This is the second Christina Henry book that I have read and it was recommended to me by a student in my book group, they are twins and I can’t remember which one it was so, apologies!!
If you have read my review of Alice then you will know that the author likes a bit of gore. This one is not as violent as Alice but is still pretty dark and there is a lot of death and blood in it, it’s just not as twisted!
Jamie is the original Lost Boy. He was Peter’s first and best and he loves Peter best of all. Jamie also looks after all the other boys when Peter wants to play. He’s been with Peter for a long time and buried many boys. Then along comes Charlie. Charlie is the youngest boy that Peter has ever brought to the island, and he cannot play like the other boys, he needs looking after; Peter doesn’t like it, he thinks Charlie is boring and keeps trying to leave him somewhere to be eaten by a crocodile or one of the many-eyed (big spider like creatures) or stabbed by a pirate.
The island is a huge playground for boys who just don’t want to grow up, and as long as they love Peter, they never will. But what if Peter Pan was a little bit mean? What if he didn’t care if the boys got eaten or burned or killed? They weren’t fun if they didn’t play and they certainly aren’t fun if they can’t fight and kill. Neverland can be a dangerous place for those boys.
The boys attack pirates and fight the many eyed and have Battle, where they sometimes fight to the death in an arena. When Jamie fights the pirates he always wins, then he takes their right hand off so they don’t forget him. There is some casual violence that makes you feel that the boys don’t really understand the difference between playing and reality. But then, they are children. When Peter brings back Nip from the other place everything changes. Jamie knows that Nip is a threat to the group, especially Charlie, and that he needs to get rid of him, but is Nip working for Peter? When the lines become blurred and loyalties are questioned, nothing on the island will ever be the same again.
This book is kind of like Lord of Flies meets Neverland. It’s a good twist on the original book (Fan fiction?) and has the right amount of adventure and fighting to make it good. I thought that Alice was a bit too dark to be a YA novel (especially the bit in the club) so this one is better. Some bits are a slightly too rushed but there is a good twist at the end. Henry does a good job of making us love and hate Peter in equal measure but ultimately, we all have to grow up don’t we??