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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 06/2020
  • 978-1-71681-910-0
  • 277 pages
  • $15.99
Ebook Details
  • 11/2019
  • B082MTBHY6
  • 244 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781674456836 1674456832
  • 358 pages
  • $15.99
Don Jones
Author
The Never: A Tale of Peter and the Fae
Don Jones, author

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

When the ancient Under Hill home of the Fae is infected with the Rot, they're left with an unpleasant choice: die in one last, great stand, or escape to the Human world. A world they once knew, but where they no longer belong. A modern world, where Cold Iron surrounds and poisons magical beings. The Fae Queen reluctantly chooses exile, and she and her people abandon their magical castles, ancient glens, timeless forests, and centuries of power and tradition. They come into a bleak land bereft of magic and wonder, and begin to hunker down in the Human world's hidden places. The once-proud Fae resentfully begin a life of poverty, anonymity, and fear. But one small group of Fae, accustomed to tinkering with the fabric of the universe, begin to develop an idea. An idea that will either give them a new world to live in, or wipe them completely from existence. An idea that could preserve them, or end them forever. An idea that requires the help of a young child's boundless imagination. An idea that will take them into the Never, a place forbidden and inimical to their kind.It's a story that you think you know, but you've only ever heard a small part of it. A story that starts long before those three children flew in, and that has its epic conclusion long after they've gone.
Reviews
Jones explores the origins of J.M. Barrie’s Neverland and its inhabitants through the experiences of Queen Mab and her Fae subjects (who appear in Barrie’s less-known Peter Pan novels The Little White Bird and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens). Exiled from Under Hill, Mab and her court of elves, fairies, and more find refuge in London’s Kensington Gardens during the time of King George III. After discovering that human children can shape the previously hostile realm of the Never with their imaginations, Mab manipulates a child named Peter into creating what soon becomes Neverland, an island refuge for lost children and the Fae alike. But to maintain Neverland’s cohesion, Mab’s people must continually entertain Peter and his followers, a task that grows wearisome. As Mab’s grip on her people slips, Peter’s influence on his surroundings creates new challenges that force the Fae to adapt further.

This well-written, provocative melding of Peter Pan with folklore provides appropriate origins for classic elements such as Tinker-Bell and the pirates. However, this story is slow-paced, and telling it primarily from Mab’s removed perspective leads to a darker, more grown-up narrative about survival, leadership, and taking care of others. Peter is rarely present and the events with which readers are most familiar are almost entirely skipped. With this focus on Mab’s experiences and increasing social instability in Neverland, the story feels less whimsical and fun than fans of Peter Pan (particularly its Disney and Broadway incarnations) might expect.

There’s an almost seamless interweaving of elements from English folklore, children’s literature, and history. Jones’s ideas about the power of creativity and the relationship between the Fae and inspiration work well; the horrendously stereotypical Indians, for example, are explained as Fae manifestations of childish interpretations of faraway stories. Readers looking for spirited children’s stories of adventure should look elsewhere, but readers interested in mythology will find much to enjoy in this elegiac tale about attempting to protect one’s way of life amid change and destruction.

Takeaway: This thoughtful reinterpretation of Peter Pan through myth and folklore will appeal to fans of darker adult takes on children’s literature.

Great for fans of Brianna R. Shrum’s Never Never, Christina Henry’s Lost Boy, Gregory Maguire.

Production grades
Cover: C+
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: -
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B-

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 06/2020
  • 978-1-71681-910-0
  • 277 pages
  • $15.99
Ebook Details
  • 11/2019
  • B082MTBHY6
  • 244 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781674456836 1674456832
  • 358 pages
  • $15.99

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