“All children grow up, except one…”
From the back cover:
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.
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. He wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend.
Jamie was the first, and favourite, of Peter’s Lost Boys; Jamie knows Peter better than anyone; Peter is not the boy we thought he was and Captain Hook is not a villain. Narrated by Jamie, this novel tells the true story of Peter Pan and I enjoyed every minute of it!
This novel’s success lies mostly in its brilliant cast of characters – Jamie, the book’s narrator, is so likeable and you can’t help but admire his determination to protect the boys on the island and you really root for him as the story progresses. Peter, the villain in this retelling, comes across as extremely unlikeable, yet his character is equally as brilliant as Jamies, he’s carefree – he wants to have fun and stay young forever with Jamie at his side, what’s so wrong with that, so what if a little blood must be spilt for that to happen.
That above line may be a little bit of an understatement – a lot of blood was spilt, it was violent, very violent – we’re talking Lord of the Flies violent at times – this is definitely a retelling for adults! As a matter of fact, I’d recommend this book for fans of Lord of the Flies, not just for the violence but because the two books have a very similar theme of children attempting to govern their own society and what can and does go wrong.
In contrast to the violence, which was used extremely well to show how the boys survive on the island, and just how little disregard Peter has for the lives of others, were moments of such compassion and friendship. Combined, these elements made for a wonderfully dark, slightly disturbing and all-round enjoyable retelling of Peter Pan.
Henry told such a powerful story, I am now a fan of Captain Hook! This sinister retelling really worked for me – when I was reading this book, I had no thoughts of the classic tale, I was fully absorbed in this plot. I was happy to see little miss Tinkerbell feature in the story too. Henry is a talented writer and she really makes you believe in the narrative and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.