Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
Title & Author: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: Pages
Description: “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.”
“Come away and we’ll have adventures and be friends always.”
It’s safe to assume (if you’re anything like me) that a part of your youth was spent devoted to Peter Pan. A time where you were certain that if your thoughts were happy enough and if your window remained unlocked that he might just appear to whisk you off to Neverland.
The Peter who filled our dreams was a fearless leader who taught us how to crow and how to believe in faeries. He reminded us to embrace our childhood imaginations and to make every day an adventure.
But Christina Henry doesn’t write about the Peter of our dreams.
There are no Disney singalongs or technicolor food fights accompanied by a Williams’ score in her version of the story.
Instead, Lost Boy presents the real portrayal of Peter Pan: a narcissistic, manipulative, and vindictive preteen who lacks compassion and a moral compass.
“Peter didn’t care about obstacles, even if they were shaped like people. They were only things to be jumped over, to be knocked down.”
I’ve always been fascinated with fairy tale retellings — especially when they’re narrated from a “villain’s” point of view. I love reinterpreting familiar plot points through the eyes of the “bad guy” and seeing if my loyalties might shift. And with years spent dreaming of a Tink-aided trip to Neverland, I felt confident Peter had my faith and trust. However, Henry’s bloody bastardization of Pan definitely affected my allegiance.
Told through the eyes of Jamie — Peter’s first and favorite Lost Boy turned epic enemy — we’re forced to shake the pixie dust from our eyes and see Peter for the pirate he truly is. We’re exposed to a story of a bloodthirsty child without a care in the world who simply doesn’t understand — or care about — the consequences of his actions. Peter wants what he wants when he wants and if you’re in the way…well, good luck.
Henry vividly captures Peter’s frequent emotional outbursts and tantrums, which make sense given that he’s the “boy who will never grow up,” but through the weary eyes of Jamie we start to understand why he might tire — and grow out of — the same routine season after season.
This dark fantasy is full of fire, bloodshed, terrifyingly graphic scenes of child violence, scary monsters, betrayals, curses, and deaths. BUT, Jamie’s moments of clarity, bonds with his fellow Lost Boys, and heartbreaking shift from friend to foe makes this story “an awfully big adventure.”
“It would always be Peter and me, like we were in the beginning.”
Jamie’s story is one that deserves to be read. It’s a story that lingers and will forever change how you see your shadow-chasing childhood hero. If you’re a fan of sinister retellings or Lord of the Flies-esque tales, then you’ll be hooked.
Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing Group and Kayleigh Webb for mailing me a physical copy of the finished book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.