The Child Thief: A Novel

The Child Thief: A Novel

by Brom

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061671340
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/17/2010
Pages: 481
Sales rank: 154,908
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Over the past few decades, Brom has lent his distinctive vision to all facets of the creative industries, from novels and games to comics and film. He is the author of The Child Thief and the award-winning illustrated horror novels The Plucker and The Devil's Rose. Brom is currently kept in a dank cellar somewhere just outside of Seattle.

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The Child Thief
A Novel

Chapter One

Child Thief

In a small corner of Prospect Park, in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, a thief lay hidden in the trees. This thief wasn't searching for an unattended purse, cell phone, or camera. This thief was looking for a child.

In the dusk of that early-autumn day, the child thief peered out from the shadows and falling leaves to watch the children play. The children scaled the giant green turtle, slid down the bright yellow slide, laughed, yelled, teased, and chased one another round and round. But the child thief wasn't interested in these happy faces. He wasn't looking to steal just any child. He was particular. He was looking for the sad face, the loner... a lost child. And the older the better, preferably a child of thirteen or fourteen, for older children were stronger, had better stamina, tended to stay alive longer.

The thief knew Mother Luck had smiled on him with the girl. She'd been a good catch, too bad about her father. He smiled, remembering the funny face the man had made as the knife slipped into his chest. But where was Mother Luck now? He'd been hunting for two days. Nothing. He'd come close with a boy last night, but close wasn't good enough. Grimacing, the thief reminded himself that he had to take it slow, had to make friends with them first, gain their trust, because you couldn't steal a child without their trust.

Maybe Mother Luck would be with him tonight. The child thief had found city parks to be good hunting grounds. Strays and runaways often camped among the bushes and used the public restrooms to wash, and they were always looking for friends.

As the sun slid slowly behind the cityscape, the shadows crept in—and so did the thief, biding his time, waiting for the falling darkness to sort the children out.

Nick darted into the warehouse entryway, pressed himself flat against the steel door, his breath coming hard and fast. He leaned his cheek against the cold metal and squeezed his eyes shut. "Fuck," he said. "I'm screwed. So screwed." At fourteen, Nick was slender and a bit small for his age. Dark, choppy bangs spilled across his narrow face, emphasizing his pallid complexion. He needed a haircut, but of late his hair was the last thing on his mind.

Nick dropped his pack to the ground, pushed his bangs from his eyes, and carefully rolled up one sleeve of his black denim jacket. He glanced at the burns running along the inside of his forearm and winced. The angry red marks crisscrossing his flesh crudely formed the letter N.

He tried to put the nightmare out of his mind, but it came back to him in heated flashes: the men pinning him to the floor—the floor of his own kitchen. The sour, rancid taste of the dish sponge being crammed into his mouth. Marko, big, thick-necked Marko, with his beastly grin, smirking while he heated the coat hanger against the burner. The wire smoking then turning red then... the pain... red-hot searing pain. God, the smell, but worse, the sound, he'd never forget the sound of his own flesh sizzling. Trying to scream, only to gag and choke on that gritty, soggy sponge while they laughed. Marko right in his face, Marko with his long, straggly chin hairs and bulging, bloodshot eyes. "Wanna know what the N stands for?" he'd spat. "Huh, do you fuckhole? It's for Narc. You ever say anything to anybody again and I'm gonna burn the whole fucking word into your tongue. You got that you little prick?"

Nick opened his eyes. "Need to keep moving." He snatched up his pack and unzipped the top. Inside the pack were some chips, bread, a jar of peanut butter, a pocket knife, two cans of soda, a blue rabbit's foot on a leather cord, and about thirty thousand dollars' worth of methamphetamines.

He dug through the hundreds of small clear plastic bags until he found the blue rabbit's foot. The rabbit's foot had been a gift from his dad, the only thing Nick had left of him now. He kissed it, then slipped it around his neck. He needed all the luck he could come by today.

He leaned out from the entryway, glancing quickly up and down the busy avenue, keeping an eye out for a beat-up green van. He'd hoped for some congestion to slow the traffic down, help him make it to the subway alive, but currently the traffic chugged steadily along. The day waned and soon the van would be just one more pair of gleaming headlights in the night.

