The Child Thief

The Child Thief

Book - 2009
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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.

Publisher: New York : EOS ; Enfield : Publishers Group UK [distributor], 2009.
ISBN: 9780061671333
0061671339
Call Number: BROM
Characteristics: x, 481 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Subjects: Peter Pan (Fictitious character) -- Fiction.
Child soldiers -- Fiction.
Abused children -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.

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WitheringRosa
Sep 27, 2017

This book twists your ideal Peter Pan story, and molds it into what it has been from the very beginning! Gritty with dark undertones, this book will really make you question "Was Peter Pan truly a hero?"

t
theTaoofKen
Jun 16, 2016

I read Krampus, and was so taken with Brom's storytelling, that I HAD to try Pan. I was not disappointed. Pan presents a dark side to the tale of Peter Pan, and it grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go for the entirety of the book. Brom has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I highly recommend this book.

b
bookswithbrooke
Mar 31, 2016

Rating: 6/5 stars

After being recommended this book 2 years ago by my friend Shuichi, I can’t praise it enough. The Child Thief by Gerald Brom is nothing like your watered down Peter Pan novels. The Child Thief is a dark, complex retelling and is not for children. Brom uses violence and fear to drive his story of immortality and the dangers of deception home.

The story follows a young man named Nick who is whisked away by a dashing odd teenager named Peter after he is almost killed. Nick is taken to a land known as Avalon and is trained to be a “Devil” and fight the “Flesh eaters” who are threatening the land and their Lady.

The characters are complex. None of them are good, none of them are bad. One of my friends told me they remind him of the Game of Thrones characters in that way. Their morality is warped a bit, but they aren’t necessarily good or bad. The characters are just that, characters. Growing and learning how to handle situations with every experience and trial they face.

Peter is not only a master manipulator but a very complex teenager with a twisted morality. He uses immortality, never growing old and adventure to kidnap children so that they may fight a war for his world. Despite him being a complete jerk in that way, he has a redeeming quality of loyalty and some decency to do the right thing in scary and hard times.

After I balled my eyes out, I sat down myself and contemplated what Brom was trying to tell us through this novel. I personally believe that every good author has some drive to their book and wants the reader to learn something from it. One thing I did learn is that you can’t trust everyone. People will lie and deceive you. Humanity is corrupt like that.

However, I believe the concept of mortality can be learned from this novel. That to ignore the concept of mortality and how we are set to die is to become a fool. We have to accept our morality and the idea that we have to “grow up” in some ways or another. Adulthood is mostly inevitable, despite this idea of never growing up that most of us wish for.

Overall, this book is brilliant in every way. Gerald’s storytelling and illustrations give this book new life and make the reader think. The concept that Neverland (or in this case Avalon) isn’t all it’s so sought out to be is, in my opinion, a very rare and interesting one. Brom did a brilliant job as always and I always look forward to reading more of his stuff. He is, after all, one of my favorite (if not my favorite) authors of all time.

FindingJane Jan 21, 2016

I always thought the original Peter Pan creation had a subtle air of menace threading its way through it. Barrie’s Peter lurks at people’s windows and steals away their children while the parents are sleeping or gone. Peter lures them with promises of fairies and pirates while glossing over the dangers inherent in his mythical kingdom. He gives them dust so that they’re flying and thinking happy thoughts (we’ve already got drugs like that; I think it’s called LSD).

So it doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine something truly sinister behind J. M. Barrie’s original story of a boy who refuses to grow up. Brom conjures up a truly scary realm, one home to any number of child-eaters, monsters and dread queens. But the truth behind Peter’s promises and this horrifying realm lie deeper than any tale of mere good and evil. Brom takes us behind the characters, their motivations, their reasonings, the things that make them flesh and blood beings rather than cardboards creations. We get two stories of what plunged this world into chaos, gloom and misery, both told from the unyielding viewpoints of beings literally unable to change their nature, natures so diametrically opposed that they can’t help but fight to destroy each other.

This volume comes with handsome illustrations, as well as color plates of some of its major characters. They make this a magnificent coffeetable book, something to share with adults and children.

“The Child Thief” is a book of tragedy, loss, grimness and epic grandeur. It transcends mere faery glamour by liberally coating it with mess, dirt and gore. Brom’s Neverland isn’t one for human adults but it’s no place to rear children either. Read this saga if you like your fables with a touch of grit.

Levi_Hayes Oct 27, 2015

This book was really long, which was both good and bad. It covered a lot more stuff than I thought it would and the surprises were practically endless. After getting to the 3/4 point in the book, the end of every chapter caused me to have to rethink how the book would end and even then I was still wrong. The ending still surprised me and I was actually a little disappointed by it, too. Peter is a strong character but I also liked Nick and wished he'd been in the book more. And I can't even talk about Ulfger, really I could have done without him. I'm not sure how to feel about the Captain since I came at this from the Peter Pan angle where the Captain is actually evil. Having him be so neutral kind of blew some of the magic out of it for me and made his motivation and even the point of the book a bit shallower. Also wasn't prepared for all that gore...
Despite the major problems, the action and underlying tone of the book--not to mention the illustrations and the idea of a living island with its web of intertwined nature--were really good, and the time I spent reading this book didn't feel wasted at all.

jeffrc May 11, 2012

Great read!

c
cham
Aug 03, 2011

I could not put the book down, it's like nothing I've ever read before. The only thing that disappointed me, was that a certain character died. I would of liked a happier ending but Brom decided to be more realistic in showing the brutality of fae and men-kind. Overall, it was a fantastic read, highly recommended.

t
taelis
May 31, 2011

Finished May 31, 2011. Overall, an excellent book, Peter was eerily likable and his contagious smile catchphrase always made me grin; it truly was catchy. A bit violent for my tastes, but the whole world was quite fascinating, especially considering all the magic realms that were included in the book. I don't think that some of the characters had to die, and at the end of the book I was left a little lost; what happened to the Lady? Where would Peter go next? But the concept was great, illustrations were pretty good, and in general this was a nice read.

i
inkblot
Apr 07, 2011

A fantastically dark re-telling of Peter Pan intertwined with various myths and legends set in modern Manhattan and a frighteningly more sinister "Neverland" known here as Avalon. With rich writing filled to the brim with magic and excitement, The Child Thief is a real page turner. There are descriptions of graphic violence and sexual themes so I would reccomend it for teenagers and up.

c
cynthiabartley
Jan 18, 2010

this was a wonderful book, exceptionally written and extremly captivating, although i would not reccomend it to children under 12 due to graphic violence and sexuality in the novel.

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inkblot
Apr 07, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

i
inkblot
Apr 07, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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inkblot
Apr 07, 2011

inkblot thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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taelis
Jun 01, 2011

"... and the stars winked back, for Peter's smile is a most contagious thing."

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