I only wanted them near me because I loved them. Though, of course, it was because I loved them that Peter had to take them from me.
Rating: 5 stars
I made the foolish mistake of picking this book up a little before 11pm, intending to read the first chapter and then go to bed once I’d gotten started. By part-way through chapter two, I was hooked. Peter’s little duckling story had me terrified and there was no way in hell I was sleeping until I’d found out what happened to Jamie, Charlie his little duckling and the rest of the Lost Boys.
Christina Henry’s books are easily some of my favourite books at the moment, and I think that’s largely due to her amazing knack for characters. In every single one of her books that I’ve read (Alice , The Mermaid and part of The Girl in Red for those looking for recommendations) the characters have drawn me in and it’s an attachment to them that really guided me through the stories, and Lost Boy is the strongest example I’ve read so far. I loved Lost Boy’s plot, a fairly simple horror fare with dead-ends and a need to escape, but what kept me turning pages was that I cared about Jamie so much that I couldn’t bare to put the book down in case something happened while I was wasting time sleeping. Is that logical? No. Did it make Lost Boy an emotional read? Yes.
I know the mythos of Peter Pan fairly well, but Henry made him terrifying to me with relative ease. His boyishness became threatening, his leadership manipulative. He loved Jamie best because Jamie was his first friend on the island, and when Jamie started to draw away from him he became over-bearing. Peter is a jealous, selfish boy that would kill a child for ‘stealing’ attention from him, and it’s that complete lack of empathy or consequences that makes Peter a terrifying antagonist. He will do anything, because it’s his island and he does as he wishes. When Jamie mentions hearing a ‘strange tinkling noise’, I actually felt a pit in my stomach because I knew what he didn’t, and when he described moments of growing up, I was scared that Peter would notice.
Henry has created an authentic, realistic prequel to the traditional Peter Pan tale, and it meshes so easily with the ‘canon’ story that I don’t think I’ll ever watch Peter Pan again without filling in Captain Hook’s tragic backstory myself, and it’ll be a good while before I stop seeing Peter as uncomfortable and creepy, if I ever do. I can believe that this is why Hook hates Peter, and why a grown man would spend his life on an island chasing a boy with such hatred, and the final line of the novel gave me chills.
Note: This review was copied verbatim from my Goodreads account dated August 12th 2019.
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