“Peter will tell you that I am a villain. Peter lies.”
Be sure to check out this week’s podcast discussion!
Ever wonder what lead to Peter Pan cutting off Captain Hook’s hand and their enmity?
There are probably countless Peter Pan retellings but this one was the first that we experienced and it was amazing.
This story is told through the eyes of young Jamie, the boy that would grow up to become Peter Pan’s arch-nemesis Captain James Hook.
In this story, Jamie was the first boy that Peter Pan ever brought to Neverland and they have been having adventures for so many years that Jamie lost count long ago. Jamie is exactly what Peter wants: a worshiper that is also a best friend. Jamie adores Peter. Yet, with Peter being as thoughtless as he is and as much danger as he leads his band of boys into, it is inevitable that someone will have to pick up the pieces. As Peter’s right hand man, this duty falls to Jamie. Through this, Jamie begins to have his doubts about Peter and we all know how it ends.
A theme that is a big part of the original novel but glossed over somewhat in most films and adaptions is the importance of growing up. Childhood is a magical time but eventually it is necessary to set aside childishness and become a grown up. In the original novel, Peter Pan is the embodiment of perpetual childhood. He is selfish and thoughtless in an innocent, child-like manner that nonetheless occasionally leads John, Michael, and Wendy into danger.
Lost Boy latches on to this concept and runs with it, adding a darker spin to the line “All children grow up….except one.”
In this retelling, Peter Pan is not just selfish and thoughtless. He is those things but with an added layer of manipulation and deceit and an immense desire to be the first thing on everyone’s mind.
Spinning a beloved character into such a believable villain takes subtlety and Henry hit all the right notes for it. Instead of making Peter Pan something that he never was to begin with, she takes what is already there and just expands on it in a way that does not need any explanation to make it real and believable.
The pacing was fast but perfect for the story being told. The characters and relationships were all beautifully done.
The only flaw that can really be said for Lost Boy is that it was missing something in the beginning. The story jumps right in to Jamie already beginning to doubt Peter rather than having a chapter or two to establish their relationship as it had existed up to the point of the story. Having a few extra chapters to the beginning would not have bogged down the book at all and would have really added to the contrast of Jamie’s character and his relationship with Peter at the beginning of the story versus the end with the closing line of…
“I hate Peter Pan.”
This was my first Peter Pan retelling outside of film and TV and it makes me want more. I had fairly high hopes going into this because of how much I like the kind of re-tellings where the heroes are actually the villains and it exceeded my expectations. This book gave me loads of feels and the first case of book hangover that I have had in quite some time.
I don’t plug the podcast much in my reviews but we had a really good spoiler-y discussion this week so if you are interested in reading this or already have, be sure to check that out here.
This one was interesting. A re-telling of a classic can be very iffy. Here the author does a fabouks job of staying close to the source material, while making it there own, dark world too. The relationship between Peter and Jamie is well done and you see this abusive relationship that is something deeper than physical pain.
During our podcast, I said that there was something missing from this book and I don’t know what it is. The more I look into It, the more I see things I enjoyed and loved. The more things made sense. You should dwdinetly check out this dark, twisted tale of nevereverland.