I cannot endorse this book highly enough and my words simply would not do it justice so here is a blurb on the book which does do it justice:

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.


Book Description

Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life. He appears to lonely, lost children—the broken, hopeless, and sexually abused—promising to take them to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive, and you never grow old. But his promised land is not Neverland. . . .

With this haunting, provocative, relentlessly thrilling reconsideration of a timeless children's classic, the acclaimed artist Brom dramatically displays another side of his extraordinary talent. Exploring the stygian blackness that gathers at the root of the beloved Peter Pan legend, he carries readers into a faerieland at once magically wondrous and deeply disturbing.

Fourteen-year-old Nick would be lying dead in a Brooklyn park—murdered by drug dealers­—had Peter not sprung out of the trees to save him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him into a strange and unsettling mist swirling around the bay. Even though he is wary of Peter's crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, nowhere in New York City is safe for him now. And what more can he possibly lose?

There is always more to lose.

Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries. He must learn to fight or die as he struggles to fit in with the "Devils"—Peter's savage tribe of lost and stolen children.

Here, Peter's dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised, tormented, and hunted, Peter moves between the worlds of faerie and man, struggling to understand what he is and where he belongs. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to kill the dreaded Captain and stop his murderous crew of "Flesh-eaters" before they blight every trace of magic left in this dying land.

Beautifully illustrated by the author with haunting portraits and indelible images, Brom's The Child Thief is a daring novel of darkest contemporary fantasy that will, at once, haunt and exhilarate any reader who agrees to follow Peter on his desperate crusade.

Parental advisory ***Please be advised this book contains the F bomb and other colorful words frequently, despite its Peter Pan theme it is not a book for children***

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How could I resist a recommendation like that???

I really liked this too! Fantasy is not generally my thing, especially not with this level of graphic violence, but I found the characters in this really interesting, and the use of the Peter Pan and Captain Hook characters to tell a whole new story was done really well. The Peter in the child thief is definitely not some charming and benign elf rescuing unloved children to take them to a fantasy world, rather a highly skilled manipulator recruiting unwitting children into his army of warriors to fight in a centuries old magical war. And many of them die. Quite horribly.

Once I got into it this had me gripped to the very last page and had me aching to read on. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Just goes to show it's good to try something different, now and again! Thanks for the tip, Angus!

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