I listened to an audiobook version of The Child Thief.
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Originally published: August 25th, 2009
Pages: 496 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 19 Hrs and 40 Mins
Blurb by the publisher:
The acclaimed artist Brom brilliantly displays his multiple extraordinary talents in The Child Thief-a spellbinding re-imagining of the beloved Peter Pan story that carries readers through the perilous mist separating our world from the realm of Faerie. As Gregory Maguire did with his New York Times bestselling Wicked novels, Brom takes a classic children’s tale and turns it inside-out, painting a Neverland that, like Maguire’s Oz, is darker, richer, more complex than innocent world J.M. Barrie originally conceived. An ingeniously executed literary feat, illustrated with Brom’s sumptuous artwork, The Child Thief is contemporary fantasy at its finest-casting Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, even Captain Hook and his crew in a breathtaking new light.
It's such a dark and sinister take on a story we all know so well!
I remember watching the Disney adaptation of Peter Pan as a kid, and loving the magical idea of a world without adults. Somewhere where you could do whatever you wanted, to stay a playful kid forever, and go on adventures. And let’s not even get into the idea of being able to fly!!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise that pretty much every Disney adaptation of a story has roots from a much darker and more sinister story. That is the case with Peter Pan as well.
I fell in love with Brom’s writing when I read Krampus the Yule Lord. And when I heard of The Child Thief, I was immediately intrigued. I got it with one of my Audible credits and there has been no regrets!
The story follows Nick who is a kid that has fallen out a bit after his mom let a group of drug dealers move into their house. Nick steals a bag of drugs and decide that he’s running away from home. When the drug dealers come after him, he meets Peter who has a solution to all of his problems.
We then follow Nick as he ventures to Avalon together with Peter, and we immediately discover that the magical land we remember from the Disney movie is nothing like the Avalon that Brom presents to us.
They arrive at a magic place that’s been hidden by a cruel and sinister mist. The children that Peter has taken with him to Avalon are trained soldiers that has to fight dark magic and evil creatures. Nick feels betrayed and he’s questioning his thoughts about Peter and his gang.
Throughout the novel we also get to know the story of how Peter came to be the person that he is, and how he ended up in Avalon.
Brom paints a fantastic picture of a dark and scary world where kids are fighting for their lives. Evil creatures and magic are lurking around every corner, and when shit goes down, you’re not really sure who you can trust or who to root for.
The Child Thief was almost perfect! It had pretty much everything I desire in a dark fantasy story, the only thing that took away from its perfection was the fact that I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I was genuinely curious about what would happen to a lot of them, but I got no real emotional connection to them.
This could be just the timing of when I was reading it. I’m not really sure. And it could very well be that you would have a totally different experience with this novel.
But if you like fairytales and you like horror/fantasy, then I would highly recommend The Child Thief! It’s such a dark and sinister take on a story we all know so well!
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