Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Lost Boy

Christina Henry

The author of Alice takes readers through a dark tale of Peter Pan, who turns his best friend into his nemesis, Captain Hook.

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From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.
 
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. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
 
Peter lies.


Advance Galley Reviews

This is not my usual type of book but I have always loved the Peter Pan story from the Disney version to the Cathy Rigby musical. It is more of an origins story of Peter and his friend who ultimately becomes his enemy as Captain Hook. Peter Pan is definitely the sweet innocent of the Disney version...more Lord of the flies. I enjoyed this version from Captain Hook's perspective about the boy who will never grow up. This wa s an easy and engaging fantasy novel.

I love a good retelling, and this revision of the Peter Pan tale is great, with its focus on the back story of Captain Hook, nee Jamie. Jamie is effectively the Elphaba of this tale, if you've read *Wicked* by Gregory McGuire. "If I'm the villain, it's because Peter made me one, because Peter needs to be the shining sun that all the world turns around." Peter, on the other hand (pun intended), is portrayed as a sociopath. "He didn't bring magic and fun and eternal youth. He brought fear and madness and death, trailing blood behind him ...".

Great twist on the original story and tells how Hook went from best friend Jamie to enemy Captain Hook. It took me a little while to get into the story, but I really enjoyed it. Not your Disney version Peter Pan!

When I was young the story of Peter Pan always unnerved me a bit - Henry's rendition of the Peter Pan tale captures the heart of those feelings I had as a child. There always seemed to be something not quite right about this group of mischievous children never growing up and fighting off adults or adulthood. As in the childhood tale, Peter Pan is at the center of action... "Lost Boy" does a marvelous job of suspense building for the character of Peter - as a reader you begin to understand the truth behind Peter's ways just as it is unfolding to "his" favorite boy. Excellent retelling of a well known story: good plot buildup, strong characters, and adequate suspenseful horror.

Lost Boy is a great addition to Peter Pan retellings. It tells the story from Captain Hook's point of view in the time when he was still a boy who loved Pan. It gave you some perspective on why Captain Hook hates Peter Pan, as well as awful side of a boy who refuses to grow up and just wants to play games all the time.

Dry For something as fanciful as a story in Wonderland, this was quite dry. There was description, but it was lack-luster and empty. Or it was so thick that I couldn't muddle it all out. There seemed to be quite a few tangents of unnecessary information (that didn't seem to be in appropriate voice for the character, either.) And that's just the writing style. The actual story itself seemed to be left wanting, as well. It read more like an auto-biography, a recounting of past events, than an adventure story. Frankly, it just felt like a random dull read. Pacing Slow. This did not really help the story either because on top of being a little on the dull side, it was also quite slow. It had a large build up, but didn't really pick up from there. It kept a rather slow, plodding pace through, really, the entire book. Even what was intended to be the climax didn't have the appropriate 'umpf' to give it speed or tension. Underwhelming The main characters - Peter and Jamie - were really the only developed characters in the book. The rest were there, served a purpose, but weren't truly fleshed out themselves. (Issues with that.) But I'm more annoyed by how... flat(?) Peter and Jamie were. They had obvious characteristics, but... it was like they were never hitting extremes or felt fully-developed (which is like the opposite of what I just said.) But what I'm trying to say is that they were fleshed out, but they didn't feel fleshed out. They just felt hollow. Tie-In I do like the way this retelling managed to implement all the elements of the original Peter Pan story, but still keep it original. It stayed true to its inspiration, but made it a little less fanciful and a little more realistic and gritty. (Though, I still would've preferred more grit. It kind of felt like that was subdued, as well. :/ )

