In Review Child Thief by Brom

Released: 8/25/09                    496 pages                         
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-061-67133-3

This book was superb. We've all heard the story of Peter Pan, most the sweet disney version but did we ever really listen? understand the words? the conflict? Even Barrie’s version was a little dark, with its laughing and entrails, but the style hid many of the horrors behind its pretty words.
Brom has reimagined the story, removing the fancy prose to give us the gritty modern telling of this beloved classic. Peter is just as charming, and blood thirsty, but now we understand his motive.
When I heard about this, I was both excited and a little apprehensive, but could not put this down. It is truly a masterpiece, but not for the faint of heart. The boys from the Lord of the Flies have nothing on the lost boys, or devils as they’re called here, where violence, murder, torture and rape are everyday experiences.
Even with the horrific happens, the story does not rely on violence and the shock to divert from a lack of plot, instead it drives the plot further. This also isn’t the normal retelling where the villains get a chance to tell their story ala Wicked instead we see past the glitz and the magic, behind the mask of the charismatic boy, who has always stolen children even in the Disney version, and the see the complex and haunting character Pan really is.
The reality weaved into the makes it more heartbreaking, and impactful as these broken children fight for a safe haven and the family that they’ve made. None of these kids come from a happy home, Peter Pan steals away children who are victims of abuse, neglect, molestation, and all the other such evils of our world that children should never have to endure, but do. And Neverland is not the safe happy place, its very dark and dangerous.
Brom excels in any medium he touches, and the Child Thief is a perfect example of that. Not only is the story one of the best I’ve ever read, there are also beautiful and dark pictures that accompany it. This is the one that should not be missed. The characters are fleshed out well, and the world we thought we knew is greatly enriched for the betterment.


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