Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Neverland Book Review

Neverland by Douglas Clegg

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For years, the Jackson family has vacationed at Rowena Wandigaux Lee's old Victorian house on Gull Island, a place of superstition and legend off the Southern coast of the U.S. One particular summer, young Beau follows his cousin Sumter into a hidden shack in the woods - and christens this new clubhouse "Neverland".

Neverland has a secret history, unknown to the children...

The run-down shack in the woods is the key to an age-old mystery, a place forbidden to all. But Sumter and his cousins gather in its dusty shadows to escape the tensions at their grandmother's house. Neverland becomes the place where children begin to worship a creature of shadows, which Sumter calls "Lucy".

All gods demand sacrifice...

It begins with small sacrifices, little games, strange imaginings. While Sumter's games spiral out of control, twisting from the mysterious to the macabre, a nightmarish presence rises among the straggly trees beyond the bluffs overlooking the sea.

And when Neverland itself is threatened with destruction, the children's games take on a horrifying reality - and Gull Island becomes a place of unrelenting terror.

Review by Brittany:

When I bought this book, I didn't realize it was going to be a horror book that deals with near possession. As the story continued, I often was surprised by some of the events that were taking place, due in part to the story being something different than I had expected.

The book has some very intense imagery. The children in the book do some animal sacrifices and see some horrifying images that aren't real, such as imagining another child being murdered when it is actually a china doll being broken. The author describes some of these in great detail, and even though I'm a fan of horror films, reading some of these was a little much for me. It was also often confusing trying to separate reality from what is imagined by the narrator.

The story itself is mostly about one of the family members who died many years before. Her death was under suspicious circumstances and the story eventually reveals that she suffered from the things as Sumter: they both hear voices and have strange behaviors. The sacrifices that the children are making and the weird actions they are doing are all tied back to Lucy, the family member who died years before.

I was actually not very impressed with the novel overall. I think the imagery was appropriately gruesome, but the story itself wasn't intriguing enough to keep me hooked. The shifts between reality and imaginings were confusing and often left me wondering what exactly was going on. There were also no likable characters, not any of the children or the adults. Overall, nothing about this book really stood out.

Notable quotes:

"Those we lose are never really gone, are they? They are there, at least insofar as we remember them, and they have not really left us at all."

"No such thing as imagine. If you think something happened, it did."

The way panic works is you have about a minute or two of it, when you can't do anything right, and then you experience a calm because it begins to sink in that you really can't do anything right, so you just go ahead and do what needs to get done.

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