Lost Boy by Christina Henry
I received my finished copy from the publisher, but this does not influence my review of this book in anyway.
From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.
Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. Peter lies.
You better stop reading this if you aren’t into dark retellings because this is quite possibly the darkest one ever. Lost Boy tells the true story of the infamous Captain Hook and how he came to be the villain in Never-never land, sworn to make Peter Pan’s life miserable. And how it exactly happened will definitely make you question your childhood.
In this story we have Jamie, Peter’s first and best Lost Boy, taken from the Other Place and into the island because of an undesirable childhood. In the island, along with thirteen other boys, they play all day and have fun in the island, enjoying the eternal youth they mysteriously acquire from believing wholeheartedly in Peter. But their island is more dangerous than you think, they have the Many-eyed, gigantic flesh-eating spiders, and the pirates that come to the island looking for the fountain of youth. The boys’ idea of play is by raiding and battling the pirates – to the death.
And from this, stems all the events that happened that will make you sit on your tush for hours, eager to turn the pages because you just need to know what happens next. I certainly did. It wouldn’t do to read it in more than one sitting or else you won’t experience it the full impact of it. It was gloriously bloody and in your face, and it has changed my idea of Peter Pan, the boy who’ll never grow up. The narrative is fast-paced and has a deep underlying tension that mirrors the events that are happening in the island. Jamie, the narrator, has a voice that is of a fourteen year old, but speaks with a tone belying his age, and quite literally, because he is hundreds of years old and has lived in the island the longest, second only to Peter himself. It only has 292 pages, but it was an avalanche of a novel, and when I got to the ending where I found out precisely why Jamie became Captain Hook I was left breathless until the very last word written. It was that unexpected.
If I have anything negative to say, it was that Jamie started out skeptical in the beginning. He tells us about his doubt and growing distrust of Peter and his actions from the get-go. I think it would have been even more impactful if he began believing wholeheartedly in the island and everything in it so we get to see it all go downhill from there. Still, it had the desired effect on me and I highly recommend it to anyone who dares.
Rating: 4.5 stars
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Ps: I have a giveaway for this book over on my Instagram! Check it out to get a chance to win a copy.