And now for a true HORROR novel for a fine October day…
On Georgia’s coast, in an area that is the antithesis of beautiful, young Beau Jackson arrives with his parents, sisters, and little brother to visit their grandmother. Sumter, Beau’s cousin, is also there with his family. Sumter is, well, messed up. He has been terribly babied by his overprotective mother, and is resented by his hard-drinking father. Sumter brings Beau to a decrepit shack on the property, which has always been strictly off-limits. He has named this shack Neverland, and inside is Lucy, a god which requires sacrifice. At first it seems a game to bored Beau, but as the sacrifices become bigger, and the consequences become real, he begins to realize that this is no game and something dark and powerful does rule Neverland, and also rules Sumter.
Douglas Clegg’s Neverland is an excellent example of a supernatural thriller done right. I mean, this book is WEIRD. You never quite know exactly what is reality and what is a psychological mishap. Is this some crazy boy’s imagination? Or is this freaky stuff actually happening? The setting is more perfect than you can imagine, in the description of how dreadful the seashore property is, how dark the woods are. And the way the horrific shack is depicted the reader can visualize each wooden plank. The young boys are written so well; they act and speak just like real children. And the characterization of the southern community and culture was excellent.
When the secrets of Neverland are revealed, they are eerie yet plausible. My only minor complaint is about the climax. Things really go off the deep-end. I was completely able to buy into the supernatural up to that point, but Clegg takes it a bit too far, for my liking. That being said, it wasn’t something that ruined the ending one bit, and I think this story was told so well. Great book for anyone who likes horror or fantasy, or is looking for a Halloween read!