4 Out of 5 Stars
At C2E2 this year, there was a panel discussion about fairy tale re-tellings in novels. The panel was a blast, and I had the opportunity to meet several of the amazing authors who led the conversations.
One of these authors was Christina Henry, who gave me a signed ARC of her newest book 🙂 Lost Boy is available for sale beginning in July, so here’s a sneak peak! (No spoilers- I promise!)
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.
Woah… this book was way darker than I was expecting. The original version of Peter Pan is already a little bit creepy- a young boy sneaking into children’s rooms and spiriting them away into the night- but this went beyond even that…
The story is narrated by the main character, Jamie, the first boy Peter ever brought to Neverland. But Neverland isn’t the place of fairy tales we’ve been led to believe. There are vengeful pirates on the shores, blood thirsty monsters hidden in the forest, and even the camp can be a bloodthirsty place. A place where the lost boys can waste away from sickness, die from infections, and are sometimes expected to fight each other to the death.
Despite these horrors, Jamie has survived at Peter’s side for countless years as his faithful friend. That is, until Peter brings a young boy named Charlie back to Neverland, a boy too young for the terrors of the island, and Jamie begins to question the violence and death around them.
Lost Boy is filled with great dialogue, throwing readers right into the story. The character interactions are believable, if sometimes harsh, and very reminiscent of Lord of the Flies. I loved the cold reality of the story even while I cringed at the oncoming train wreck. At times, I did feel like the book was overly violent, though the viciousness of the blood and gore is an intrinsic part of the story line. So be warned- this book is not for children.
One issue I had with this book was the sad lack of world building. It was essentially a prequel to the Disney version and expanded very little on Neverland in general. There were some exceptionally savage creatures known as the Many-Eyeds, but beyond that the book did not elaborate much on the other denizens of the island. Lost Boys was a super quick and easy read, almost to the point where it felt like it would be more fitting for a middle grade crowd, rather than YA, if it weren’t for the violence.
Overall, I enjoyed Lost Boy and give it 4 out of 5 Stars. If you’re looking for a very dark fairy tale retelling, give this one a shot.