Nick slung the pack over his shoulder and ducked out onto the sidewalk, weaving his way between the thin trail of pedestrians as he jogged rapidly up the block. There was a bite to the wind and -people had their collars up and their eyes down. Nick pulled up his own collar, skirted around a cluster of elderly men and women lined up in front of an Italian restaurant, and tried to lose himself among the thin stream of returning commuters.

You fucked up Nicky boy, he thought. Fucked up big. Yet part of him was glad, would do about anything to see the faces of those sons-of-bitches when they found their stash gone. It would be a long time before Marko was back in business.

A horn blew behind him. Nick jumped and spun—heart in his throat. But there was no green van, just someone double-parked. He caught sight of the trees and felt a flood of relief. Prospect Park was just a block away. He'd be hard to spot in the trees. He could cut across the park and come out at the subway station. Nick took off in a run.

The Child Thief
A Novel
. Copyright © by Brom. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Kim Harrison

“Ancient magics combine with feral logic to culminate in Brom’s The Child Thief. A retelling of Peter Pan spanning America’s earliest, magically rich beginnings to today’s bare whispers of belief. Wickedly poetic, The Child Thief makes me want to believe.”

Christopher Golden

“Brom has always been an artist who gave us his nightmares fully realized, but with THE CHILD THIEF, he paints in words. A wonderfully nasty Peter Pan reboot that stands on its own as a dark, twisted adventure.”

Holly Black

“A gruesome and darkly fantastical twist on a classic tale. Brom injects pure horror into fantasy.”

