My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: July 4th, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Dark Retelling, Survival, Friendship, Betrayal, Violence
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. Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
Forget everything you know about Captain Hook.
Before he was a ruthless, heartless pirate, he was a boy named Jamie who befriended Peter Pan.
Until Peter Pan betrayed him.
Christina Henry is known for her dark retellings that surprise as much as they shock. This story is violent and unexpected, but also full of heart.
Because Jamie is a protector. It’s his love for Peter Pan that made him the cruel pirate that everyone knows. This book shows us how that happened; how Jamie discovered Peter Pan’s true identity and woke from the stupor the latter put him in.
I couldn’t believe how much I cared for Jamie. He is reasonable, calm, sensitive and caring himself. Peter Pan may be the one who finds lost boys and brings them to the island, but Jamie takes it upon himself to make sure they are able to find their place within the group.
When Peter Pan is not around, he is the leader.
This certainly is not the tale you read when you were a child. While it is violent, serious and dark, as mentioned, it is not exactly gruesome or a nightmare enabler. Christina Henry does not describe the deaths in detail to paint us a bloody picture—believe me, if that had been the case, I would not have been able to finish this book, seeing that I do not love horror.
An impressive and very interesting retelling. Not only did it make me look at Captain Hook and Peter Pan differently, but it managed to spark a newfound love of dark retellings within my soul.
Who needs happily-ever-afters?
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