- Lost Boy.
- Christina Henry.
- 318 pages.
- Fantasy / Fairytale / Retelling / Fiction.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
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.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lost Boy is the origin story of Captain Hook aka Jamie, the very first boy taken to Neverland by Peter Pan. We all know how the ending is going to turn out, but, what we don’t know, is the story of how we get to that transformation and the catalyst that finally changes Jamie into Hook.
Jamie was the first, chosen and taken by Peter to Neverland, they have been together from the start, Peter classes Jamie as ‘special‘ and they are the best of friends, other boys come and go, Neverland can be harsh and some die, while for some the magic of Neverland doesn’t work and they grow old. There’s always been diligent Jamie by Peter’s side to have fun and play with, swimming with the mermaids, hunting and causing mischief for the pirates.
Over many many seasons, the boys taken to Neverland have always been of a certain age, replaced by Peter when needed, until he makes a mistake and brings a younger child (Charlie) back who is incapable of dealing with the hardship of Neverland. Peter realises that the boy is useless, would rather just be rid of him but Jamie is prepared to look after and help the boy adjust to life on Neverland.
This error is the beginning, the crux for what leads to the eventual outcome of the story. Causing a schism between the two friends, worsening the fracture that has been slowly building between Peter and Jamie and is the starting point for the subsequent degradation and implosion of the entire group. Jamie had found himself questioning some of Peter’s antics and actions for a while before. Only to cast those thoughts and aspersions aside for the bond that he and Peter share. With Peter’s nonchalant disregard for Charlie’s wealth fare, those hidden thoughts start to manifest once again.
Peter has an obsession with being the centre of attention, he wants everything to revolve around him and everyone in the group to play with him. He is a child who just wants to have fun and play, regardless of the consequences, it’s all just a game to him. This is why he brings the children to Neverland, to play with him, but he doesn’t care about or look after them, that role and responsibility falls to Jamie.
Jamie is like the father figure of the group, the opposite of Peter, you can see he’s growing from being a child and showing a maturity, looking both out for and after the other lost boys. He has their respect in a way that Peter doesn’t, they can tell that Jamie legitimately cares about them while Peter just uses them for his own personal amusement. You can see that Peter is jealous of this relationship and that the other boys in his eyes, take Jamie and his time spent with Jamie away from him.
Was this, too, part of growing up? Was it facing the bad things you’d done as well as the good, and knowing all your mistakes had consequences.
I really liked Jamie as the main character, Henry writes him in a way that makes you feel for him and his struggles, the inner battle he faces between his love for Peter and the realisation that Peter breaks his promises and isn’t the person he once thought.
I thought the characterisation was good throughout Lost Boy but feel that a couple of secondary characters deserve a specific mention. Firstly, Charlie, he’s sweet, innocent, naive and was taken to Neverland far too young. He’s too young to play and rough house with the older boys and as such, to Peter he isn’t any fun and is seen as nothing more than a burden to the group. He’s just a likeable young scamp who you want to be OK and for Jamie to protect him. And, secondly, the twins Fog and Nod, a couple of fun characters who are always getting into arguments and scraps with each other.
Peter, watches the children from ‘the other place‘ making sure that they fit certain criteria before he will ask them to return to Neverland with him. It’s not something that you think about, but in retrospect, it really is quite a sinister aspect and element of the story. While Peter is still a child himself, he’s taking and leading children away with promises of fun and adventure for his own use. You have to question the morality of it, as it is in a sense, abduction.
We all know the island of Neverland, the setting is, what it is and Henry does a good job of bringing it and it’s various locales to life. And, I liked the addition of the Many-Eyed to the story, the ‘monsters‘ of Neverland and a cool creation adding an extra element and terror to the island.
With Lost Boy, Henry creates a fast-paced read and chilling journey that is full of dark overtures, vivid imagery, heartbreak, loss, betrayal, emotion and some surprising twists. Really pulling the reader into the story she is telling in her dark and sinister version of a classic.
Purchase Lost Boy.
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