"Once I was young, and young forever and always, until I wasn't. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan." There are many tellings and retelliings of Peter Pan. The good Pan (Disney), the bad Pan (Once Upon a Time), the funny Pan (Hook), and so on. I have no read, heard or seen them all, but this one definitely is a good, dark and bloody addition to the Peter Pan Collection. "Peter will tell you that this story isn't the truth, but Peter lies. I loved him, we all loved him, but he lies." This retelling happens way before the classic known story of young Peter Pan and the villainous Captain James Hook, that most everyone knows. This telling, however, tells the story of Jaime, Peter's first and favorite Lost Boy, and of what happened to make him become Peter's legendary enemy. It tells of that time between between being a child and an adult. Where we begin to grow up and stop seeing the magic in things, stop trusting as much and start questioning more, seeing things as they truly are. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but this book seriously brought out the feels in me. Especially for the main character, Jaime (Captain Hook), making you understand the vengeful pirate that much more. I enjoyed this book. It isn't too long, and is a decently easy read, it has its slow points to build the story, but most books do. It is dark and bloody, loving and sad, full of fun and adventure, all at the same time. It is definitely not your Disney fairy tale. "Peter will say I'm a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend. But I told you already, Peter lies."

The first few pages of this book had me hooked, but after that, it took around 70 pages to get going. Even then, it was a bit slow. I really liked the idea of telling Peter Pan and Captain Hook's backstory, but I just wanted more from this book. Even though it was mostly about their relationship, we saw very few conversations between them one on one. I would've really liked to see that. Towards the end, the book picked up. I was much more interested once Jamie started to remember how he got to Neverland, as well as Peter's role in it. The book ends in a way that makes me think this could turn into a series. I might be interested in reading the next book, since I felt like most of this book was just a buildup to the real fight between Peter and Jamie, and ultimately Jamie's transformation to Captain Hook. We got a little bit of this at the end, but I was still left wanting more.

I loved this alternative story of Peter Pan. This story was a page tuner easy to read and thrilling. The best thing I like was how the author showed how Peter really thinks everything is a game. Like raiding pirates and battling each other. Meanwhile some of the boys die and Peter don't show any feelings. Don't want give to much away. But again I loved it I'll be buy this book when it comes out and looks as though there can be many following story's to come. ????????????

There really aren't words to do this book justice. This story is phenomenal, beautiful and heartbreaking. If you've ever felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing in the Peter Pan story, Lost Boy is the book you've been waiting to read.

I usually do not read this type of book, however, I felt it was such a great spin on the original story of Peter Pan. It made me think that this is the way it could have happened. So much fun. Was a little slow in the beginning with all of the background, but soon had me hooked.

I thought the book was ok. But I read a similar children's version of the story called "Hook" (I believe that's the title). There were some small differences to the story. My library will buy it but I don't know if I would recommend.

Peter lies. I was hooked straight from the prologue. This is a dark, twisted version of Peter Pan that makes Peter the villain and Captain Hook the protagonist. This story is full of blood and betrayal along with monsters, fairies, and of course pirates. If you're a Peter Pan fan, this is a great twist on the story we all know and love.

This was a lot of fun. I am not really someone who reads a lot of fairy tale retellings but the idea of this one really appealed to me. I really don't know a whole lot about the original Peter Pan story besides what I know from Disney which was probably one of the things that made me want to pick this book up. It did start out a bit slow for me and I was able to set it aside but once I really got going, I didn't want to put it down. This was really a great read. I have a weakness for villains but Jamie really doesn't feel like a villain in this story. I really enjoyed seeing Peter Pan, the island, and the other boys from Jamie's point of view. Jamie was the first boy that Peter brought to the island and he is the favorite. He takes care of the others and keeps things in line. For a boy that will never grow up he is really very mature. Peter wasn't the lovable innocent child that I know from the Disney movie. Not at all. Peter was cunning and thought only of himself. He brings boys to the island so that he will forever have playmates and he wants them all to love him. That doesn't mean that he cares about them all that much because if they die or get hurt he can just go and get more boys. Peter wants things the way that he wants them and he has all of the power on the island so the boys follow his lead. The story had a lot of exciting moments. I was happy to see the things that I remember from my limited knowledge of Peter Pan including the pirates, the tree, and mermaids. I was also thrilled to see a few surprises along the way. This was definitely not a Disney movie and some of the scenes were actually quite violent. There were plenty of characters to like and a few to hate. Once the book hit the mid-point the action really didn't let up until the final page. I would recommend this book to others. I thought it was a really well done story with great characters. This is the first book by Christina Henry that I have read but I hope to read more in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

