Apr 6, 2022

ARC Review--God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez


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 behind the Knights 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 they 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.


I received this ARC from the publisher in a Goodreads contest. My review is completely honest and voluntary. I was in no way compensated for this review.

God of Neverland was my first book by Gama Ray Martinez! It sounded so exciting; a grownup Michael returning to Neverland to rescue a missing Peter Pan. Sadly while the story sounded exciting, the execution was just off for me.

It’s been one year since Michael left the Knights of the Round, a secret society meant to protect the world from magical evil. But then one night he’s drawn back into the thick of things when he’s told Peter Pan has gone missing. His first objective of course is to get to Neverland but the problem is a lack of fairy dust. 

The story itself was very interesting but I felt like the pacing was just off for me. It was a bit too slow. It took nearly one hundred pages to get to Neverland. All the while little was going on it felt like. Yes, there were obstacles to overcome and some Neverland characters make an appearance in London. When Michael finally gets to Neverland he finds that much has changed in the years since his last visit. 

I did find it somewhat odd that the characters took on their Disney personas more than a typical childlike appearance or their true fairy tale appearance. But we see characters we knew from Disney looking very much like those characters. It just felt a little wrong to me. 

I guess what didn’t work for me was the pacing. Things were too slow and drawn out at every turn. Walking into a room took several paragraphs, meeting a person took several lines. I don’t know. I really wanted to love this book because I love fairy tales and their retellings and sequels or continuations…whatever you want to call them. This book should’ve been perfect for me, but alas it just wasn’t the right mesh for me. 

The characters were still enjoyable. I loved seeing a grownup Michael! Wendy, Tiger Lily, Smee…everyone you can think of made something of an appearance and I loved that factor too. 

Sadly while I wanted this book to be perfect it just didn’t hit its mark with me the way I wanted it too. While I may not have enjoyed it, I would still highly recommend this to fans of Peter Pan. There is a slower pace that uses lots of detail to set the scene and character development is spot on. Sadly the former just didn’t work for me but I don’t want that to dissuade others who may be use to or enjoy that kind of style to be put off from this one. 

Overall Rating 2/5 stars

God of Neverland releases April 12, 2022


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