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.
Wildly imaginative and wonderfully inventive, Lost Boy twisted the long-standing characters of Pan and Hook from the classic tale to give a new origin story, one of how two friends became the life-long enemies they’re famously known as. With skill and finesse, Henry’s storytelling easily transported me to a wild island where boys never aged, one where they could never leave, and where the true side of the boy that led them all shone through.
Henry brilliantly wove a tale with an underlying of darkness, expertly showing the slow progression of insanity that was Peter Pan and the depravities of the island. With rich detail and vivid characters, there was no fear in showing the unbridled side to boys when left to their own devices and how susceptible they were to attention. It was poignantly bloodied, but incredibly moving and emotional. Every moment of the story carried with it a deeper meaning, crossing reality with make believe and jealousy with love. And Jamie, before he took to his famous moniker, was at the center of it all as Pan’s favorite token from the Other Land, the longest on the island. His character was deeply rooted and clearly written, flickering between his devotion to the Lost Boys and his love for the boy who brought him there. It became impossible to not be wrapped up in him.
Lost Boy was darkly clever, intricate in every way, and so different from any version before it, but brilliant nonetheless. Words cannot express how much I adored this version, how easily it fit into the character we’ve always known, and how its effect alludes explanation. If you’re looking to be thrilled and charmed and twisted, I can not recommend this tale enough.
“Was this, I wondered, what it felt like to be a grown-up? Did you always feel the weight of things on you, your cares pressing you down like a burden you could never shake? No wonder Peter could fly. He had no worries to weight him to the earth.”
I had the pleasure of asking Christina Henry a few questions, check them out below!
Book Reader Chronicles: What inspired you to write this particular re-telling of Captain Hook and Peter Pan?
Christina Henry: I wanted to know why Captain Hook hated Peter Pan so much. It always seemed strange to me that this adult, this pirate, hung around Neverland plotting against a kid when he ought to be off doing pirate-y things. So I wrote this book to answer the question for myself.
BRC: Was there any particular scene or part of the book that gave you trouble when writing it?
CH: I write chronologically and by hand, so I don’t really think of the book in terms of individual scenes but rather as a long spool unfurling. I don’t have difficulty writing individual scenes but I will admit that editing is not my favorite thing.
BRC: What endeared you to Hook, enough to make you turn the story to put him in a better light?
CH: I have a deep, highly romanticized affection for pirates born of too many readings of TREASURE ISLAND. I also had a feeling that such intense hatred of Peter Pan could only have come about if they were friends once – only love can become so corrosive when it dies.
BRC: What’s your favorite part about fairytales?
CH: That they can be endlessly interpreted and re-interpreted through a variety of lenses. There’s always another way to tell a story.
BRC: What’s your favorite fairytale of all time and why?
CH: I’ve always been very fond of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and in particular Robin McKinley’s retelling of this story. Her retelling gives layers and lushness to the original.
BRC: Favorite Lost Boy aside from Hook?
CH: In my own book I love Nod and Fog, the wild twins. I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to have a twin.
BRC: What are you tackling next?
CH: My next book, which will be out in the summer of 2018, is THE MERMAID. It’s the story of P.T. Barnum and the Feejee Mermaid, except in my book the mermaid is real instead of a hoax. It’s also a story of loss and grief, and about feeling alien in a human world. It’s pretty different from anything else I’ve ever written.
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.
She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.
ALICE was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2015. It was also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee in Horror and one of Barnes & Noble’s Bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2015.
She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.