Amazing story. It is a slow beginning, but riveting look inside the dynamics of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. I am a fan of ABC's Once Upon a Time, but find this Jamie even more lovable. You can truly feel from his perspective and how much he really wanted to be loved.

This book was so good!! It's definitely a must read! I couldn't put it down because I loved every minute of it. So happy to see a more adult version of the classic Peter pan and here Jamies aka hooks side of the story!

I cannot say enough great things about this book. I loved this version of Captain Hook and Peter Pan so much. Christina Henry has a great mind, and I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who wants a different version of the classic fairytale. This story is dark, definitely not one for littler ears, but appropriate for junior high on up, or if you are more conservative, high school and up. The story opens with Jamie, Peter's right hand man and father to all the other lost boy's. He runs the show, helping the boys deal with Peter and maintaining some sort of structure. The story is his and how he ends up growing up and what becomes of him. Thank you to Penguin Random House for the ARC in exchange for a review.

Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan and Captain Hook became enemies? If so, this story is perfect for you. Henry takes all your unanswered questions and weaves us a plot that changes our perspective forever. I was absolutely hooked from the beginning sentence all the way until the end (get it?). Lost Boy shows a sinister side of Peter. Now I do want to preface this and say that I have rarely watched Peter Pan. It never intrigued me really as much as the others, so I am definitely not a die-hard Peter Pan fan. But back to Peter’s characterization, I thought it was phenomenal. Not only is Peter charismatic, but he is manipulating, childish, and brilliant. Peter is such a mastermind, while he has a possessiveness that I associate with immaturity, he has another side to him that is cunning and deceptive. While I appreciated Peter’s character, and the depths of its complexity, I really enjoyed the character of Jamie, our protagonist. I think it’d be quite difficult to dislike him, because we find out straight from the prologue, that he finds himself ‘mis-villainized’. Where Peter is deceiving, Jamie is caring: especially for the boys whom Peter has chosen, but have disappointed him. While Jamie is a skilled killer, there is a tenderness to his actions, as they revolve each other in a toxic friendship. I think there is something universal about the story of Peter Pan as we all long for a nostalgic past: a time we had no responsibilities and were free to pursue our whims. But we do all grow up, or most of us, and we have to accept the challenges and duties that come with it. But this story takes that narrative and further it, by transforming this story into one about a toxic relationship, an emotionally abusive one, in which there are secrets, lies, and intense emotions. While most friendships can involve secrets, betrayal, and even manipulation, Peter and Jamie’s dark dance, which is clear even from the film, is one that transcends the ordinary. There are some very real questions asked of us in this book, such as: what do we do when our leaders fail to lead? And how can we deal with friends who do not have our best interests in heart? What do we do with revenge? What does it mean to be grown up? How do we grow up? What happens when we lose faith in our role models? And finally, how do you make a hero or a villain?

While I was not totally enchanted by this tale, it was an enjoyable read. It had much of the feel of the original Pan story - dark and ofttimes violent - but with a unique spin I was captured by. As with many Peter Pan retellings, Peter is the villain of this story, and you certainly find yourself siding with the Lost Boys and even the Pirates to a small extent. Jamie made for a perfect MC and having it told in first person narrative gave much insight into his mind. The drawback for me was how much time was spanned for a relatively short book; weeks were pared down to a handful of sentences, causing some character development to fall lacking. Overall, however, this was a good read and I would certainly look towards more from this author.

