The Child Thief by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A runaway named Nick is fleeing the wrath of a drug dealer when he runs into an odd boy named Peter. Peter saves Nick and takes him to Avalon, recruiting him into gang of nearly feral boys called The Devils. With Nick's help, can the Devils overcome the Flesh Eaters, the transformed men who defile and destroy Avalon?
I picked this up because I'm interested in the unsanitized versions of familiar fairy tales. It turns out Brom is, too. Like a lot of people, I was familiar with Brom's art when I picked this up. It turns out he can write, too.
The Child Thief is one hell of a grim retelling of Peter Pan. He's not prancing pixie in this, that's for sure. Peter is an amoral hero for the most part, as are the Sidhe, much more like Michael Moorcock's Melniboneans than Tolkien's elves. The Devils are more like the kids from Lord of the Flies than how the Lost Boys are normally depicted. For much of the book, two stories are told in parallel. One of Peter's birth and early days in Avalon, trying to fit in with Modron and the Sidhe, and one of Nick trying to fit in with the Devils.
I didn't think the writing would be as good as it was since Brom is normally known as an artist. His prose is much better than I expected and the characters are well developed. I was particularly impressed with Peter and The Captain. You know the captain I mean...
If you like your fantasy dark, this is your book. It should appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton alike. Now go out and get it!
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