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132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Dark, Incredibly Compelling
The Child Thief / 978-0-061-67133-3

I usually save the 'parental warnings' in my reviews until the end, but "The Child Thief", as compelling and fascinating as it is, nonetheless requires some upfront warnings. If you are thinking of buying this novel for a child, perhaps on the grounds that it is a Peter Pan story and therefore child-friendly, be warned that...
Published on July 28, 2009 by Amazon Customer

versus
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Start, Lacking Latter Half
"The Child Thief" is a quite well-written, original take on the Peter Pan story. The illustrations are an excellent complement to the story. It's very, very dark; anybody lookin for a happy ending will not enjoy this book.

14-year-old Nick lives with his mother and grandmother, who are boarding a vicious drug-dealer. None of the three want him there, but he's...
Published on November 16, 2009 by R. C. Bowman


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132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Dark, Incredibly Compelling, July 28, 2009
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The Child Thief / 978-0-061-67133-3

I usually save the 'parental warnings' in my reviews until the end, but "The Child Thief", as compelling and fascinating as it is, nonetheless requires some upfront warnings. If you are thinking of buying this novel for a child, perhaps on the grounds that it is a Peter Pan story and therefore child-friendly, be warned that this is an incredibly dark and violent novel. I'm not exaggerating when I say that nine out of every ten pages contains a depiction of rape, child molestation, violence, murder, torture, or several instances of the F-word. I certainly wouldn't say that no child or teenager on earth would be able to appreciate this novel, but I do strongly advise that you read this book yourself, beforehand, to determine whether this level of violence will be disturbing to the intended recipient.

With that out of the way, let me say that I am quick to condemn books that rely on violence, sex, and profanity in an attempt to divert the reader's attention from the fact that there is no actual plot. "The Child Thief" is not one such novel - every incidence of violence within this novel acts in service to the plot, and the end result is an incredibly compelling story that is both a re-imagining of the classic Peter Pan tale, but also remarkably true to the original in many of the details (lest we forget that Barrie's version contained quite a bit of death and murder behind the scenes).

"The Child Thief" is already being compared to novels like Maguire's Wicked, but the comparison is somewhat flimsy to my mind. Where Maguire took an evil character and re-imagined her as good (or at least 'misunderstood'), Brom has taken a traditionally good character and re-imagined him not as 'evil', but rather as 'complex'. Although Peter Pan is still an enigmatic mystery, as always, Brom has brought a humanity and complexity to the character that will haunt any reader.

Brom has taken the premise that Peter Pan steals children away to Neverland and has expanded the concept to fit within our dark reality. Here, Peter Pan does not steal away babies who fall out of their prams - he steals away children who are victims of abuse, neglect, molestation, and all the other such evils of our world that children should never have to endure. But the Neverland that Peter promises to lead these victimized children to is not an escape in the classic sense - it is supremely dangerous, and no longer in the exciting "but-we-always-escape-in-the-end" kind of danger that the Disneyesque Neverland fostered. The neglected children (here "Devils" instead of "Lost Boys", since girls are just as welcome here) are given a family and an emotionally safe haven, but every moment of their days are spent in training, in the hopes that once they leave the confines of their home they will not die immediately in this hostile world.

Along with the native monsters of Neverland, the pirates and the Captain are here, transformed by the magic of Neverland into monstrous perversions of humanity, yet Brom does not merely rely on a good-versus-evil trite tale, and here is what sets "The Child Thief" apart from the usual "re-imagining a classic character" stories. Every person and entity in "The Child Thief" is a complex character, full of good and evil impulses. The pirates capture, torture, and murder the lost children, yes, but they genuinely do not wish to be in Neverland and hope that their efforts will lead them to an escape of some kind. Peter does rescue lost and frightened children, and most of them are abjectly grateful for it, but he is recruiting children with lies and trickery to serve as cannon fodder for a war that has waged hundreds of years. There is no doubt that Peter loves the children he recruits, yet his love for them does not stop him from using them until their deaths.

