Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

First line: Once I was young, and young forever and always, until I wasn't.

This book ruined my life in the best way.

Christina Henry's novel imagines that James Cook wasn't originally a villain. Once, James was a boy named Jamie, and he was Peter Pan's first playmate. His most beloved one.

But after years and years and years of living with Peter, Jamie has aged in some ways -- not physically, but mentally. He sees the arbitrary, insane cruelty of Peter Pan -- someone who yearns only for fun, but whose idea of fun includes real bloodshed and death -- and Jamie eventually tires of it.

I haven't actually read any of Barrie's original work on Peter Pan, but am familiar with the story as portrayed by Disney and popular culture. Henry's take is so achingly good, because when you get down to it, there is something horrifically vicious in Peter's behavior and world. Jamie -- who wants nothing more than to just love Peter as he once did, and be loved in return -- is all of us, yearning for innocence but unable to stop witnessing the truth.

What else can I say without revealing too much? I just loved this book; I read it in about a day and half, literally waving off people to keep reading (although, given that there's a very sweet, tender young child in this story, I did also spend lots of time squishing my toddler). It's gruesome, but not gory; horrifying but not horror. It's just wonderful -- a chilly take on a beloved story (my catnip!) -- and I'm going back to inhale all of Henry's previous books.

Title: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
Author: Christina Henry

Genre: Fiction (Fantasy / Historical / Inspired by / Peter Pan / Coming-of-Age / Fairies / Childhood Friendship)
Publisher/Publication Date: Berkley (7/4/2017)
Source: Publisher

*** *** ***


I'm thrilled to offer a copy of Lost Boy to one lucky winner!

To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US readers only (sorry!); ends 7/28.


  1. I bet my sister would love this!

  2. Reading Peter Pan is a very interesting experience. It's odd, and fantastical, and lovely, and also very dark. Tinkerbell tries to kill Peter a few times. So I suppose it's not much of a stretch to imagine Hook as not quite so evil.

    1. Exactly! I'm planning to pick up the original Peter Pan stuff because I'm curious (Henry has a creature referred to as "Many Eyed" that I'm unsure is original to the Barrie work or original to her). But I really appreciate that she makes this very un-Disney.

  3. Thanks for the post. I did not know very much about Peter Pan. It came as a surprise!

  4. Oh this sounds sooooo goooddd!!! Off to add this one to my wish list, thanks!!

  5. Ooh, I am glad I saw this! I admit I didn't think I would be that into this book book since I don't know much Peter Pan. Glad to know you didn't read Barrie but still enjoyed this one!

  6. I haven't read Barrie's work either, but I like the concept of this one.

  7. This sounds absolutely wonderful. I'll have to get my own copy since I missed the giveaway (but I'm not in the US, so I couldn't enter anyway)!