The Child Thief is a re-telling of Peter Pan. It follows a much darker version of the tale, not surprisingly. Taking place on a magical island, the book features Peter and the group of children he has a stolen – most of them from abused, broken homes. The island isn’t as magical as it used to be, in fact, it’s a dangerous place.
Brom’s The Child Thief is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. As a retelling it expands on and does something very new with the original source material.
Turning Peter Pan into a darker character isn’t necessarily new but I think Brom does it the best. I wouldn’t call Brom’s peter evil – or good, for that matter. He’s just a very complex character capable of both terrible and great things.
The Flesh Eaters are the main villains of the story – they’re old world Christians who came to the island/Avalon, and somehow the magic turned them into deformed, cruel creatures. The imagery of them was very unique. They were one of the coolest aspects of the book.
Like Peter and the other children, the flesh eaters are complex. I like that the novel gives them some background and gives the reader a chance to decide to sympathize or hate them. It certainly isn’t easy to decide on either one.
Peter has a group of lost boys (and a few girls) that follow him, of course. Most of them are decent. A lot of focus is put on “Nick,” the only one who really questions Peter’s actions.
Character-wise my only issue was with the characterization of Sekeu, she had the potential to be a really awesome character but I felt that the novel doesn’t use her to her full potential. And it’s just sad to see a badass female character go to waste.
The Child Thief is essentially satisfying from beginning to end. In fact, I think it will end up going on my favorite list.