I have always loved Peter Pan.
He was always who I wanted to be when I was a boy. A secret island all to myself, with only my best friends to hang out with. To never grow up, never have the responsibilities or worries of adults. Oh, and also to be able to fly. Doesn't sound too bad!
Unless of course, we are talking about the Peter Pan in Lost Boy, by Christina Henry. Make no mistake, this is not the friendly story of a boy who never grows up. This is a bloody rehashing, brutal and violent. I would equate this book more to Lord of the Flies than Peter Pan, though this has all the familiar characters that I love from my childhood.
The story centers around Jaime, the first boy Peter brought to the Island from the 'other place'. It follows along from Jamie's point of view, as the boys have adventures (more often, misadventures) in Neverland, and as he and Peter's relationship disintegrates and leads to his ultimate rivalry with Peter. It's all there; the crocodiles, the mermaids, the pirates, the fairies...and there's also a lot of fighting and violence that will appeal to readers looking for a darker version of the old classic.
This book is really well written, and very hard to put down. On to the details!
FOLLOW EJ ALLEN ON TWITTER!
The Final Analysis:
Plot: The story of Jaime, a boy brought to the island by Peter Pan, and the evolution of the relationship between the two of them and the other boys in Neverland.
Characters: The characters are well developed, though I didn't hear from Peter quite enough. The writing allowed me to feel how much Jaime cared about the boys on the island, and I clearly understood why he developed animosity toward Peter. I suppose the distance between the reader and Peter Pan is intentional. Still, I wanted more Peter.
Story and Pacing: The story progresses beautifully and is complete in its telling. This book is addictive and the pacing is fantastic. It's the strongest aspect of the writing in my opinion.
Readability: Well edited, great dialogue, I have no issues whatsoever with how the book reads. I love the foreshadowing and the eerie cliffhangers that abound. It's not too long and has no wasted material.
Biggest positive: Fast paced, action packed.
Biggest negative: A very violent and negative portrayal of Peter Pan, lots of children die.
You'll love this book if: You enjoy dark retellings of popular stories, or prefer a more sinister version of Peter Pan.
You'll hate this book if: You don't want children to be killed in books, or you don't want your positive impression of Peter Pan to be ruined.
4.00 Stars! Great Book!
I really like this book, though I don't personally love this version of Peter Pan. Still, it's written well, and the book is addictive and impossible to put down. I read the whole thing in just a few days, and would highly recommend it to those interested in this type of story.