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Child Thief 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 210 reviews.
AnaMardoll More than 1 year ago
The Child Thief / 978-0-061-67133-3 I usually save the 'parental warnings' in my reviews until the end, but "The Child Thief", as compelling and fascinating as it is, nonetheless requires some upfront warnings. If you are thinking of buying this novel for a child, perhaps on the grounds that it is a Peter Pan story and therefore child-friendly, be warned that this is an incredibly dark and violent novel. I'm not exaggerating when I say that nine out of every ten pages contains a depiction of rape, child molestation, violence, murder, torture, or several instances of the F-word. I certainly wouldn't say that no child or teenager on earth would be able to appreciate this novel, but I do strongly advise that you read this book yourself, beforehand, to determine whether this level of violence will be disturbing to the intended recipient. With that out of the way, let me say that I am quick to condemn books that rely on violence, sex, and profanity in an attempt to divert the reader's attention from the fact that there is no actual plot. "The Child Thief" is not one such novel - every incidence of violence within this novel acts in service to the plot, and the end result is an incredibly compelling story that is both a re-imagining of the classic Peter Pan tale, but also remarkably true to the original in many of the details (lest we forget that Barrie's version contained quite a bit of death and murder behind the scenes). Brom has taken the premise that Peter Pan steals children away to Neverland and has expanded the concept to fit within our dark reality. Here, Peter Pan does not steal away babies who fall out of their prams - he steals away children who are victims of abuse, neglect, molestation, and all the other such evils of our world that children should never have to endure. But the Neverland that Peter promises to lead these victimized children to is not an escape in the classic sense - it is supremely dangerous, and no longer in the exciting "but-we-always-escape-in-the-end" kind of danger that the Disneyesque Neverland fostered. The neglected children are given a family and an emotionally safe haven, but every moment of their days are spent in training, in the hopes that once they leave the confines of their home they will not die immediately in this hostile world. Brom has woven a masterful tale here, with both the real world and the Neverland/Albion world realistically rendered, with both the good and the bad. There is not a single character in this novel which could be described as flat or two-dimensional; even the most minor and ancillary characters are vivid, complex, and contain their own unique mix of perspectives and motivations. I would deeply recommend "The Child Thief" to anyone who enjoys morally ambiguous tales with complex, three-dimensional characters. If you won't be offended by the incredibly violent and profane nature of the writing, and if you won't be upset by the characterization of a beloved childhood story character as something much less perfect and much more human, then "The Child Thief" is definitely worth looking into. ~ Ana Mardoll
MercedesMud More than 1 year ago
This book is dark, bloody, and nothing like Disney. Did I mention it's also great?! Peter finds the unwanted kids, kids with horrible pasts that need a new life, he takes them home to Avalon. There they join the Devils and are trained as warriors. Little do the kids know they are going to be sent to war with the flesheaters, that's the whole reason Peter brings them home to his strange land. You'll meet several characters you will love, but as this is a dark novel don't expect them to survive the entire story. There isn't really a bad guy in this book, as everyone in it has some dark history. Excellent book and worth the read, and the art is snazzy too
alexia561 More than 1 year ago
This is not only one of the longest books I've read recently, but also one of the most anticipated. I was lusting after this book and really did my best to get my hands on an ARC, but had to settle for borrowing it from the library. Was worried that it might let me down as I was looking forward to it so much, but am happy to report that it was just as good as described! So good that I'm going to buy my own copy, which I rarely do with library reads. The Child Thief is Peter, a wild child who found refuge on the mythical island of Avalon. Found it interesting that Brom combined the Peter Pan myth with Arthurian legend. Variations of the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, and The Lady of the Lake show up, but in a much darker format. Pretty sure that this book is destined to become a classic, as the story is just that good! Brom is an extremely talented storyteller as well as being a gifted artist. During this story, we learn Peter's history as well as follow his struggle to "save" lost children. We also join him on his quest to serve his Lady, try to save Avalon, and defeat Avalon's enemies. Any more details would probably contain spoilers, so I'll leave it at this: Read this book and you will not be disappointed! Gave it a 5 out of 5, as I found the book totally captivating! Go! Now! Get yourself a copy!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
