Return to Neverend
by J. M. Sloderbeck is a story about David Inari
and the world
he created with his mother
. Naming it 'Neverend' (since David hoped his mother would get well so that the story would "never end") he abandoned it after her death.
Twenty years later, he receives a message from Aya, the girl he left behind to manage it, who begs him to come back to Neverend. Returning to Neverend (with his sister Sara unknowingly following him), he soon discovers that Neverend isn't quite
how he remembered it...
This book provides examples of:
- The Ageless: Aya and the kirin seem to live this trope, or they at least age very slowly.
- Archnemesis Dad: Kell, aka My Kell, aka David's father, Michael.
- Berserk Button: Sage finds his not long after his Heroic BSOD.
- Big Bad: The Queen.
- Big Brother Instinct: Begins to develop between David and his half-sister, Sara.
- Break the Cutie: David's entire life is focused on his mother and the hope that she'll get better.
- Aya gets the treatment during the 200 years David is absent.
- Character Development: David starts out as a selfish, self-absorbed man who can't let go of his mother's memory. He learns how to stand up for himself and put the past behind him. It's the key to how he defeats the Queen.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Neverend was created when David was 8, so he's the 'logical' king for it.
- Cool Sword: The Kusanagi.
- Crapsack World: The results of David's abandonment of Neverend.
- Deadpan Snarker: Myajo, and Sage to a degree.
- Fiery Redhead: Sara.
- God Save Us From The Queen!: The Queen.
- Green Thumb: Green Willow.
- Hannibal Lecture: The Queen shows some of this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Green Willow sacrifices herself to renew Neverend.
- The High Queen
- Ill Girl: David's mother, Maya. Tearjerker She doesn't get better.
- It Must Be Mine: The whole reason the Queen wants to capture David in the first place.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The Door.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: Aya, whose eyes change depending on her mood.
- Kill It with Fire: How Sage kills Kell.
- Last of His Kind: Sage.
- Left-Justified Fantasy Map: Inverted. Neverend is bordered by an Eastern Ocean.
- Magical Girl/Magical Girlfriend: The Ayrlin.
- Mayfly December Romance: David and Aya.
- Medieval Stasis: A centuries-old example.
- Mirror Scare: The Ayrlin/Aya uses one to beg David to come back to Neverend.
- Momma's Boy: David is still an emotional wreck 20 years after his mother dies.
- Named Weapons: A justified use of the trope. Naming a weapon is what gives it power.
- Narnia Time: How time flows between Earth and Neverend.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: David really should have considered what would've happened when he abandoned the world he created. He pretty much invents the main villain, so it's all his fault Neverend became a Crapsack World.
- No Name Given: The Queen.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Our unicorns are, too!
- Plant Person: Kell. Also the kodama, after a fashion.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Well, there are red oni, anyway. Sage and Sara might apply as well.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Deconstructed. David has the power to create an entire world from nothing, but he doesn't remember having it or know how to use it.
- Talking Animals: Sage is one, although there are implied to be others.
- The Dragon: Kell
- Underdressed for the Occasion: Green Willow and the kodama, who never wear clothes.
- Unicorn: A bit different from their traditional portrayal:
- When Trees Attack: More like 'when trees defend'.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: The Ayrlin/Aya, although her being non-human could explain it.
- Wicked Witch: Myajo, although she's willing to offer David needed advice.
- Wild Wilderness: The Western Wood.
- Wish Fulfillment: The whole reason Neverend exists in the first place.
- Woman in White: The White Queen.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: For every year of Earth time, ten years pass in Neverend.