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Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

Publisher: Berkley Books

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, by Christina Henry of Alice and Red Queen fame, tells the story of Peter Pan and how Captain Hook, his greatest nemesis, came to be, but it's quite different from the story we've all heard since we were children. This is not the Peter Pan from the House of Mouse, far from it.

Jamie was the first boy Peter Pan ever brought to the wondrous island where little boys never have to grow up and they can spend their days playing, fighting, and adventuring, never being weighed down with responsibility. Although Jamie has a confusing and bloody recurring nightmare, he doesn't remember the Other Place and only lives to be Peter's greatest playmate. At least, that's how it used to be. As Peter brought more and more boys to the island over the years, and they fought pirates in raids, battled crocodiles, or simply got wounded in rough fighting, Jamie has found himself being caregiver to the boys. He patches them up when they get hurt, cares for them when they are sick, and buries them when they die. For, even though they pretty much stop aging when they come to Peter's island, they can still die, and do so often.

One of Peter's latest Lost Boys is a small, blonde 5-year-old named Charlie, and Peter has started to resent the amount of time the clingy child takes of Jamie, keeping him from being at Peter's disposal for play. Peter also recently brought an angry, strong boy named Nip into the group, and Nip seems determined to make a name for himself, hoping to take Jamie's place. But who could ever take Jamie's place? After all, he is Peter's first and best boy and always will be.

As Jamie begins to see the way Peter looks at Charlie and realizes the sprite-like boy may have harm planned for the little one, he begins to see Peter in a different light. Not as the carefree playmate he has loved and been with for over 100 seasons, but a selfish and petulant child who endangers the lives of those around him for sport. For all his childish ways, Peter does have his rules on the island. No one can ever go back to the Other Place and no can ever kill a Many-Eyed, the large spider-like creatures that inhabit the plains. When Jamie is faced with a situation where he must kill a Many-Eyed or risk all of the Lost Boys, he makes the decision to kill it and this sets him and Peter at odds even more than they had been. Add to that recent events that have made the pirates even more bloodthirsty and bold than they ever have been, and Jamie has his hands more than full.

So now Jamie must protect Charlie, while dealing with Peter's anger over his disobedience, and he'll have to fight Nip in a Battle to the death, since Nip allowed himself to become Peter's pawn and has caused chaos among the group. At least watching out for Charlie has become easier lately by the arrival of a new boy named Sal, who is kind and caring to Charlie and has a few secrets which Jamie will soon discover. As Jamie begins to realize there are many things Peter has been keeping from him, and that Peter has a very wicked end game, he longs to spirit away Sal and Charlie, along with the few remaining boys who have been with him for so long, and escape the island and return to the Other Place. But Peter's rule is NO ONE CAN EVER LEAVE THE ISLAND. That won't stop Jamie from trying.

Once more, Christina Henry takes a familiar fairytale and tells you that everything you thought you knew was wrong. She has a brilliant way of making a page-turner from what was once a familiar and benign children's story, and the blood-soaked pages filled with action and adventure will keep you coming back, breezing through the book all too quickly. I loved Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, probably even more than Alice and Red Queen, and I dreaded getting to the end, simply knowing the book would be over. If you love a twisted fairytale, get Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook. And while you are at it, get Alice and Red Queen as well. You won't be disappointed. Okay, Christina - how about your take on Cinderella and Snow White? Or really anything. Just another book please. :)

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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