Brom has woven a masterful tale here, with both the real world and the Neverland/Albion world realistically rendered, with both the good and the bad. There is not a single character in this novel which could be described as flat or two-dimensional; even the most minor and ancillary characters are vivid, complex, and contain their own unique mix of perspectives and motivations. I would label "The Child Thief" as a masterpiece for this careful characterization alone, but it is worth repeating, again, that this novel is probably the definition of a morally ambiguous novel and I don't think everyone will derive the same enjoyment out of it. For that reason, if I had to compare "The Child Thief" to another contemporary novel, I would compare it to Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, for I was equally entranced with Pullman's ability to bring moral complexity to his fictional universe, and with his ability to humanize two child-murdering villains as nevertheless loving parents, in spite of their monstrous evil.

In summary, I would deeply recommend "The Child Thief" to anyone who enjoys morally ambiguous tales with complex, three-dimensional characters. If you won't be offended by the incredibly violent and profane nature of the writing, and if you won't be upset by the characterization of a beloved childhood story character as something much less perfect and much more human, then "The Child Thief" is definitely worth looking into.

NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through Amazon Vine.

~ Ana Mardoll
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, July 28, 2009
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The Child Thief is brilliant. It's a dark and artistic masterpiece. Not for the faint of heart, or for anyone looking for something to "kill a few hours." While it does not appear long, it is deep, and the subject matter is not exactly something you can blaze through in a day.

That's not to say, however, that the writing is thick. Actually, the prose is clear, effective, and fresh. It's powerful, compelling, and gorgeous too, in its own way. It's rare that I stop to reread and savor a passage again--my idea of poetry is the blunt, short, Stephen Crane sort--but I did. Brom, the author and illustrator, can truly write.

He can also truly tell a story. It's not his story, no. This is the story of Peter Pan, brought back from the damage done by one "too many Disney films and peanut butter commercials," as Brom states in his afterword. It's Barrie's classic masterpiece given a new chance to live.

Neverland is Avalon (yes, Arthurian legend lovers, you read that right). The Lost Boys are the Devils. Peter Pan is just Peter...well, Peter the Child Thief. He is the title character of the novel; the novel is undoubtedly about him. And in fact, the characterization Brom brings to Peter is perhaps what makes this novel as brilliant as it is... the depth comes from the understanding the reader gains of Peter's past, fears, desires, motives. It's truly an artistic look at one of the most beloved literary characters.

Also among the novel's many strengths is Brom's understanding of children and the magic in both Avalon and the `real world.' His understanding and portrayal of relationships, of emotion and pain, of love--it's something deeply poetic, extremely artistic.

And so again, that is what this novel is: an artistic masterpiece, which shouldn't be so surprising, given the author's background in nothing other than art. Yet, even so, as another reviewer stated before me, it isn't for everyone. It's for a niche of people. While we the niche can hope that everyone will see this novel the same way we do, it's unlikely.
Thus, some warnings:

1. If cussing and swearing bothers you, don't even bother reading this book. It's not overdone--if it were overdone, I wouldn't have liked the book as much, but there is a surprising number of F-bombs cropping up most likely on every page.

2. This book is NOT for children, even though most of the characters are.

3. While the comparison to Gregory MacQuire (Wicked, Mirror Mirror) is completely off base in my estimation, because MacQuire's retellings are disgusting rather than artistic, this book does deal with topics such as rape and incest. Nothing is ever shown, but most of the children are victims of all sorts of abuse. Again, not for the faint of heart or for kids.

4. If you are a commercial fiction person, used to all fantasy being of the commercial realm, the more a-traditional plot line and the lack of a clear villain and clear hero might be a bit annoying. This novel is all gray shades, baby.

There are other reasons I could probably list why you wouldn't like this novel, but listing them would be a waste of both your time and mine. It would also be a disgrace to this masterpiece of a work. It was an honor and pleasure to read.

I was completely, thoroughly, and entirely impressed with The Child Thief. It deserves every point of its five stars, and any award that may come its way, as they definitely should.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Start, Lacking Latter Half, November 16, 2009
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"The Child Thief" is a quite well-written, original take on the Peter Pan story. The illustrations are an excellent complement to the story. It's very, very dark; anybody lookin for a happy ending will not enjoy this book.

14-year-old Nick lives with his mother and grandmother, who are boarding a vicious drug-dealer. None of the three want him there, but he's dangerous enough that they're all too frightened; besides, without the money they get from this boarder, they're all screwed.

