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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

The Child Thief - Brom This was a very interesting retelling of the story of Peter Pan, which also draws on the mythology of Avalon. The Child Thief is dark - the author has stripped away all of Barrie's lightness and left the core of the story intact of a boy who steals children in the dark.

The story begins in modern New York City, in the bedroom of an abused girl. Peter, the boy with golden eyes, arrives just in time to save her from being sexually assaulted. He entices her to follow him to Neverland.

This is not Barrie's Neverland, though. Brom's Neverland is a dying place, inhabited by demons, and Peter seeks to be it's savior. The children he steals are intended to be his army, to help him save Avalon from the flesh-eaters, and restore Avalon to health.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away. Suffice it to say that Brom does not pull his punches. There is death in this book, and it is not an awfully big adventure. Peter is even more amoral than the original Peter Pan, and frankly lacks the childlike qualities of Barrie's Peter. The children he steals are not beloved, upper class children taken from pretty nurseries. They are modern children living in danger and poverty. They are very nearly feral.

Neverland itself is a place of danger. Real danger. There are no Disney-esque mermaids swimming in a pretty lagoon. It is inhabited by men who have been twisted into demons, by ogres and fairies and witches who seek to steal eyes and bodies and souls.

The Child Thief is a long book, at over 500 pages. It does drag a bit in the middle, but the ending makes up for the slow middle section. It doesn't appear to me that Brom has any intentional of writing a sequel, although he easily could given how the story ends. It is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in the story of Peter Pan.