Daniel Andrlik The Child Thief

I admit that I approached this book with trepidation. In the past, I have encountered a number of attempts to retell the Peter Pan story, most of them spectacularly bad. Add in the fact that the author only goes by a single name, and alarm bells begin to ring.

I was pleasantly surprised. What I found was a dark, tense and well written piece of fiction that successfully reinvents Peter Pan, while still holding true to the core elements of the original. Brom doesn't cheat. Peter is an unpredictable and violent figure, who is clearly borderline insane. However, Brom also demonstrates quite clearly that Peter is a pawn of greater forces, and the enemy that he is being pitted against is truly horrifying. With this in mind, you might almost forgive him for stealing the abused children of the world in order to serve as infantry in the battle, but the author rightly refuses to let Peter off that easy. You are confronted with the terror the children feel, and that is what makes this novel work.

And if that wasn't enough, it comes in a beautiful hardcover edition with artwork from the artist himself. It's definitely worth a read, so if you hear the same alarm bells I did, cover you ears. This book is worth it.

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