Nick bears the brunt of the wrath of every adult in the household. He is frightened, angry, resentful, confused, and ultimately very sad. He's in constant danger and he has no future, and he knows both these things.

So, one fateful night when an odd boy named Peter saves his life, Nick decides to go along with it.

Peter tells wild stories; Nick believes none of them, until he quite suddenly finds himself traipsing through haunted mist. He almost dies a second time, but survives to find himself in a bizarre, destroyed Never-Never-Land known as Avalon, where the Lost Boys are the forgotten, abused, angry, and desperate. Peter rightfully chooses these children because they are the only ones willing to die in his mad campaign; also, this is the only place where, even if they die, even if they're tortured, even if the battle is hopeless, they have power. For the first time in their lives, these children have something to fight for, something they can change, something that empowers them; Brom makes it very clear just how important even a modicum of power is for abused children.

Captain Hook is a trapped man; the pirates are misguided souls just trying to get home. Peter himself is more evil than any of the traditional villains, willing to sacrifice countless young lives to achieve his own ends.

The book starts off wonderfully, but as it goes on, it lags; the climax, with witches and pirates and lost children and police battling it out, reads at times like a comedy, at others like a juvenile attempt at a fight scene. Brom seems to have lost, not momemtum, but creativity; I was very disappointed with the latter fourth of the book.It was all-too-typical fantasy fare: drawn-out, tedious magical conferences, defiance of the powers that be, bad guys who murder and torture in the name of God, fulfillment of a stereotypical quest, and a final confusing rumpus with all the bad guys and all the good guys, including the lost boys, the pirates, the typical voluptuos sorceress, and human forces all fighting in a drawn-out, much-too-long scene.

The ending, also, is a letdown; it's not that it was an unhappy, tragic ending; it was just that it was done too abruptly, too emotionlessly, and with no real reason. The story doesn't count on this event. There was no reason for a certain character to die; in fact, the revenge at the end would have been a thousand times sweeter if he had lived.

"The Child Thief" is probably worth a read to most people, but be warned: it is much darker than one might expect; it is not for children, despite the youth of the protagonist; and, though it begins beautifully and is more or less compelling throughout, the writing falls very flat, and the story's climax was unsatisfying.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT-- I repeat-- NOT for children.....unique but extremely violent, August 3, 2009
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A very fascinating retelling of the Peter Pan story. Key to Brom's vision is the evil, utterly amoral character of Peter (a stone-cold serial killer of those he sees as being cruel to the children he wants to steal). Peter relates to the suffering of lost, abused, and broken children, but is incapable of truly caring about them; instead, he tricks them into fighting for their lives in a terrifying war in Avalon. The story revolves largely around Nick, a child who has been neglected by his mother and terrorized by the drug dealer who lives with them and his cronies. Facing death in the real world, Nick follows Peter as a savior and Pied Piper of sorts, yet as soon as he has willingly followed Peter into the Mist of Avalon Nick realizes that the magical world he has entered is far, far more horrifying than the world he left behind.

I cannot overly stress my view that this is an adult novel. Killings are ugly, brutality is constant, profanity and torture and/or death can be found on most pages. The initial chapter sets a realistic tone for the book; when a father is on top of his young daughter, raping her, Peter bursts into the room and ends up murdering the father after a brief struggle. The young girl then follows Peter, hoping to escape the horror of her life, not realizing that what is to come will be even more terrifying and hopeless than what she has endured.

"The Child Thief" is highly original, dramatic, brutal, intriguing, and full of richly imagined characters. The illustrations are truly gorgeous (not too many in my advance review copy-- I would be interested to know if color illustrations or additional illustrations are found in the hardcover version to be released soon). Fans of Brom will appreciate many aspects of "The Child Thief"; however, those with low appetites for mayhem and violence may feel tired before the final chapters. While I was intrigued by the imagination Brom brought to the Peter Pan tale, I was eventually sickened by the violence of the story.

I would recommend this book to adults who are interested in a dark, unique tale; on the other hand, I feel very strongly that this would be an absolutely terrible choice for a child.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clive Barker Meets J M Barrie, August 3, 2009
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This is a grim, gruesome, dark fantasy version of Peter Pan. Brom explains in his afterword how Peter Pan is really a psychopath if you think about it; and that thought was the basis for this novel.

