’t remember anything about him aside from the fact that he tosses out orders every now and then, and that he is supposed to be a love interest of Gwen.

If there are any memorable characters, it's the mermaids in the lagoon. They’re the ones that I remember best, with their fondness for fruits, mirrors, and well of knowledge that comes at a price.

There’s also an attempt at romance, I think, but it’s easily overlooked - like the Gwen x Peter ship didn’t quite set sail, and the Gwen x Jay one didn’t have enough space. The solid hint I got that there was supposed to be something was in the form of a reading by a fortuneteller:
“I see two others, deeply knit into the fabric of your future. They are a boy and a man… both of whom you will love."

Again, where?? I only briefly encounter Jay in the beginning, and Peter and her barely speak to each other. Both of her “relationships” with them don’t really go anywhere.

Overall, there are interesting parts, like the magical realism and how it can be incorporated into the “real world”, but they aren’t given enough focus. Like the author started it, and forgot to wrap it up. I think I would’ve liked this better if it focused on one aspect, rather than incorporating so much into one book - either push how magic is used in the real world, or the Neverland war. Because as it is, it’s like the book is being pulled in a different directions and you don’t know where it’s supposed to go.

I was actually expecting this to be a series, since it feels a bit unresolved. At least by the end Gwen knows where she wants to go, and where she wants to stay.

If you skipped ahead, have no fear, here's a handy summary of my review:

Story/Plot: ✮✮✮✮☆
Interesting plot, honestly, but the way it was executed did not appeal to me.

Characters: ✮✮☆☆☆
Gwen is your typical teenager, but how can you make Peter Pan so lifeless and without fun?! +1 star for the mermaids and Rosemary.

Romance: ✮☆☆☆☆
There is none, but there was an attempt at a love triangle.

Have you guys read other Peter Pan retellings? I'm always open to suggestions, lol, and was the review summary helpful? Y/n? Let me know!
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