God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez : A Review

In this magical re-imagining of J. M. Barrie’s classic tale, Michael Darling–the youngest of the Darling siblings and former Lost Boy, now all grown up–must return to the life he left behind to save Neverland from the brink of collapse and keep humanity safe from magical and mythological threats, as well as answer the ultimate question: Where is Peter Pan?

Peter Pan is missing; Neverland is in trouble. For adults, that might not matter all that much, but for children–whose dreams and imagination draw strength from the wild god’s power–the magic we take for granted in the real world is in danger of being lost forever.

Such is the life of a now grown-up Michael Darling.

Michael returned from Neverland with the dream of continuing his adventuring ways by joining the Knights of the Round, an organization built to keep humanity safe from magical and mythological threats.. But after a mission gone terribly wrong, he vowed to leave the Knights behind and finally live as a “civilian,” finding order and simplicity as a train engineer, the tracks and schedule tables a far cry from the chaos of his youth.

He hasn’t entered the narrative in years. So what could the Knights need from him now?

Maponos–or how he’s better known, Peter Pan–has gone missing, and Neverland is now on the edge of oblivion. Michael realizes he has no choice and agrees to one last mission. Alongside the young Knight Vanessa and some old friends, Michael embarks on the ultimate adventure: a journey to a fantasy world to save a god. Determined to stop evil, fight for Neverland, and find Maponos, will Michael be able to save the magical and physical world? Or will his biggest fear come true?

The clock is ticking, and in Neverland, that’s never a good sign.

Oh man, where do I even begin with this review? I’ve been a fan of Peter Pan stories ever since I was a little kid and I never hesitate to pick up a new retelling when I stumble across one. The only problem I have these days is I find that very few of these retellings or sequels are ever as good as I want or expect them to be, so I was excited to find something that sounded this good. God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez is an amazing story full of all the Peter Pan characters I know and love but with a new and interesting twist on the story.

I keep calling it a retelling but it’s more like God of Neverland is supposed to be a sequel to J. M. Barrie’s original story which I always think is a smart thing to do when you’re writing a story set in a world that is as classic as Peter Pan. What I didn’t expect though was for this to lean so heavily into the urban fantasy genre. I’m a huge urban fantasy fan so I knew I was going to love this book the moment I realized it borrows so much from the genre, though I’m hesitant to actually call it urban fantasy because most of the story takes place in Neverland and not in an actual city.

The thing I loved the most about God of Neverland though, is that it changes and gives us a backstory for Peter Pan that makes more sense than the original to me. I love the idea of Peter Pan as Maponos, a god of youth and mischief, as I think it explains his entire personality so much better than a boy who just doesn’t want to grow up. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series, if we are going to get more Peter Pan related stories or if Gama is going to go in a completely different direction.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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