Peter is an oddly dressed, pointy-eared boy with a violent streak and unnatural agility. He goes around finding forsaken children, runaways, victims of abuse, and persuades them to follow him through the "Mist" to his home: the enchanted isle of Avalon. Bits of Norse, Celtic, and British mythology are woven together into a grimy, moldering tapestry. There's a swamp with a witch, there are elves and trolls and pixies (but no Tinkerbell) and there's a Captain ... but he's not Captain Hook. The men on the beach are called "Flesh-Eaters" and it is supposedly because of their predations that Avalon is slowly dying.

This book has a lot of violence and a lot of profanity. Even though the main characters are children, it is NOT a children's book. A lot of the characterization shows real insight into people's psychological motivations, but at other times the characters are really stupid. There was a tendency to be irrationally belligerent and aggressive even when it was clearly not in the characters' best interests. Maybe some people are that dumb, but a wild boy who has survived for centuries should be a little more shrewd than that. There's also a lot of moral ambiguity. The "good guys" have their flaws and their sinister motivations, and the "bad guys" turn out to be doing what anyone would do in their situation. The Captain could have really been a fascinating character, but he enters the story so late that there really isn't time for his part of it to pay off. But basically, everybody winds up being partially sympathetic except the Church men, who are unequivocally evil. I suppose Church-bashing is cool after the success of "His Dark Materials" but it comes across a bit forced. More like propaganda than a genuine condemnation. We're just supposed to hate these guys, period, so the author has them behave with such a degree of mindless villainy that it doesn't even make sense.

There's plenty of action, plenty of magic, actually a very engaging plot ... this book has all the elements of success. I should have liked it more than I did. But after finishing it, I didn't have that feeling of "This was really worth my time" that I get when I've read something GOOD. It's an okay book. It will entertain you and make you think a little, but it doesn't stand out from other fantasy/horror literature, and it's not something I would read again.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars from missprint.wordpress.com, August 21, 2009
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The Child Thief (2009) is a dark reinterpretation of the world of Peter Pan by writer and illustrator Brom. His adult novel offers a chilling alternative to the Disney version of Peter Pan which, according to the author's note, is more in keeping with the original text of Peter Pan as written by J. M. Barrie.

Brom's Peter prowls the streets of New York City each night looking for haunted, lost children that he can lure away to a secret place far away. It's impossible to actually steal a child, the mist won't allow that, but you can lead a child. That's what Peter does. In many ways a lost boy himself, Peter finds children who think they have nothing left to lose; victims of violence, abuse and neglect looking for a way out. What these lost children soon learn is that there is always something else to lose.

There have been a lot of comparisons drawn between The Child Thief and Gregory Maguire's Wicked. I can't comment on that having not read the latter novel. What I can say is that The Child Thief will make your skin crawl. Like its cover, the novel is peppered with beautiful, grim illustrations of the characters. The writing is no less bleak. Peppered with violence, cursing, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, I can see why other reviews have said this book is not for the faint of heart.

While brilliantly illustrated, the writing often felt less polished. And though certainly innovative, The Child Thief failed to enchant me. The old fairy tales, the original ones by Grimm or Andersen and apparently Barrie, were meant as cautionary tales for young children. Since then the stories have changed into entertainment: light-hearted, sugar-coated stories for boys and girls. I find, without fail, that I prefer the newer version which is probably why I could not fully embrace this novel. However the biggest problem for me is that the world of The Child Thief, possibly unintentionally, seems to be founded on the assumption that all people are amoral, opportunistic, mean and that the world they inhabit runs on violence and brutality--two assumptions I refuse to believe.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Pan, Lord of the Flies of Avalon, September 2, 2009
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This wickedly distinctive re-telling of the story of Peter Pan is certainly well beyond the Disney version.
Mixing parts of Arthurian legend with the story of Peter Pan and a spoonful of Lord of the Flies, the tale weaves itself around the Devils of Deviltree, those "rescued" children living now in the remnants of Avalon while the Lady of the Lake withers in her haven and the darker creatures of the world bore down into the heart of the land.
Filled with violence and ambiguous moral certitudes, the story wends it's way from Peters' sad infancy to his unintended arrival in Avalon. Skipping between the here and now to the past with a deft hand, Brom manages to keep the reader engaged and curious.
The artwork is sprinkled liberally enough throughout the chapters, although I would have liked to see color prints, (I have an advanced readers edition so the actual book may have been colorized) The drawings are done with much skill and patience to detail.
Let me just add that though this book is filled to bursting with action and violence, none of it seems out of place or gratuitous. And even if it is a little light on humor I did laugh pretty hard at the escalator scene near the very end of the book. (when you get to it you will too)
Not for the weak of constitution or any expecting a fluffy Disney-esque tale, but still a very good read for those willing to make their way through the mists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You've never seen a Neverland quite like this, August 16, 2009
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Brom has taken the Peter Pan mythos, turned it on its head, and in the process given us a wonderful alternative to the sterilized version we all think we know. Collecting the abused, forgotten, outcast, and runaway children of the world, Peter is a Child Thief...spiriting them away to Neverland. Drafting them as young warriors on his quest to protect the only home he has ever known, pitching them into an age-old battle that seems hopeless.

