There’s a book about me, and you should read it! I’m going to read it, just to find out what happens. I was in it, but I forgot what happens. (You ought not judge me—you’d forget your adventures, too, if you had as many as I do.)
It’s about a silly girl who thinks too much and never wants to have any fun. Except for when there’s already fun. So it’s more like the fun has her, than she has the fun, I guess. She’s weird, and half-way grown up, but I like her anyways… and if I like her, you can be sure you will like her. I’m very picky.
Not that I liked her straight away, mind you. The only reason we even met is because she’s got a brilliant little sister who has an imagination as thick and rich as maple syrup up in her head. She took to flying right away. If she hadn’t been so good at being a kid, I wouldn’t have trusted her when she told me her sister was just a big kid who really did belong in Neverland with the rest of us. I’m glad I listened, because now we have a proper storyteller on the island with us.
You should read this book because there is a dastardly crocodile in it, and some even more dastardly mermaids. There’s the biggest pirate ship to ever haunt the shore of Neverland, and a bunch of the best lost boys and girls that have ever run the ropes and flown the forests. There’s a great bit about a bombing and the excitement of adventure at wartime, and a lot of other little bits that I can’t tell you about yet.
The whole thing is really just a fantastic adventure, at least once you get through the boring beginning part. The very beginning doesn’t have me in it, so I apologize for how painfully dull it might be to just read about a girl who goes to school and has friends and is trying to figure out how to grow up. I promise there’ll be fighting and betrayal, triumph and tragedy, and all the stuff that makes for a great story. Someone might even die. I forget.
Really, you should just read this book because I told you to and you ought to trust me. If you don’t like me enough to trust me, you’re probably the sort of sad grownup who wouldn’t like it anyways. If you’re already all grownup inside and outside and sideways too, you can forget everything I just said. As for the rest of you though: I’ll see you in Neverland.
About The Neverland Wars
The Neverland Wars
by Audrey Greathouse
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: May 9th 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling
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.
“The last of them were Captain Rackham’s crew,” Peter began. “They flew the skull and stars flag high on their mast, sailing a great flagship called the Black Death. It was a massive ship, with a hundred or more pirates all aboard it!”
“Maybe only a dozen,” Peter amended. He continued, undaunted. “They swore that there was booty buried in our jungle, a chest, buried by the oldest of pirates, old Scarface himself, who was more like a god than a man to all the pirates who came after him. Rackham and his crew swore to find the rumored treasure.
“They sailed three times ‘round Neverland clockwise, and twice counter-clockwise while they tried to make sense of their map. Finally, they came ashore and stormed the island. They found Blink and took her hostage, you know. They were convinced she knew where the treasure was buried.”
Bard delicately nibbled on the peeled apple, watching Peter like a movie as he bounded around their underground home. Spurt was still asleep in his little dog bed, but the other children were waking up, happy to start the morning with one of Peter’s stories. After a while, everyone but Spurt was awake and eagerly listening.
Hollyhock bounced up and down, adding her own commentary, seemingly for the sake of hearing her own singsong voice. Bramble listened, sleepy but attentive, to Hollyhock’s version, while Peter related the story to the children. Peter told it exactly as he remembered it, so very little of what Gwen heard was true. Still, he got the feel of the story right, and that was what was really important.
“So then I flew up behind his first mate, who couldn’t see me on account of the patch on his left eye.”
“I thought you said the patch was on his right eye,” Gwen interjected.
“It was,” Peter replied. “He had patches over both of his eyes. That’s why he couldn’t see me.”
Gwen shook her head, getting fed up with his impossible story, but dying to know how it ended. “That doesn’t make any sense. Why didn’t you just say he was blind then? And if he was blind, why did you have to fly up behind him anyway?”
“Because I had to strangle him!” Peter declared. Hollyhock flew up behind Peter, pantomiming this part, dragging Bramble along to be her victim. “With the very rope he’d used to tie up Blink, I flew up behind him and just like that! BAM! I pulled the rope around his neck and nearly popped his head off. He dropped to the deck, dead as a doorstop!”
Newt and Sal cheered at this part. Spurt was still sound asleep in his dog bed. It was amazing, really, that the one who was usually the most high strung and noisy was the soundest sleeper as well.
“What about the captain, Peter?” Bard asked, smiling and chewing her apple. She had heard the story before, so she knew just which question to ask to get to her favorite part. She did love the part about what happened to the captain, mostly because it changed every time. No one could tell a story as well as Peter could, because no matter how many times he told it, and no matter how much it stayed the same story, the details were always radically different.
“The captain?” Peter echoed, “The captain! Well, Captain Rackham came up behind me and nearly cut me in two. He would have, too, if I hadn’t seen his shadow creeping up. He jabbed his sword forward to stab me, but I flew up and out of his way, and his sword went right into his first mate.”
“But his first mate was dead on the deck of the ship. He fell over when you strangled him,” Gwen objected. In response, Hollyhock pinched her. “Ow,” Gwen complained.
“Shush,” Rosemary told her.
“This was before he fell. Once he was strangled and stabbed, then he fell over and was dead as a doorstop.”
Newt and Sal cheered again.
About the Author
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.