I hate Peter Pan. I have been waiting and waiting for this book after enjoying other books of Henry's and I'm excited that its here! Thank you so much for the chance to review! The Prologue tells you so much. Its what you expect from the book blurb but I had to show it to every one of my friends that wants to read Lost Boy. Hold on its a crazy ride. The book had me on my toes most of the time. This book was MUCH darker than Alice or The Red Queen. I wasn't sure at points if I was going to be able to finish the book. My issue was SO MUCH violence involving kids. But being Peter Pan, what did I expect. I think if I approached this as if they were adults, I wouldn't be so haunted. My biggest fear didn't come true - so that's a plus but that doesn't mean it wasn't that dark. The difference between Alice and Lost Boy is that in Alice, the "good guys" didn't really die. They do here. A lot of them. Its haunting, troubling, and yet still gripping and entertaining. Would I read this book? YES. Would I recommend this book? To a lot of people, but with strong warning! I definitely agree that I won't be able to watch the Disney version the same anymore!

I have read Christina Henry's 'Alice' Chronicles, including 'Alice' and 'Red Queen,' which similarly offer a darker, edgy interpretation of familiar tales, characters, and settings. While I was expecting something similar from 'Lost Boy' - and I was not disappointed in that expectation - 'Lost Boy' is by far my favorite of Henry's dark fairy tale novels. Through the perspective of Jamie, we get to know that character intimately, as well as gaining a new, more complicated look at Peter Pan, which is gradually transformed through Jamie's changing perspective, experiences, and responses. The book explores all the darker elements of the story, tapping into readers' recognition of familiar elements and (at times delightfully morbid) curiosity. 'Lost Boy' is a compelling story, with rich and interesting characters, that ushers the reader through a fantastic process of dawning realization unmatched by many other works in the increasingly popular 'retold tales' tradition.

While I wasn't personally a fan of the writing style, namely instances of gratuitous foreshadowing and a tendency toward the dramatic, I still found the plot intriguing and the characters interesting in their exploration of how we choose and revere our leaders, even when and despite the moments we question their decisions. The original fairy tale is still there if you squint a little, but the book does not set out to redeem a villain and explain why he is the way he is. Jamie never becomes a villain—instead, Peter Pan is the one who puts on a new, almost unrecognizable mask of tyranny and careless cruelty. While the grimdark retelling of fairy tales has become a trope in recent years, Lost Boy still contains moments of vulnerability and extreme tenderness, transporting the story to a world where faith and trust are still possible (pixie dust optional).

Excellent retelling of the story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. I loved how dark and raw the character of Peter Pan was written. This version is definitely for adults; it is scary and full of action. This is the first book I've read by this author, and now I want to read everything she has ever written. I will never be able to watch Disney,s Peter Pan in the same way. I would recommend this to anyone!

Christina Henry. Christina, you rocked my world with this in depth background of the Lost Boys on Peter's Island. It was as hard to breathe as it was to turn away from the pages. You don't have to love the tale of Peter Pan to enjoy this descriptive behind the scenes look of Peter's world from the point of view of his best friend turned mortal or not so mortal enemy. Your heart will be broken and the next time you watch Peter Pan with children, you might just feel a little differently about Captain Hook.

An extremely dark and eye opening prequel to the story of Peter Pan that we all know. It is in its essence a deeply psychological exploration of the island and its inhabitants. Exposing many of the mysteries to its existence, and the brutal secrets that hold sway over the characters we learned to love (or hate) in our childhood.

I really liked the dark telling of Peter Pan. I had always thought it was creepy that children were taken from their home to neverland. The book started a little slow, but once it started bringing more of Peter's background story, it was hard to put down. I will definitely look into more of this author's work. This author is extremely creative.

Before reading this story, I had read biographies of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. So I already knew that Peter was not the way Dinsey made him out to be. Henry took this idea and ran with it. What she has given us is a new very bloody chapter in the Pan mythos. Re-read Peter Pan after this and see how your perspective of the story has changed.

