The acclaimed artist Brom brilliantly displays his multiple extraordinary talents in The Child Thief—a spellbinding re-imagining of the beloved Peter Pan story that carries readers through the perilous mist separating our world from the realm of Faerie. As Gregory Maguire did with his New York Times bestselling Wicked novels, Brom takes a classic children’s tale and turns it inside-out, painting a Neverland that, like Maguire’s Oz, is darker, richer, more complex than innocent world J.M. Barrie originally conceived. An ingeniously executed literary feat, illustrated with Brom’s sumptuous artwork, The Child Thief is contemporary fantasy at its finest—casting Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, even Captain Hook and his crew in a breathtaking new light.
Chesley-winning illustrator Brom (The Plucker) weaves together gloomy prose and horrifying adventures in this macabre fairy tale inspired by J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Born of faerie blood, Peter hunts abandoned children, runaways and the hopeless, recruiting for his Devils in Avalon and promising them a place where you never have to grow up. He conveniently fails to mention that Avalon's monsters are very real, and the Devils must practice their war games or risk being tortured to death, eaten or worse. While early chapters are promising, this gothic fantasy stumbles on its own darkness. The devilishly amusing flashbacks to Peter's origins don't make up for the heavy-handed bloodshed, rampant violence and two-dimensional characters. It's all fiendish monsters and desperate battles in this twisted, dark Neverland; the Disney Peter's mirth and good humor are nowhere to be found.
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Great until it makes you want to kill yourself
Excellent book. The ending makes you feel cheated somehow, though.
The Child Thief is a heavy volume, made heavier by an abundance of violence
The Child Thief is a heavy volume, made heavier by an abundance of violence untempered by any form of morality by the majority of characters presented in the story.
The POV skips around frequently, especially in the first 250 pages, disengaging the reader from any form of emotional attachment that might be formed to the primary "lost boy", Nick. It evens out to some degree when the action truly begins, then introduces new POVs at the end that are unnecessary and cumbersome.
The author tried to pack too much in, link too many different ideas, through an amalgamation of Arthurian legend, the pilgrims arrival in America, and various mythologies involving fairies and gods.
The only place the book really shone is where the author accentuated Peter's separation from emotions that otherwise would have redeemed his character. Peter spends most of the book in observation mode, showing the reader that he feels little for the children he is "saving". What emotion he does display is like that of a person angered that one of his toys has been broken.
The ending shows that there could be hope for Peter, but it comes 494 pages too late to make the book interesting.
The Child Thief
A thoroughly engaging new rendition of the tale of Peter Pan. The story is very mature and filled with descriptive detail. The main characters are well developed and don't seem one dimensional. Probably the first book I finished reading in less than 15 days time. An awesome read.