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Every year Beauregard “Beau” Jackson and his extended family vacation on Gull Island with his grandmother. Upon seeing his strange cousin, Sumter, Beau knows something has changed. Though he looks less healthy, he’s grown confident.

Bored and tired of the argumentative adults of the family, Beau lets Sumter lure him into a dilapidated shack he calls Neverland. Inside, Beau sees another world. It’s horrific and strangely alluring.

Cocky and all-knowing, Sumter believes himself to be the link between Lucy, the God he has access to when inside Neverland, and the rest of the world. His one obstacle is his grandmother whom Sumter believes can see everything.

Beau is disgusted when he learns Sumter has been making sacrifices to Lucy. But that isn’t enough to tell his parents, plus his curiosity and the draw to the other world is too strong. Soon he, too, is courting the underworld.

Eventually, Beau’s two sisters are pulled into the fray. The adults, too busy bickering among themselves, don’t notice.
Beneath it all, Beau struggles with right and wrong. When Sumter decides Lucy needs a human sacrifice, Beau must decide whether he’s willing to risk his life to stand up to Sumter and Lucy or whether he should go along and reap the rewards.

Neverland is not a comfortable story. The entire time I read it, I had dread in my gut. The author, immensely talented, succeeds in pulling us into a world full of angry adults, neglected children and one oddly cruel ghost/god.

The adults are mostly unlikable and their arguments are usually shallow. And Beau, largely a reflection of them, is often unpleasant as well.

Plus there’s the unknown force that is Neverland. The story starts creepy and never lets up. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the characters much and didn’t enjoy the book; but it is well-written and does take the reader for a ride. I think avid fans of the horror genre will enjoy it.

Book Blurb for Neverland

Beau Jackson and his cousin Sumter were only six when they first met. But even then, Beau recognized his cousin's obsession with evil. Every summer, Beau and Sumter vacation with their families on the dreary bluffs of Gull Island, and every year Beau watches as his cousin grows increasingly more powerful. But nothing prepares him for the terror that emerges when Sumter introduces him to Neverland, the place where grownups are forbidden and Sumter reigns supreme. In Neverland, the boys and their sisters escape their parents' authority, only to discover a nightmarish world of garish rituals, evil games, and ultimate bloodshed.

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2010 4.25