WARNING ... THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
This is no child's book. It is a dark, gruesome re-telling of the Peter Pan story. The beginning of the book quickly introduces the reader to a young girl who is being systematically raped by her violent, alcoholic Father. A fourteen year old lad who is on the run from his Mum's drug-pusher boyfriend and friends, who have already tortured him. The children are consequently lured from their miserable lives to Avalon ... only to find themselves embroiled in a centuries old battle.
Peter knowingly lures the children into danger. He knows that they may die on Avalon, killed either by the flesh-eaters or any number of other monsters. He has learnt to justify their deaths to himself, as he fights to save his beloved, magic land.
The book is violent. It is gruesome. Brom doesn't seek to save characters from death just because the reader may have become fond of them. The story entraps from the first page, ensnaring the reader with the action, the pain, the mystery and the fantastical.
Peter has a violent beginning to his life, abandoned by his Mother and family, his foster-Father killed in front of him ... every experience Peter has had has promoted his hatred of the adult male of humankind. He is a product of the life that he has left behind and that has dire consequences for those who fall under his spell. I was not surprised, though, by who his Father was, as I guessed his identity earlier in the book.
It is a beautifully illustrated book that I really enjoyed reading.