The Child Thief (2009) is a dark reinterpretation of the world of Peter Pan by writer and illustrator Brom. His adult novel offers a chilling alternative to the Disney version of Peter Pan which, according to the author's note, is more in keeping with the original text of Peter Pan as written by J. M. Barrie. Brom's Peter prowls the streets of New York City each night looking for haunted, lost children that he can lure away to a secret place far away. It's impossible to actually steal a child, the mist won't allow that, but you can lead a child. That's what Peter does. In many ways a lost boy himself, Peter finds children who think they have nothing left to lose; victims of violence, abuse and neglect looking for a way out. What these lost children soon learn is that there is always something else to lose. There have been a lot of comparisons drawn between The Child Thief and Gregory Maguire's Wicked. I can't comment on that having not read the latter novel. What I can say is that The Child Thief will make your skin crawl. Like its cover, the novel is peppered with beautiful, grim illustrations of the characters. The writing is no less bleak. Peppered with violence, cursing, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, I can see why other reviews have said this book is not for the faint of heart. While brilliantly illustrated, the writing often felt less polished. And though certainly innovative, The Child Thief failed to enchant me. The old fairy tales, the original ones by Grimm or Andersen and apparently Barrie, were meant as cautionary tales for young children. Since then the stories have changed into entertainment: light-hearted, sugar-coated stories for boys and girls. I find, without fail, that I prefer the newer version which is probably why I could not fully embrace this novel. However the biggest problem for me is that the world of The Child Thief, possibly unintentionally, seems to be founded on the assumption that all people are amoral, opportunistic, mean and that the world they inhabit runs on violence and brutality--two assumptions I refuse to believe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story. Imaginative. Interesting. A favorite.
countri More than 1 year ago
There are some books that are instant classics this is one of them. It is a version of Peter Pan that I found unable to put down. Some books you have to get through the first couple of chapters to get into it. I have to say this book had me hooked from the first chapter. I felt like I was in one of Brom's paintings.
Blonde_Bombshell More than 1 year ago
Child Theif is probably the best book i have ever read. It was genious and thought provoking the whole way through. Beginning to end the dark portrayol of Peter kept me on the edge of my seat. I would never have thought to put such a well loved character into that context but it worked perfectly. Neverland is like nothing we could have imagined and more. I highly reccomend you read this book, all my friends are begging to borrow it and every single one of them has turned the last page to find that they loved it and wanted more of it! I don't reccomend this book for children though, it does get very violent and gruesome.
Zombielover More than 1 year ago
Lots of action and drama. I would recomend it to anyone with a dark imagination. One of my new favorite books :)
dryad23 More than 1 year ago
What can I say about this book? It was dark, gritty, gory, realistic, nightmarish and difficult to read at times. But it was quite good, too. Brom did an admirable job of gathering many myths, legends, and fairy tales into one cohesive and mostly believable world. There were a couple of things I couldn't really buy into, but that's not unusual when an author is building a new world (or an alternate world) and this one was better than many. For the most part there was a decent balance of good and bad in the characters. Few were black or white and several surprised me with what they showed themselves to be capable of (both good and bad) once I thought I'd gotten a good read on them. But even though I was surprised, it didn't feel forced or unrealistic. I could totally buy that the 'bad' characters were sometimes decent and the 'good' characters had weaknesses and/or darker spots too, and that's an accomplishment for any author. The one case where this wasn't true was with those who represented Christians. (I think to the author they were Christians, but they certainly weren't truly Christians to me.) They were all rotten to the core; judgmental, unaccepting, unforgiving, full of hate for anyone and anything different and willing to do horrible things in God's name. As a Christian, this hurt and saddened me. I know that things like that have happened and people like that have claimed the name of Christ and there's a reason some people see God's Church this way, but that breaks my heart because that's not the true Church and those people will receive their just reward. But in the case of this particular book, I would have liked to have seen even just one Christian who wasn't horrid. I know they exist because I don't think I'm horrid, and it made the book weaker that that particular set of characters were all bad through and through, without any sort of balance at all. And now I really must read J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan.
Cephius More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. A very original look at Peter Pan and faeries. There is content of an adult and violent nature so I would recommend parental guidance.
whisperingfen on LibraryThing 10 months ago
If you enjoy fantasy art, you might recognize the name Brom. I'm a fan of his style, he did the artwork for the Role-playing game Deadlands, etc. This is a book that was written and illustrated by him, and while the Art is what caught my eye in the store, his description of why he wrote the book was even more intriguing. I had never actually read the original Peter Pan, so I purchased that at the same time and read it to get a feel for the story in its non-Disney form. Peter Pan is a dark character, the Child Thief sets the character of Peter in modern times, in terms of where Peter goes to get children, but also adds Peter into older stories lore. The book is set in Avalon, and there are many references to King Arthur and his court. It's one of the better books that I've read in terms of taking a known character and making it more modern. It's a must read if you enjoy fairy tales as they were meant to be, frightening and thought provoking.
