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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2017
An excellent depiction of a previously loved tale. A highly recommended read, perfect for a cold wet winters evening. Quite sorry to finish it.
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on 25 May 2017
Amazing novel would recommend to anyone! very good read
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on 12 October 2009
Is there anything Brom can't do?! I loved this book. I love the fact that he read the original Peter Pan story, and explored the darker perspectives of the tale that Disney turned into a "happy fairytale."

Peter lures runaways - usually kids who have already been through hell (abuse, rape, etc) - by offering them sanctuary away from the grown-ups that have hurt them...but he doesn't tell them about the dangers of the Mist, or the war he is waging for his Lady (Brom's version of the Lady of the Lake). He promises them a new family, but he doesn't discuss how brutal their new life will be, or how many lost children have died before them.

If I didn't know any better, I would think that the "pirates" were the lost colonists of Roanoke. In any case, they are New World colonists who were trapped on Avalon by the Mist. During their time on the island, they have been twisted both physically and mentally, so that there's barely any humanity left among the Flesh-Eaters.

Even the fairies associated with Peter are not creatures of light and joy, but mean-spirited pixies that torment anyone that lets his or her guard down. For example, Peter's Devils have to sleep in cages to protect themselves at night from the pixies.

It's tempting to think of Peter and the inhabitants of the island as evil tricksters, but when we catch glimpses of Peter's past, such as his separation from his mother, you soon realize that nothing is as simple as good or bad.

Most of the story is told through the experiences of Nick, a kid who thinks he has no choice but to follow Peter into the Mist. However, the longer he stays in Avalon, the more Nick wonders if his previous life was as bad as he thought.

Apparently, Brom has also written The Devil's Rose, which I plan to look into, as I was so impressed with Brom as an author. I recommend The Child Thief to anyone who likes a dark fantasy.
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VINE VOICEon 31 January 2011
If you've found this review, then you are already heading the right way to reading a great book. Buy it now, you will not be disappointed.

The story takes on the familiar Peter Pan plot we all grew up with, but this one is much much darker and not for bedtime reading to the kids.

Peter is a very clever child right from birth - much to the horror of his family. Cast aside, all he wants to do is play with other children. Every time he finds more children to play with, the adults chase him away until finally he finds The Lady in Avalon. Now he roams the streets of new York luring away troubled and abused children as new recruits for his gang of "Devils".

The story moves quickly, with action and thrills on nearly every page. I was hooked from the first few pages, and enjoyed pretty much all of this book. I hope that Brom writes more novels. This one, I would recommend you read.
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on 1 October 2009
I purchased this book not really sure of what to expect, but I wasn't dissapointed. The edition is beautiful, there's a colour insert with Brom's fantastic illustrations, and each chapter starts with one of them too. I found the story engaging, and while not particularly uplifting, quite enjoyable. Brom is mostly known as an illustrator, and this becomes apparent in the rich, vivid descriptions of Avalon, which can come alive on the page. It hasn't been my favourite book of the year so far, but certainly quite readable, and while I'd give the writing 3 and a half stars, the lovely illustrations that come with it add a nice extra that pushes it to 4.
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on 19 October 2012

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.
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on 18 June 2014
Became laboured and I found reading the book a chore. There was little 'hope' and it was all too dark and depressing
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on 22 November 2014
Clever thought provoking dark fairy tale for adults. This re-imagining of the Peter Pan tale touches the reasons why modern day children might want to run away and paints Peter as both their saviour and their downfall. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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on 10 July 2014
The best book I have read for a lone while. Some books take their time to build up to anything, not this book. It rages like a storm from start to finish. Yet not overwhelming so.

Buy it.
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on 20 December 2016
One of the best books I've read to this day (and I read this years ago)
Rebought it as a gift, it's become popular among my friends.
Chilling story, creatively written, magical!
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