Jan 30, 2018

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse Spoiler Free Review (Second Star Society January Book)


The Neverland Wars (The Neverland Wars, #1)

Hello my fellow book nerds! Today I am reviewing the Peter Pan retelling I read for my online Book Club, The Second Star Society. I really enjoyed this book; it filled me with all kinds of nostalgia and I can't wait to share my thoughts, so let's get into it! 

My Rating:


The writing was so descriptive and whimsical and I could really picture Neverland clearly. I love the little details that ran parallel to the original story, and I especially love how the author showed such a strong contrast between Neverland and reality that was really easy to understand and connect with on an emotional level. (At least for me.) There's a scene where a reality "storm" hits Neverland and rains burning newspaper saturated with negativity down on them and a piece of it burns Gwen on the arm and "tattoos" her skin with the harsh words from it. I thought that that was an interesting metaphor for when tragedy shatters a child's innocence too soon.

Also, I loved the stories that Gwen told the Lost Children. They were so whimsical and it was fun to read a mini story within a story.  

I don't really know what to think about the plot. I kind of feel like it was a little predictable, but I didn't think it was boring or anything. It was a nice whimsical light read, yet it filled me up with so much unexpected emotion and nostalgia because I didn't expect to relate to Gwen so much.

The setting was awesome! Gwen lives in a standard suburbia town and is a normal teenager who is accustomed to a world of technology and normal teenage things like worrying about who her crush will take to homecoming. But then, she flies off to Neverland, which is such a contrast to reality it's impossible to believe it's real. But yet it is
I think the author does a really good job of making it feel like Neverland might actually be a possibility in this world. It's such a weird thing to think about and wrap your head around. It's so ridiculous..and yet it kinda makes sense. This book does a great job at pointing out that as adults we get so wrapped up in our "real" lives and are so against entertaining the possibility of magic that we don't even realize when it's right in front of us. I mean, just because we don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist, right? 😉

I loved Gwen. I just connected with her so much on such an emotional level. All of her feelings and doubts and apprehensiveness towards adulthood sounded so much like my own thoughts! This book almost made me cry a couple of times because it captured word for word how I felt (and still feel) about growing up. I felt like I left a piece of my soul in this book! I literally thought that no one else would understand me on that level and that there was something wrong with me, but reading this book really made me feel like I'm not alone! 
Also, I loved all of the background characters. The Lost Children were interesting with believable and diverse personalities, and they were all so cute! I also like the Indians and the fairies. And the author did a great job of writing Peter. He's exactly like you would expect him to be. Kind of arrogant and aloof, but impish and fun. 😊

The only things I can think of were:
  • The character names seemed a little generic, but only in Gwen's world. The characters in Neverland's were a lot more creative. Now that I look back I think the author did that to show how much of a contrast Neverland and reality were to each other, and it doesn't bother me so much.
  • I was pretty content with the pace, but I feel like others might think the plot might be a tiny but slow?
  • The actual details of the war between Neverland and reality could have been explained a little more, but this is a series, so I'm sure there will be room for a little more world building in future books. Plus, I'm okay with the fact that it was a little vague and mysterious, because then it wouldn't feel like a Peter Pan retelling! 
  • It ended on a cliff hanger! 😩 
(Or more accurately, a window hanger. Get it? Cuz they jumped out a window and flew away? Heh. I thought I was funny. 😳)  

Overall I think this is one of my favorite books. I think I read it at the perfect time in my life. I just turned 20, and it filled me with so much nostalgia even though I'm still pretty young. I'm still trying to figure out how to be an adult, and this book made me feel like that it's okay to still believe in some childish things, because then I wouldn't be me. 😊
 I would totally recommend this book who loves fantasy, Peter Pan, or any retelling really. And I would especially recommend it to anyone who just needs to sit back, relax, and remember what it was like to be a kid. 😄

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1)
Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers, #2)
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3)
Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4)
The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers, #5)

Aside from The Neverland Wars, I'm pretty sure this is the only Peter Pan retelling I've read, but this series is REALLY good and definitely worth trying! 😊

Did you read this book with me? What were your thoughts? Have you read any other Peter Pan retellings? What are some of your favorites? 

Stay tuned in February for The Second Star Society's next book, Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell, a retelling of the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty! 😄


All credit goes to the authors of the images.
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