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This book deserves as much praise as I can possibly give it! Clegg delivered everything I love in a good horror novel and remained entirely unique and creative, offering something refreshingly different for the genre. Clegg probably has one of the BEST dark imaginations I've ever had the pleasure of reading and I simply cannot get enough! (I bought his other book, "Hallowe'en Man" immediately after I finished this one!)
This story is a coming of age tale about Beau, a twelve-year-old boy visiting his grandmother's summer retreat off the coast of Georgia. During his stay he spends time with his disturbed, maniacal cousin Sumter who invites him to join in a dark union of worship involving a derelict shack in the woods, a crate, and what lay inside the crate...something that calls itself "Lucy." (If you aren't already wondering how a concept as aberrant as this plays out I'd be surprised!) Well, lucky for you its as deliciously satisfying as it is perturbed.
In terms of plot, this was most surely a RIVETING read and I couldn't put it down! The more I read the more engaged I became, needing to know what the #$%^@! is in that shack?! Is it real?! Is it going to hurt him?!...Oh God...its breathing on him in the dark...its not human...what IS it?!?!?! I'm telling you that the story and ideas behind this entire concept could only have been derived by the mind of a creative genius---its a gripping mystery that unfolds flawlessly into a full-fleged nightmare. The images and events that played out had me totally unnerved and trust me, I read so much horror that that excitement almost never happens anymore! Keep in mind however, that this no "popcorn horror" novel so if you're expecting a lot of action and enjoy a lot of violence/gore you probably won't find it here...this is a different kind of scary so its more like a psychological build-up of suspense & mystery of the unknown with explosive plot twists and a wicked finale.
Aside from the tantalizing plot, I fell in love with Clegg's characters and writing style and credit his ability to bring this story to life. The believable characters made me entirely reminiscent of my own childhood days and reminded me of how blissful, pure and innocent youth is supposed to be. It is because of the purity and innocence of childhood that the stark contrast of evil seeping into their lives becomes truly horrific. There are things that children should just never do...but there are no limits in Neverland.
In terms of content I will warn that events and images are sometimes of a disturbing and graphic nature so this book isn't for the faint of heart. Some of the subject matter also contains themes of animal cruelty and extreme gore/violence. Although I am an avid animal lover and I found those scenes very hard to read and disturbing, I simply skipped those brief sections in favour of the remaining storyline. This book is so good I got over it.
Narration was INCREDIBLE, and David Stifel delivers flawless inflections and variations among characters. He also made me laugh with his superb ability to emphasize the child-like humour in the simplest of things such as "The Weenie's all-natural, silver-backed bristle brush" (grandma's all-feared hairbrush used to discipline and scold the children).
Should you buy it??? UMM...HELL YES!!! If you're looking to experience a humorous yet, terrifying deep-South horror story then "Neverland" will surely be treasured among the best.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
This is the first book I've listened to from this author and I was pleasantly surprised. Clegg gently lays out each character - developing their personalities right before your eyes until you find yourself shirring right there in the living room with each child and you can feel and smell Neverland.
Stifle is and amazing narrator, his accent and performance is what brings the novel to life.
The novel isn't a thinker and at times some of the lines seemed a bit cliché, but it was entertaining and a bit scary and thoroughly enjoyable.
I think I'll check out another of his books!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful