Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend. Peter Lies – Christina Henry.
I am a huge fan of Peter Pan. Huge. I’ve written multiple essays on the story, including my dissertation. I have watched Hook and Peter Pan, Disney version and not, countless times, and I’m not ashamed to say that I will watch Hook over and over again until the sun comes up. It’s one of the best films ever!
And so, when I saw this new book flying around my social media channels, I was definitely intrigued. I am obsessed with all things Neverland and so if there was a new story about the magical island, I had to have it.
I was not disappointed. It is extremely different in the way that the story is told, and yet it is not. I still believe the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is a dark story, but through inferences and foreshadowing. This story of the lost boys is much darker, in a plainer view with bloodied swords, terrible games and a wickedness and hatred like no other. It is fast-paced that proves for a quick read: you won’t want to put this book down.
Peter brings the lost boys to a place of everlasting fun with no rules and no adults and no pain, a place where they won’t grow up and become like the adults who abandoned them when they were small. Or, so they thought. We see a very different side to the famous story that children everywhere love. We see it through Jamie’s eyes, who is Peter’s very first friend, and the second best boy on the island.
Jamie is the boy who looks after all of the smaller boys: making sure they are fed, watered, cleaned, safe and all the necessities that children need in order to survive. Peter, on the other hand, does not care about his playmates – for that is all they are to him. Playthings. Once they die, or get sick, he does not care about them for he can only focus on those he is surrounded by now and thus does not care about many of the boys he stole in the night.
The characterisation of Peter is deeply complex, just as the characterisation of Jamie is too. In their own minds, they are the ones who are right, the ones who must be obeyed but in various ways. It is Peter’s island; there is no doubt about that. He was the first boy there and he knows the island best. However, his games – and his need of Battle and killing – illustrate that he does not care about his boys but he wants them to love him so much that they would die for him if it came to that. On the other hand, Jamie is a boy who has a red fury deep within him, who sees red at a split-second’s notice. He is dangerous. He has killed more pirates than he can remember. Nevertheless, he loves all of the boys. He wants to protect them from the pirates, and even from Peter who is more cunning and devious than the stupid old pirates.
Peter is a child. Jamie does not want to be any longer.
Death and destruction come to the children’s lives in the most gruesome of ways. Henry doesn’t shy away from giving us the gravest details of how some of the children meet their end, including slicing and dicing and screaming and squealing, with a burning desire in their murderer’s eyes.
This book gives us the perfect story, giving us all the answers we had ever speculated about in the tale of Peter Pan. You will find yourself wondering if Peter and his great adventures are just as fun, or deliriously creepy and what is really going on in that head of his.
With an inventive mind that just keeps on giving, you’ll find yourself wanting to read more about Jamie’s story of betrayal written by the gloriously talented Christina Henry.
Have you read Lost Boy? Are you intrigued by reading Jamie’s side of the story?
I really want to read Christina Henry’s other books about Alice and the Red Queen. I bet they’re just as daring and terrifying.
Love, Faye xo
This book was kindly gifted to me by Titan Books. Views are completely my own.