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review 2017-04-28 20:40
Review: The Piper's Price
The Piper's Price (The Neverland Wars Book 2) - Audrey Greathouse

eArc review copy provided by author.

 

An enjoyable follow up to the Neverland Wars. Picking up shortly after where the first book left off, Gwen is now back in Neverland with Peter Pan and her beloved sister Rosemary, ready to aid Peter in his quest to find the Pied Piper.

 

There was a lot more action in this second instalment, much more of an actual plot, than focusing on Gwen torn between wanting to hang on to her childhood or be a grown up. While there was certainly a huge issue with Gwen still struggling with this problem, there was nowhere near so much philosophical waxing and waning over it.

 

Peter needs the Piper’s help to formulate a plan that will stop the adults in Reality attacking Neverland. Gwen is sent back into Reality to team up with a now grown up friend of Peter who can help solve the clues to find the means of attracting the Piper’s attention.

 

Tiger Lily makes an appearance in this one, as a grown adult woman, with friends of other adult women who have left Neverland and grown up, but still remember Peter and the allure of Neverland itself. It’s interesting to see how they cope with Gwen’s appearance and her strange requests. Though it pulls Gwen back into reality and a life she’s not sure if she wants to give up or not. The women hold a “book club” and there’s one rather poignant scene where they’re discussing a romance novel, “Tryst on the Thames” and later Gwen finds a copy wants to know what it’s about, she’s old enough to understand, but the lady who comes to her aid, Dawn, says rather bluntly if she’s still flying about with Peter Pan she’s not old enough to be discussing romance novels.

 

Kind of a bitter sweet but apt point to illuminate Gwen’s awkward positon. Gwen finds herself going on a shopping trip and getting a new hairdo and these normal teenage things help give her flying the happy boost. Things that would give a normal girl a happy, not something someone deep in magic and Neverland should be that fussed about. Just more of the awkwardness of a teenager dealing with Neverland.

 

And being back in reality brings Gwen back in touch with her potential love interest from the first book, Jay. I actually really like Jay as a character, he listens to Gwen, he likes her, he doesn’t think she’s nuts when she explains her predicament to him. He’s a nice, decent guy and I can see why Gwen confides in him. I like the way their friendship develops and hints that there could be something more between them, but Gwen of course is torn with her duty to Neverland.

 

Gwen has some interesting friendship developments in this one, bringing her to see the sides of adults who have been to Neverland and grown up, and then the more magical side of friendships with the Lost Children and the fairies and Lasiandra the mermaid.  The Piper himself is quite a dark and creepy character, and something of a jackass. (Though I also quite liked the Piper and the role he played later on in the novel). We also get to see some of the nastier side of the adults in reality and what they’re doing with the magic and beings stolen from Neverland.

 

Lots more action and some great character development on Gwen, though Peter Pan himself…I found him annoying really. An interesting ending, and I’m definitely looking forward to the final part in this trilogy.

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review 2016-05-09 11:41
Review: The Neverland Wars
The Neverland Wars - Audrey Greathouse

Review copy provided by author.

 

Since I really wound up liking the last Peter Pan retelling I read at the end of last year, more have been on my radar and this title was one of them. So when I was contacted and asked if I would like to review this one, I said yes immediately.

 

Quite different from the previous one I read, Wendy Darling, I was a little concerned it would be sort of the same thing, very pleased to find it was quite different. This story follows a modern times teen, Gwen, who's younger sister Rosemary disappears one night, and Gwen finds out she's run off to Neverland with Peter Pan. There's a really interesting concept of magic used that all the adults seem to know about and have known about for years, including Gwen's parents and the police Gwen only finds out after Rosemary's disappearance is being investigated.

 

Gwen is at a very awkward stage in her life - she's sixteen, too old for some of the things her sister enjoys playing with and bugging her about - but not old enough to be treated as an adult and this really bugs her. The author does a brilliant job of capturing Gwen's awkwardness in this phase. And it does become a huge point throughout the novel - to want to be a grown up or act with the freedom of a child. Though I did find it got very wordy and very descriptive with a lot of philosophical waxing, pondering from Gwen's inner monologue and it did get kind of repetitive and a little dull.

 

Gwen finds herself flying off to Neverland with Peter and Rosemary who come back for her. Gwen's a great story teller and this endears her to all the Lost Children in Neverland. The depiction of Neverland is described as a fantastical place full of wonder and whimsy and I really liked the take on the familiar concepts - the fairies, the mermaids, I particularly liked that the children were a mix of both boys and girls, as well as the fairies. The feeling of joy and adventure was delightfully captured as Gwen gets to know Peter and explore Neverland.

 

As for Peter, I did find him more aloof in this version than anything. There was certainly the added mysteriousness and clear leadership traits but still more aloof than anything else really. There's a war going on between Neverland and reality, the grown ups in reality seem to be trying to destroy Neverland but this wasn't really explored much until right at the end of the novel. Much of it is Gwen exploring Neverland and struggling to find where she fits in as she meets all colourful Neverland people and creatures. One little bit of action when the infamous crocodile appears, but after that the plot took a slow turn again.

 

As fun and amusing as it was, it did feel a little slow. And then there was a rush of action right up towards the end when the ugliness of war finally breaks through. Also included a surprisingly sad twist.  The end felt a little abrupt too and I had a few questions that went unanswered. I would hope to see a sequel or at least a short what happened to Gwen after the book ended.

 

Overall, a well written enjoyable YA fantasy I would certainly recommend particularly to children 10+ and younger teenagers.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-08-18 11:58
Review: The Diamond Ring
The Diamond Ring (Unbreakable Trilogy, Book 3) - Primula Bond

 I received a copy from the publisher and purchased a paperback copy.

I had pre ordered a copy as soon as could after finishing the last book. Then had a little happy dance when I had an email from the publisher asking if I would like to review. After the ending of the last one? A big hell yes!

While I remember getting a little bored with the second book, the third book was a perfect conclusion. The novel picks up pretty much immediately after where the last one left off. The threat of the appalling ex-wife Margot is no longer a just an unpleasant force. She's an actual threat.

 

She finally makes an appearance and is is ever bit as vile and nasty as she's made out to be in the previous books. A very very twisted and unpleasant woman determined to destroy the happiness that Gustav and Serena have built. She baits them mercilessly.

(spoiler show)

 

Gustav and Serena are as strong as ever and pretty much try their hardest to say to hell with Margot. There's the added complication of Pierre and his actions at the end of the second book. 

The plot is a little more than just sex in this one. A lot more on the drama side really. There's some deliciously fun sex scenes that were extremely hot and enjoyable.

 

 Serena heads off to Paris to do one of her photography commissions in Paris at a French château where there is something like a reality show of a classy porn version of the original Les Liaisons Dangereuses which was a lot of fun 

(spoiler show)



There's a bit more drama while Serena tries to deal with Pierre. Pierre seems to be saying one thing one minute then behaving differently the next. Its hard to know whether to trust him or not. Just when you think everything's going smoothly, Serena goes off to see her cousin Polly who's staying at some sort of retreat in Marrakesh and the plot takes a dramatic, quite frightening twist. 

There were some times during the last part of the book that made you think hang on this isn't going the way it was supposed to end! It did conclude well. All the loose ends were tied up. A perfect ending to a really good trilogy

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