Mintypink on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Since there isn¿t any room for six stars, I will settle for five. Brom¿s retelling of the classic story of Peter Pan is beautifully dark, lushly complex and captivating. Peter, the child thief, manipulates children who have been abandoned, neglected or abused to come join him in a place that is safe. What he doesn¿t tell these children is where exactly this place is, what the journey will be like, and what safe really means. We follow Nick, our protagonist, through this twisted story and the world is revealed to us mostly through his eyes. Occasionally Peter and other characters will lend us their eyes but the shifts in perspective serve as a reminder to reevaluate the concept of good and evil in a story we think we know well.Brom started in illustration and is very well known for breathing life into the covers of many fantasy books as well as games. He writes as if painting, which is to say, beautifully. The rich details of this magic land are portrayed in such sharpness that it is all the more remarkable that they all join together to depict a unified, brilliant and strange world. Everything about this book is excellent, from the writing, the dialogue, the plot, the meaning behind it all, the organization, to really, everything. Everything about this book is excellent.
chenninger on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I love Peter. No wait i hate Peter. Ok peter is the man. Though your lead to believe this will be like Peter Pan Brom took the story and twisted it in to his own masterpiece. Instead of poking pirates in the butt with his sword Peter guts drug dealers in the street saving children from certain death. Add some great artwork every few chapters and this adds up to a great adult dark fantasy.
ahappybooker on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is Peter Pan like I have never imagined it. The Child Thief is one of the most disturbing, violent, and frightening fairy tale re-imaginings I've ever read. It reminds me of the more grim versions of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" That being said, I was absolutely enthralled, I couldn't put it down. There were some times when I had to walk away from it for a bit, but I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to even a hint of gore. There were also some situations that were uncomfortable to read about such as child abuse, torture, and molestation. However, these things do happen and the way they were used in the story was fitting. Peter finds his "lost boys" among the forgotten children, the runaways, the abused and neglected. He offers them a chance at a different kind of life in a magical world where they never have to grow up and each day is a new adventure. He does warn them, however, that there are also monsters. With his golden eyes and infectious smile, Peter finds it easy to win over these mistreated kids and he creates his own clan in mist shrouded Avalon, his refuge from the cruelties he, himself, experienced in the human world. Brom paints a vivid world of dying beauty and frightening violence. I love the images he creates of the fairies, pixies, elves, and even the more dangerous creatures that lurk in the swamps and elsewhere. One thing that this author has done incredibly well is to blur the line between good and evil. I found myself, several times, feeling sympathy for a character I hated just a couple pages before. Ultimately I feel that this is a extraordinary story, one that fans of dark fantasy will certainly want on their shelves. The characters, the world, the plot were all written so flawlessly that I easily lost myself within the pages. I would highly recommend The Child Thief and want to thank the person who recommended it to me.
MinosEN on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I was recommended this book by a friend and went into it knowing little other than what was in the description.After starting the book I found myself reading it constantly over the next couple days. It wasn't that I couldn't stop reading but my mind would drift back to the world created and I would want to return to it. I felt the world was dark but not overly so, the flash backs told the back story well and I enjoyed Brom's spin on this story.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I like Brom a lot so I was very excited to get an ARC of "The Child Thief" to review. For those new to Brom, he started doing awesome artwork. Then he did a phenominal picture book called "Plucker" and then he did another pretty cool book called "The Devil's Rose". So when I heard he had a full length novel I was like, really, how cool is that! This was actually an really great book; less artwork than other books but the writing was really good. This is definitely not a book for children; the violence and language would be too much even for an older child.This book follows the stories of two boys. The first is Peter a half-elven child that rescues children who have no hope; he takes them to a new place, Avalon. The second child is Nick, a boy in a hopeless situation who runs from his problems, but is rescued by Peter. Peter takes Nick to Avalon to join the Devil's Children. The Devil's Children is a society of children warriors who have been in a centuries long battle with the Flesh Eaters and the scourge; both which threaten the existence of Avalon and it's Lady. In the beginning the story jumps between present time with Nick and Peter and the past where the story of Peter's past is told.This is a re-telling of Peter Pan, but it owes more to the original story and surrounding mythology than to any Disney version. Brom describes horrific scenes in a beautiful yet brutal way, in a way his writing style reminds me a bit of Stephan King's Dark Tower series. The difference is that Brom also takes time to intricately describe scenes of intense beauty; although they are less frequent than the horrific scenes. This story is more of an epic than I thought it would be. We are talking about a battle that has gone on through the ages and about enemies whose fight has extended for generations.This was not a quick read, it is not really a fun and happy read; the pace is deliberate and the writing a bit dense. The description and action is written in such a way that it takes time to read it all, but it is worth the time. I loved the description and the action scenes. The plot was not super fast, but went forward at a steady rate that built up the dread you felt for Avalon, Nick, Peter, and the Devils. This book was written like a piece of fine literature, a story that can really span time; but as such it takes some time and work to read.Brom did an excellent job of making all the characters both likable and un-likable. All of