*Lost Boy will be released Tuesday, July 4th!*
Lost Boy by Christina Henry. Berkley Books, 2017. 304 pages. Paperback.
**I received a copy of Lost Boy in exchange for an honest review. This has no bearing on my feelings for the book.**
Despite not being a huge fan of Peter Pan (the Disney version, anyway) growing up, I've grown really fond of Peter Pan-inspired retellings/reboots/etc. in the past few years, and I was so excited to see Lost Boy on NetGalley - even more so when I got the email telling me that I was approved to read it. It did not let me down at all! This is a dark, brutal story that is everything I crave in retellings like these. Some of my favorite retellings are those that are dark and twisty and take classic stories, lands, and characters into new territories that retain the magic of the original, but add in so much more. This was why I loved Heartless by Marissa Meyer and Tiger Lily so much - they took the classic stories and just completely flipped them. Lost Boy did very much the same, as it is quite a divergence from the ever-popular Disney version and even the original by J.M. Barrie.
Captain Hook has always been one of the main characters from Peter Pan that has most fascinated (Tinkerbell and the mermaids being the others), and Jamie was such a fascinating rendition of this character. He was very real and flawed. He wanted to do good and as a protector to the boys, but he had his own temper and his own tendency towards violence. And there's the fact that as much as he hated Peter, there he was however many years later, still caving to his every request and whim - of course, there are reasons he is trapped under Peter's 'rule,' but it does bring an interesting angle to the story.
The description of Peter was also fantastic and so fitting for some of the images I've had of Peter in my own interpretations. He's this completely unsympathetic 'villain' that is just so true to his character: a boy that insists on staying young forever, living on an island where only young boys and absolutely no girls or adults are allowed, wanting to play and fight all the time? Yeah, I don't think that's someone many of us would want to be around. Peter is awful, but also rather clever and mysterious, and he was developed wonderfully.
The remaining characters were no less developed or interesting than Peter or Jamie. Sal, Nod, Fog, and Charlie my favorites of the children and were all also uniquely developed. Nod and Fog are twins and, to me, the quintessential fit for a place like Neverland. They're just boys who never want to grow and don't mind having a leader like Peter Pan to take care of them. The rest of the boys seem okay with the situation at times, but there does seem to be a bit of lingering suspicion among them regarding the entire situation.
Lost Boy is very much focused on specific character relationships and developments. There are major events that occur, but they aren't really the focus -- it's more about how the characters react and how each event changes the dynamics, even if only ever so slightly. There is meaning in every glance, every touch, every movement - whether it is realized or not, not one action is meaningless.
I also thought the backstory of Jamie and Peter's friendship was really well-written, especially with how slowly the truth of their relationship was revealed and the impact it had. I liked how Neverland and the Other Place (aka, where we all live) existed in relation to one another, as I'm always interested in how alternate places are developed in stories.
Overall, I've given Lost Boy five stars. I'm a huge fan of these types of stories and this one was everything I wanted.
The lovely people over at Berkley Books have been kind enough to provide me with one copy of Lost Boy for a giveaway!
**PLEASE NOTE: This is a US-ONLY giveaway. Please also be aware that I will be forwarding your mailing address to the publisher for them to send you a copy. Your personal information will be used in no other way than to send to the publisher to send you your prize if you win.
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