This review contains spoilers.
“It is a fantastic lie,” Sal said, and her face was very earnest. “This isn’t a wonderful place for boys to play and have adventures and stay young for always. It’s a killing place, and we’re all just soldiers in Peter’s war.”
Published: 2017, by Titan Books Ltd.
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Retelling, Fiction
Contains: Death, Violence, Abuse, Blood/Gore, Anger
‘Lost Boy’ is the story of Peter Pan’s first Lost Boy, Jamie, and how he broke the rule of never growing up. Jamie is Peter’s opposite; he’s careful, mature and sincere, always protecting the younger boys. Whereas Peter only cares about playing, regardless of who gets hurt in the process. However, as the Lost Boy’s numbers deteriorate, so does Jamie’s patience.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Peter Pan. It’s my all-time favourite fairy-tale, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read my beloved tale from another characters point of view… and I was not disappointed.
Jamie’s character was the perfect protagonist. Although, we only know the events from his perspective due to the fact it’s written in the first person, he assures us that we’re not left out. His views are pretty solid, informing us of Peter’s antics while expressing his wish to leave the island. It’s difficult not to sympathise with a boy witnessing the gruesome deaths of his loved ones. As Jamie grows, it’s easy to see, his views and behaviour shifting more and more as he begins to age. Plus, his relationship with Charlie was adorable and I was so happy that he survived. I was holding my breath throughout the entire novel for him; he was just too cute.
Peter’s character was fairly believable. In J.M Barrie’s original work, Peter is a youthful boy desperate for a playmate, which reaches unnerving levels in Christina Henry’s book. Peter appears to be a spoilt brat desperate for constant attention and will go to whatever lengths to achieve it, including the deaths of his admirers. This antagonist was wonderful to read. Although, we knew Peter as this iconic child, seeing him making adult decisions in with child-like wonder was terrifying. He didn’t understand the horror he was causing, and the fact he never acknowledged it at the end of the novel scares me more. He was the perfect book villain.
The novel is written in the first person, which at first threw me off, having always disliked his narrative as I didn’t understand the narrator’s identity. However, sticking with it was the best decision I made. We’re not supposed to know who the character is, simply that he was an unknown Lost boy named Jamie. However, at the end of the book, in the final chapter, his identity is revealed as the infamous villain, Captain Hook. And it was the best plot twist I’ve read in so long. I’m in awe of this book.
Overall, I adore this book, having read it in practically one sitting and it being one of my favourite reads of the year. Christina Henry is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait to delve into more of her work.