the characters, even the heroes, had flaws that made you dislike them somewhat. All of the characters also had a past that made you sympathize with them; including the villains. The character building was masterfully done; but, for me, also contributed to the only downside of the book; I didn't really like any of the characters and I had some trouble getting really engaged in their stories.Brom also did an excellent job of interweaving the tale of Peter Pan with mythology from a number of different origins. At the end of the book there is blurb telling his mythological sources for different aspects of "The Child Thief". It showed how much research really went into telling this tale and provided some interesting background.This was a great tale. I strongly recommend it. People who like dark fantasy or dark fairy tale re-tellings will get a kick out of it. I pleasantly surprised out how well written this book was and I look forward to more full length novels from Brom.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Reason for Reading: I was very interested in a retelling of Peter Pan from an author known previously for horror books.Summary: This is a modern re-telling of the Peter Pan story. If you've read the original you'll know that Peter is rather an arrogant, self-centered boy and the author takes that Peter and creates a very dark urban fantasy. Amazingly, the basic plot line is very similar to the original. Peter comes to the real world to find runaway kids and steals them by tricking them into following him back to his world, Avalon. There he has created a group of children who fight against the evil Flesh-eaters who are out to destroy them and the island, headed by the fearful, Captain. Peter has his mother figure in the woman who is the lifeblood of Avalon, the one who keeps the magic alive and Avalon hidden, Modron, the Lady of the Lake.Comments: This was a fantastic read! First off though, the book itself is beautiful. Brom also illustrates the book with full page b/w drawings which are very dark and haunting, several of them remind me of the artist Hans Holbein's woodcuts which feature Death. Plus in the middle of the book are full colour paintings of the major characters!The book is both enchanting and disturbing at the same time. I love the folklore connections of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake. Avalon itself is inhabited by pixies and elves and all manner of creatures; while the mythos behind it all is fascinating. In the Author's Note at the end, Brom goes into detail where he found his inspiration, which in itself is interesting. Peter and his gang of runaways, The Lost Ones, The Devils (they call themselves) are disturbing. A handful of them become major characters who the reader becomes emotionally involved with (one way or the other). The writing and characterization is brilliant. One can never forget that these are children and so it becomes a dreaded but compelling read that can't be put down as they brutally kill and slay their enemies and swear like gangsters. Among themselves The Devils form a group that reminds one of The Lord of the Flies. And yet through it all, there is one runaway, Nick, whom we meet near the beginning, who never quite falls under the spells of the magic, Avalon, Peter, who knows that Avalon is not all there is to fight for. A truly, splendid, wonderfully crafted story. Very dark and haunting, not for those with weak stomachs (heads fly frequently), but both urban fantasy fans and fans of fairytale and classic book retellings will not want to miss out on this one. I will most certainly go back and read Brom's two previous horror books and be on the lookout for his next offering.
xollo on LibraryThing 10 months ago
THE CHILD THIEF by Brom completely satisfied my need for a good, bloody, stay-up-late-reading, fantasy adventure. It twists the story of Peter Pan into a violent and dark nightmare, and the result is deeply engrossing. Main character Nick, a boy stolen from the streets of New York by Peter to fight with Peter¿s Devils (a more wicked version of the Lost Boys), is so real and compelling, and like any teenager, he asks ¿what the f*ck?¿ when he finds himself amongst the pixies and wild kids of Avalon, Peter¿s world. Not only does a modern NYC teenager collide with Peter¿s magical world, but since children don¿t age, he fights alongside a girl from the American India wars and a boy who was a slave pre-Civil War. It¿s a strange community, but Peter holds them together¿or does he? Good and evil in this tale aren¿t so easily identified. Characters are corrupted and possessed by magic and the influence of gods, men become demons, and children fight like beasts. Reading this novel made me want to get in a spear fight with someone, or dress up like one of the characters, richly illustrated by Brom throughout, for ComicCon next year. In other words, this novel affected me¿in a good way.
highvoltagegrrl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
First things first. This is not the kid friendly Peter who flies though the skies trailed by glittering fairy dust. This Peter is every parents nightmare. This Peter whispers naughty things in your children's ear, abducting in the night. This Peter won't hesitate to split a man in two or sacrifice a kid or two in the name of what he thinks is right. But despite all of that, Peter is the hero and horribly charming.It is because of that charm that the novel works. As dark as this book is, and it is very dark, the kid in you still wants Peter knocking on your window and taking you on a grand adventure. The story is a great adventure filled with fairies and pixies, ladies and witches, elves and trolls, monsters and pirates. It has everything that made Peter Pan great, but it looks under Peter's grin and reads between the lines.The story isn't only about Peter sneaking away children to use them soldiers in a war with the pirates, but also gives a glimpse into the origin of Peter. The Child Thief paints a different and intriguing story of Peter's childhood. I found myself turning pages hoping the next page would be another flashback. These parts are scattered through out and are fun to read.Being over 400 pages, the book still reads at a quick pace. It reads more like a movie or graphic novel, then a regular novel. Not too much time is wasted on describing the world or building relationships. You do get to know the characters and what they mean to each other, but this book isn't really about that. It is about taking Never Land and tossing it on its head. As dark as the book gets and as quick as the pace is, it still captures the essence of Peter as the eternal boy.Book Rating: 3/5Book Received By: Library LoanReviewer: Wally
