God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez

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.

Is there anything better than when good things happen to good people? I met Gama Martinez several years ago when I attended Superstars Writing Seminars for the first time in 2018. It only took me about two seconds to realize that he is one of the nicest, kindest, and most dedicated people out there. An established writer on the indie scene, his career has since grown, and now his first adult novel is out this week from Harper Voyager! Congrats Gama!

I was lucky enough to get an early review copy of this book from Gama, and I devoured it in just a couple of days. With such a fun, interesting premise, God of Neverland quickly gets down to the business of adventure from the very first chapter. Easy to read and brimming with imagination, I found myself grabbing the book to squeeze in another chapter during lunch or treating myself to a quick reading break from work.

Even if it’s been a while since you visited the world of Neverland, Gama does a great job reminding you of the previous adventures of the Darling children and Peter Pan while putting a new spin on an old classic. Weaving together bits of other familiar stories and lore, this Peter Pan novel is less of a retelling and more of a sequential entry into an established world. Told with a refreshing sense of wonderment and humor, God of Neverland is a book for adults that doesn’t lean heavily on darkness and grit to tell its story. Instead, God of Neverland asks us to consider what it means to reconnect to the child-like part of yourself that never quite grew up. After the last few years we’ve had, it’s hard to overstate how nice it is to read a book that is just so unapologetically fun.

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