Monday, July 3, 2017
Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
Imagine meeting a young boy with promises of an island where you will never grow up. Oh the fun you could have, leaving the world you know to have adventures. Imagine if the world you did know was one where you were unhappy, afraid, alone. Then this island and this boy, Peter, would have everything you could ever want. That was Jamie. He left the land he knew to follow Peter many, many seasons ago. He was the first boy Peter had ever brought to the island. They were best friends and they would never grow old. But as the seasons passed more boys would come. When those boys died either in Battle, during a raid against the pirates, from sickness or the Many-eyes, Peter would go back to the Other Place to get other boys. Jamie would be the one to bury the bodies. He was also the one that made sure the boys were taken care of, looked after, and while everyone had fun, Jamie kept them safe. This is the story of Captain Hook, the boy once known as Jamie, and how he went from being Peter Pan’s right hand to losing his.
Jamie is the narrator throughout Lost Boy and he is nothing at all like the villain I remember. He is Peter’s best friend, his favorite and the fiercest fighter that leaves his mark on pirates by taking their right hand by their own sword. But he is also caring, thoughtful and a fierce protector. Even though he is a child, he holds a certain maturity that you would expect from someone older. Henry did an amazing job developing his character and his voice. Through his eyes I learned of the other boys and the truth of Peter, who is a brutal, uncaring child that feeds off violence and parades it off as fun. All of the characters jumped off the page so well developed it was almost frightening. And the island they lived on was full of a certain mysticism where monsters roamed and secrets were hidden.I’m a sucker for anything Peter Pan. I fell in love with Disney’s version as a child, loved “Hook” and even watched the short run cartoon show that ran in my childhood. But I didn’t read the novel Peter Pan until I was an adult. I was able to see in Peter Pan the things I wouldn’t have noticed if I read it as a child. Like how Peter “took care of” the boys if they started to grow up. Or what an extremely arrogant trickster he was. I felt bamboozled by the reality of who Peter really was and honestly my opinion of a character I truly loved changed dramatically. Henry’s novel about Captain Hook takes this image of Peter Pan a step further. This novel is dark and brutal with amazing world and character development. I lost myself in this story both horrified an amazed by the lengths that Peter was willing to go to keep Jamie by his side. This is the perfect prequel to Peter Pan and an extremely fascinating background for Captain Hook. It’s easy to feel sympathy for the man that would become Hook and see the cruelty of Peter. The clues were left in Peter Pan that there was more to the boy who would never grow up, something much darker and sinister. Henry exposed all of that in Lost Boy. I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.