While this tale of betrayal, violence, abuse and dark fantasy is billed as a YA novel, I really dont think it is appropriate to be shelved in that section of the bookstore. Adult themes such as rape, child abuse, and other depravities abound, adding depth and subtle layers to the personality of Peter and give us a look at his motivations and need to "rescue" the children that he does.

Peter's origin is explored through the use of flashbacks and retellings, but instead of being distracting- they break up the pace of the book enough to provide a welcome alternative, pulling our mind away from the action just long enough to refresh us and leave us hungry for more- before being hurled back into the action with elves, forgotten gods, flesheaters, the hook-handed Captain, and other dark beasts.

I really enjoyed this take on Neverland and the sterile fantasy world that most children associate with the "Disney-ized" version we are so familiar with. I havent read Barrie's original version of the tale, but after this one, I happily have gone out and purchased it- who knew a story about a boy who never wanted to grow up could be so much more. Brom does a great job of weaving myth and fiction, modern horror, and cold vengance into a package worth unwrapping.

Great novel, wonderful characters, excellent plotting/pacing all add up to make this a wonderful dark gem. A word of caution however- not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach- as mentioned earlier, language and adult themes aboud in this novel and they arent suited for those of weak constitutions.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Than a Dark Retelling, October 21, 2009
As I sit here and stare into space, it dons on me that this is going to be a very difficult review to write. The release seemed to have come out of nowhere-a book written by an artist that I had scarcely heard of before. There was interest though, despite reading a short excerpt that left me rather uncertain of the whole thing. After reading the first chapter I felt the prose was workmanlike, a factor that can push me to put down a novel faster than anything else, but the story was interesting. Then there was the art. Just seeing the samples that Brom had up on his sight was more than enough to make me want the book. So I took a chance and ordered it, knowing full well that I might just end up with a rather expensive and very slight art book. I am glad I took a chance.

It is highly like that you have watched Disney's version of Peter Pan at some point, either as a child, with a child, as a fan of Disney cartoons, or just bored out of your mind on a rainy day. At some point you may have watched another version of it released in the nineties, Hook. The Child Thief has nothing to do with those. Instead it is based off the original-and darker works-by J.M. Barrie, but Brom has not created a simple dark retelling of the tale. Brom blends Celtic myth with the concept of Barrie's child thief and from this combination springs a setting that is brimming with imagination, wonder, and foreboding. This is a setting where not everything is as it seems, where the line between good guy and bad is blurred, and where old gods frolic and die.

Though I did have my reservations going into the novel because of the prose, they were quickly dissolved. Instead of the workmanlike prose I encountered in the first chapter, I was instead faced by a prose that was near-lyrical and filled with just the sort of imagery I would expect from an artist-turned-writer. The Child Thief is extremely readable, not because the prose is simple, but because it-and the story-grabbed me and refused to let go. I almost expected the novel to be bogged down with description, but thankfully that turned out to be a biased assumption and little more. Brom manages a balanced description that paints just enough of a picture-spiced with vibrant colors-to let the imagination run with it. As such, the novel is never bogged down by excessive description, nor does it skim over details.