iluvvideo on LibraryThing 10 months ago
An intriguing retelling of the Robin Hood story that has been de-sanitized, told in a style reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers.Yes, the warnings are true. There is language, graphic violence and characters that act and think (!) like real honest to goodness people. Robin, a golden eyed, pointy eared, perpetual youth, searches the real world for a special kind of child. Strong enough to come through the mist with him to Deviltree, yet needy enough to wish to leave their present surroundings and follow him willingly. There resides a motley band of warriors, the self named Devils. They train, learn and live together; preparing for the quest to turn back the 'flesh eaters' who are trying to destroy Avalon; the last pure place in the world for magical folk. Avalon is protected by 'The Lady' a goddess like figure who guides everything in safety and prosperity. Then come the 'flesh eaters'; settlers who have traveled far in search of a place to call their own. The residents of Avalon approach them to ask to be left alone and are attacked and murdered in the name of Christianity. Slowly the settlers need more room and are determined to drive the 'devils' out. The ensuing struggle turn the settlers into dark, twisted creatures, somewhat reminiscent of their inner selves. Still they fight on. Who is right? Who is wrong? You decide. Both sides are flawed in their beliefs, especially in how to achieve them. The surprising ending will keep you riveted, turning page after page to reveal the surprising climax. Brom has created a true classic that will deserve our attention for a long time to come.
jshillingford on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Brom does brilliant artwork; I own a couple of his art books and even purchased "The Plucker: An Illustrated Novel". So, I decided to gamble and pick up his first prose novel. Though I did get it through Amazon Vine, it was a novel I was planning to purchase anyway. I found this fairly well written, but I think Brom is better suited to the illustrated novel than outright prose."The Child Thief" is billed as dark fantasy, it is an interpretation of "Peter Pan" after all, yet I think it's more of a horror novel due to the graphic, brutal violence. Abused children is always a dark them, and Brom takes readers to a very dark place here. The graphic violence could be disturbing to many readers, but it didn't surprise me. Brom uses words to evoke images rather than a paint brush this time around. And that is exactly why I liked his illustrated novel better. Brom is subtle with his paintbrush - building an image and steering the eye. His words however, are more blunt, and the fewer the better. I thought Plucker was very well done, balancing words with artwork. This book is in your face. I did finish it, and even enjoyed the story, but I'm not sure I would try another of his novels - it would depend on the subject and other reviews.Overall, I do recommend this to horror and even dark fantasy fans. It is an original take on a classic children's tale (reminding us that many medieval fairy tales were not meant for children). However, those fans that found the imagery too dark and disturbing may want to try Christopher Golden's "Strangewood". Unfortunately out of print, but a very good story about a child kidnapped by the imaginary world his father created.
GirlMisanthrope on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Peter Pan, the darker, original version, not the Disneyfied version, has always fascinated me. There are so many layers, so much subtext, and a dark underbelly I appreciate in children's stories. So I was chomping at the bit to bite into Brom's goth Pan.His Peter is wicked and deliciously devilish. You will be enchanted by him as well. Peter lives in Avalon (Neverland), a home he fights to protect from the Flesh-Eaters. He travels beyond the Mist to recruit other lost boys and girls to join his Devils in the fight in preserving Avalon. They worship him and will do anything for his approval, for a flash of his smile.The action is constant, non-stop and the author shifts POV's with aplomb. The artwork is breath-taking; every nerd who spent their high school years rushing home to scrawl out their own comic book will salivate at these gorgeous renderings. This is a fierce narrative; I picked up the book as soon as I got home from work. And it was utterly satisfying.Keep an eye out for Brom's version of Tiger Lily, Wendy, and Captain Hook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was recommended to me by a friend would suggest this book for anyone who likes a dark twist on fairy tales and I am sure that Brom will become my new favorite author!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is closer to a juvinile book. I dont know what book the reviewers were warning about, but this book isnt too graphic for teens. No rapes, but alot of violence. It was a good story, but it drug on a bit
terferj More than 1 year ago
Man, this was crazy. It was a darker version of Peter Pan which I enjoyed. At first I thought he was this sadistic punk but as you read on, that’s not the case (...unless he felt you were not worthy, lol). I really liked when it divulge in his past, it made me sympathetic towards him. I really liked his characters towards the end. I really liked the weird twist to it. I like how creepy the faeries, trolls, pixies, and flesh-eaters were. Very creeptastic. While I liked the otherworldly characters, the Devils left me needing more from them. I just didn’t feel nothing for them. While I found the story did drag at some places, I really enjoyed this. I love the illustrations in the book, the detailed deaths, and the storyline.