Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
Author: Christina Henry
Released: July 4, 2017
Length: 292 pages
Genre: Fantasy, retelling
“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.”
This is not a book with a happy ending. There is no redemption in here. There’s just a pile of dead bodies and blood being spilled all in the name of Peter Pan. This novel introduces you to the dark side of Peter Pan where he sets up battles to the death, raids where more boys die, and where he chooses one over the other. Peter Pan is dark, grim, brooding, and everything in between. But, beware, the shininess of him disappears pretty fast in this novel. The grimness is real, vivid, and not discreet. This is no fairy tale about a hero and his warriors. It’s about life, loss, and what happens in between.
I haven’t read many adaptations of Peter Pan, but I was very familiar with Henry’s work with retellings. I had read her previous dulogy on Alice in Wonderland originally by Lewis Carroll. Her retelling was dark and grim, but there was redemption even if it was slight. This is by far one of the most dark and bleak novels I have ever read. And, I loved it! I loved every second of this novel. I am a huge fan of all things Alice in Wonderland, but this adaptation of Peter Pan was refreshingly real. Kill your hero, Henry! And, that is what she does, in a way.
Captain Hook, or Jaime as he is originally known is, is the hero in this retelling surprisingly. His story is sad, with no happy ending. I instantly fell in love with Jaime. You are meant to hate Captain Hook, but you never know why. I could never hate him again after reading this book. It brought such a new light to a villainous character we were all taught to despise. Here, though, it’s easy to root for him. It’s easy to identify with his pain, rage, and ultimate disappointment.
Peter Pan is no hero in this. He is brutal, unfeeling, and malicious. Jaime acts as the caretaker to all the lost boys as Peter Pan continues to bring more to the island when they lose another to some horrid death or another. He is the worst, albeit best, villain. When I think of villains these days, my mind goes to Peter Pan instantly because of Henry’s retelling. It is perfect in every way.
I could never praise this novel enough. How Henry takes the lead in this, her adaptation is so creative. It is not your ordinary retelling; I loved that. It really is refreshing to read. If you were to only read one thing this year, read this. You won’t regret it. I promise you. I am looking forward to her 2018 release about a mermaid–a tale of love, loss, and betrayal. It’s a historical fiction account that sounds delightfully dark again. She is my go to author now for that kind of sub genre. She could be yours, too. I do hope you give her a chance. Let me know if you do.