The best part of the novel though, what I feel deserves the most praise, are the characters. Like all books you have primary characters and you have secondary characters and, like most books, the secondary characters here are not given any extraordinary amount of focus. This is so common these days that I do not bother to mark it as a negative-it has become par for the course. Still, there are secondary characters throughout the novel that are focused on, if only briefly, and when this happens... well, it managed to change my perspective of the novel completely. The main characters seem to be Peter, the iconic wild boy that just so happens to be an obsessed sociopath, and Nick, a recent addition to Peter's Devils. Nick is a skeptic and a doubt-bringer, in constant struggle with himself and the world around him. On the other hand, Peter is cocksure, a trickster, who will do anything for Avalon and the Lady of the Lake he promised to always serve. The two work extremely well off of each other, with Nick serving as the conscience that Peter lacks and Peter standing in as the wild boy Nick might become.

Nothing is ever certain or as expected in this novel. The Flesh-Eaters, a group of English immigrants and the crews of the ships they sailed on, and their war against the Faery of Avalon provides a stark realization of this truth, as do characters on both sides of the fight. This was a pleasant surprise and one that certainly elevated my estimation of the novel, but I am afraid I cannot go any further into it as it would be a definite spoiler.

Another high point of the novel was the art. Each chapter is preceded by a sketch that illustrates some scene from the chapter and each is of high quality and take up an entire page. There are also several full-color glossy illustrations tucked into the middle of the book that detail a handful of the characters found within the novel. The novel is almost worth buying for the art alone, but that this novel is very near to fantastic is a definite reason to pick it up as well.

I found this review hard to write because I have a lot of praise of the novel, but not much in the way of complaints. My major complaint was the use of CAPS when a character yelled and the characters yelled more than enough to make it annoying. It is not something I see a lot of these days, thankfully, which probably makes it stand out all the more when it does appear. Do not like it at all. My second complaint has to do with the cursing, but it is not really my complaint. I have nothing against cursing in novels and it did not bother me at all, but I can see others being bothered by the abundance of four letter words.

The Child Thief is a dark tale that still manages to be chock full of wonder and imagination, while including more than its share of violence, foul mouths, and unbalanced minds. The main characters as well as some of the more prominent secondary characters are undeniably human with faults, doubt, and real emotions. Near-lyrical prose and an interesting story do a lot to lure the reader into the pages and the trap that waits amongst them, forced to continue on and on until finally there is only the last page to turn. And of course, the art is a wonderful supplement to the novel. If I was forced to chose a book at this moment to name the best I've read this year, I do believe this would be that book. I am serious when I say this: Do yourself a favor and buy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Artist, EXCELLENT AUTHOR, August 4, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Is there anything Brom can't do?! I loved this book. I love the fact that he read the original Peter Pan story, and explored the darker perspectives of the tale that Disney turned into a "happy fairytale."

Peter lures runaways - usually kids who have already been through hell (abuse, rape, etc) - by offering them sanctuary away from the grown-ups that have hurt them...but he doesn't tell them about the dangers of the Mist, or the war he is waging for his Lady (Brom's version of the Lady of the Lake). He promises them a new family, but he doesn't discuss how brutal their new life will be, or how many lost children have died before them.

If I didn't know any better, I would think that the "pirates" were the lost colonists of Roanoke. In any case, they are New World colonists who were trapped on Avalon by the Mist. During their time on the island, they have been twisted both physically and mentally, so that there's barely any humanity left among the Flesh-Eaters.

Even the fairies associated with Peter are not creatures of light and joy, but mean-spirited pixies that torment anyone that lets his or her guard down. For example, Peter's Devils have to sleep in cages to protect themselves at night from the pixies.

It's tempting to think of Peter and the inhabitants of the island as evil tricksters, but when we catch glimpses of Peter's past, such as his separation from his mother, you soon realize that nothing is as simple as good or bad.

Most of the story is told through the experiences of Nick, a kid who thinks he has no choice but to follow Peter into the Mist. However, the longer he stays in Avalon, the more Nick wonders if his previous life was as bad as he thought.

Apparently, Brom has also written The Devil's Rose, which I plan to look into, as I was so impressed with Brom as an author. I recommend The Child Thief to anyone who likes a dark fantasy.
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The Child Thief: A Novel
The Child Thief: A Novel by Brom (Paperback - August 17, 2010)
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