Monday, July 3, 2017

Lost Boy

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by [Henry, Christina]

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook- Christina Henry
Release Date: July 4, 2017 

Rating (out of 5):

Caution: Spoilers Ahead!

Synopsis: 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.


What if you took the well known story of Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn't grow up, and started asking questions.  What if you thought about what a society composed entirely of young boys would be like?  What if you took the old myths of magic and blood, youth and paradise,  and applied their rules to Neverland?  

The answer would be: you get Lost Boy by Christina Henry.  A fantastic, dark retelling of Peter Pan told from the point of view of Jamie, Peter's second in command, who has lived on the island longer than any boy except Peter.  Jamie, who Peter convinced to go to Neverland where they would be young and free and happy forever. As Peter brings new boys to join them he promises them fun adventures raiding pirates, swimming with mermaids, playing what they want, eating when they want, with no one to tell them what to do.  But someone has to teach the boys to defend themselves in pirate raids, how to hunt food, how to tend wounds.  This is what Jamie does.  He becomes the one who looks after them, who protects them, who shoulders the grief when they die.  Because staying young forever doesn't mean you can't die.  There are pirates, accidents, and wild animals, but there are also Battles- because what do young boys like better than to fight?  

We watch Jamie go from disappointed to disillusioned with Peter as Jamie tries to keep the group safe and Peter considers them replaceable.  Things degenerate (or maybe were always like this and Jamie finally realizes it?) into more Lord of the Flies than happy adventures.  Jamie begins to discover the island has secrets even he did not know, although Peter did.  And Peter, finally fed up with the fact that Jamie looks after the other boys, decides the only way to regain Jamie's love and friendship is to destroy everyone that might get between them.

Lost Boy is a compelling, haunting, and at times chilling story: fast-paced and well-written, you can't put it down once you've started.  Your heart aches for Jamie as he begins to realize the truth, and remember truths he had forgotten from the world before the island.  Lost Boy is both a twist of an old classic, and a brilliant story of self discovery, loyalty, and identity that shakes up all your preconceived ideas and invites you to take a new look at Peter Pan and the boy who became Captain Hook.

Fans of ABC's Once Upon a Time will love Lost Boy, as it reminds us that a villain is only someone who's story hasn't been told yet.  

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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