Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: "The Child Thief"

There are very few books that are able to take the reader to a different world, play with him and then bring him back. "The child thief" by Brom is one of them. I really have to thank my friend Zac for letting me discover this amazing piece of art.Disclaimer: this book is not for everyone and is not for the occasional reader. Its contents and themes are very abnormal, to say the least.

In this book the author narrates the stories of none other than Peter Pan. Peter is very different than the nice never-grown kid we know from the current Disneyan's mythology. He's dark, he's blood thirsty, he has a job to do. He has to defend the land of Avalon (yes, you read correctly: Avalon and not Neverland) from the flash-eaters and their Captain. In order to win his battle he needs an army. Here the other characters come in play. I cannot spoil it too much, but I will say that his army is composed of desperate real-world kids. Among them, Nick. He's a fourteen year-old kid. He hates his mother and lives amongst drug dealers (but he's not one of them). Actually he cannot stand them so he chooses to leave, angering their leader. Peter will "rescue" him and will bring him to Avalon.

Brom's book is a voyage between the real and a fantastic world, but is especially a true voyage inside the mind of a poor kid and a twisted fantastic hero.
I think the sentence I liked the most is in chapter one. Peter is looking at a fight between teenagers:

"He looked at the numbed, perplexed expressions on the three older teens and thought. They're blind. Blind as a nut in a nutshell. There's magic all around them and they don't see a lick of it. How could this be possible? Only a few short years ago, possibly only a few months, they were still children, their minds in bodies full of magic, open and alive to all the enchantments swirling around them. Now look at them, miserable self-conscious fuckwits, going to spend the rest of their lives trying to find something they never even realized they'd lost.
I'd be doing them a favor. To gut the three of them. His eyes gleamed at the thought. Hell, and it'd be fun too. Watching their faces as they juggled their own guts. Much fun indeed. But he wasn't here to have fun. He was here to make a new friend".

There is a whole philosophy in there.
At the end (no spoiler, don't worry) there is a small dissertation by Brom on how he created his character: thanks to this I will definitely read the original Peter Pan!!

I can't spoil much more about this book, however the reader will find much enjoyment in Brom's illustrations. They really fit the theme.
Last thing: notice how the Captain evolves.


The Captain:

The Lady of the Lake:

The Reverend:

(All images from: )

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