I am always a fan of a re-telling. I love seeing how an author can manipulate a most loved story and turn it into something completely different. I am familiar with and have read plenty of retellings, but, for the most part, had read them for use in my classroom. I was very excited to read one for fun. Enter, Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry. A story that gives a twist on the classic Peter Pan tale and shows Peter as a villainous, evil mastermind who manipulates the lost boys and eventually creates his greatest enemy.
Told through the perspective of James, who eventually becomes Captain Hook, we see how Peter’s world of make believe and magic was a farce and the island (known as The Other Place) was truly filled with darkness and danger. The Lost Boys were not a family, but really waiting for their turn to be Peter’s favourite. This one really gave off a Lord of the Flies vibe, which I felt was really interesting.
There were a few things that I didn’t particularly love about this retelling, but I felt they were quite minor. I felt like Christina Henry really relied heavily on violence to push the plot (which is why I felt like it was very Lord of the Flies). I don’t usually enjoy this tactic and I especially did not love it since all the characters are children.
I also did struggle a little bit with the pacing; I found parts to drag significantly which was strange since the book was quite short. I also did not agree with finding this book in the “horror” category. Some parts were dark, yes, but I didn’t find anything to be quite scary.
Aside from those issues, I felt like Henry did a great job, overall, at bringing a different side to the Peter Pan story. If you are a fan of retellings, think Wicked, then you may enjoy this one!
I gave it 2.5/5 stars.