It started out a bit slow. Took around 100 pages to get into. But I did enjoy the story in the last half. I loved the idea of Captain Hook being a Lost Boy. Peter Pan was very dark in this book, which worked well. He was a little flat in the beginning of the book. Jamie was by far my favorite character and was developed really well. Overall a 3/5 stars for me. Good but Alice is still my favorite of hers.

So I read her previous novel and jesus christ, I had nightmares. Henry writes really dark shit, the stuff of nightmares and it makes you wonder, WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? WHO HURT YOU?! It sure as shit is unique. I am not afraid to curse in this review because lets face it, if youre reading this book, language wont offend you. Peter Pan is such a beloved character, he has a serious fan base. In a way, we all wish we were Peter, we dont wanna grow up. I sure as shit don't. I wanna play all day, I don't wanna work, I wanna stay with friends. Surely his world sounds so perfect. James will show us otherwise. From the beginning, James lets us know he presently has beef with Peter, that things were fine at first, but the more he got to know him, throughout the centuries, the less he liked him. This can be blamed on the fact that James has had to do some of the dirty work for Peter over the years, yeah he is his right hand but that doesn't mean life if full of perks. The book is not suitable for kids, not in any way shape or form, this is not the Peter Pan our grandparents, parents or WE grew up with. As creative as the book is an entertaining, I hope this is not the Peter Pan ANYONE grows up with.

Lost Boy is a captivating and darker retelling of the classic Peter Pan. Think Peter Pan meets Lord of the Flies, and that is essentially the tone of this book. I had never thought it possible to feel sympathy for Captain Hook, before reading Lost Boy. So needless to say this book kind of blew my mind. Warnings first: Much like Lord of the Flies, there's a lot of death in this book, some pirates, some monsters, but mostly children. If this makes you uncomfortable (more than is typical, that is), please reconsider reading it. This tale is established before the events that occur in Peter Pan, before Wendy and the rest ever come to the island. It's about the first boy Peter ever selected to come to Neverland. It's about Jamie, the boy who becomes Captain Hook. Being the first selected means Jamie is responsible for all the new and younger boys, as Peter is too focused on playing to actually care for them. It's up to Jamie to make sure they're safe and fed. It's up to him to bury them when they die. Peter never cares when a boy is killed, but Jamie does. Even though he's the best at killing pirates, it still hurts him to see any of the lost boys die. The more boys Peter brings back to camp, the more responsibility Jamie has; and the less time he has to play. After one hundred and fifty season of this (give or take), one can appreciate how it'd wear on Jamie. The catalyst for a lot of the events that occur in Lost Boy is a young child named Charlie. He's much younger than the boys Peter normally prefers, and he can't really do anything for himself. Jamie has to care for him constantly, and Peter resents him for this; wishing they just leave him to die (or get eaten by a crocodile) instead. Throughout the novel a ghost story haunts Jamie; it's the take if a little ducking that strays from his mother and gets eaten by a crocodile. The mother, in mourning, weeps over the crocodile pond until she becomes a tree, always waiting for her little duckling to come home. It's a story Peter intentionally told in order to scare Charlie and intimidate/warn Jamie. The similarities between the mother duck and her baby versus Jamie and Charlie are enough to make him fear even more for the boy's life, while vague enough for him to question if he' gotten the story wrong. It's very beautifully (and creepily) done. I love every moment of this novel, even the bad ones. Everything is wound together with Peter Pan, and no detail is forgotten. We're (finally) shown why Tinkerbell is the only fairy, why Hook hates Peter so much (this obviously is a main point of the plot), why Peter and the boys stay young as they do. Everything. It's a very well thought out and thorough read. There wasn't much world building done, but with such a strong world already existing, it really wasn't needed. I've always entertained the idea that Peter Pan is actually a true fae, and this novel pretty much convinces me of it. He's a boy by all appearances, bound to the land, extraordinarily fast and graceful. He's unnaturally long lived, speaks to fairies, and doesn't seem to understand human emotions. And don't forget, he kidnaps little boys for fun. Need I say more?

 


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