When browsing the shelves in Waterstones over the weekend, I came across this little book. I was drawn to the cover art and decided to read the few pages. I found it to be interesting and so I bought it along with a book about Alice in Wonderland by the same author. (It shall be my next read). I finished the book within two days and decided I wanted to write a review about it. It is a twisted and darker take on Peter Pan. Lost Boy by Christina Henry tells the story through the eyes of the lost boy, Jamie and his account of what really happened on the Island of Neverland. One where Peter is not the good guy we grew up knowing. For the classic tale is what Peter wants you to believe but as Jamies says ‘Peter Lies’. The story of how the infamous Captain Hook came to be and how maybe, just maybe we mistook him for the bad guy.
Through the author’s imagery, the once beautiful land of Neverland is slowly transformed into a terrible prison. Peter and the lost boys enjoy bloody games of pirate raids and battles where the death of either party is like to happen.
Peter in this story is arrogant, selfish, reckless and has a thirst for blood. Follow his rules or suffer the consequences. Quick to argue, quick to start a fight, quick to find more lost boys to replace the dead old ones and quicker to remove those that get in his way. Peter wants all the Lost boys to love him, but he wants our protagonist Jamie to care for him the most. For Jamie is meant to be his best friend.
Jamie is the original lost boy, who followed Peter to Neverland listening to Peter’s lies. Initially, the lies cast a mist over Jamie’s eyes and he is unable to see Peter for who he really is. As the story progresses the mist begins to fade. Jamie’s development over the story is gradual and well thought out. He morphs from Peter’s number one lost boy into his Enemy.
Henry’s depiction of the classic tale retold will definitely change your opinion of Peter Pan. I warn those not ready to let go of their childhood to be prepared.
An excellent read.