Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“The Child Thief”, (EOS Books), by Brom

“The Child Thief” is a haunting, almost sinister look at the darkness lurking beneath the fabled fairy tale of “Peter Pan”, the forever adventuring child of Neverland. Skillfully blending myths, legends and fairy tales, award winning artist Brom presents a starkly different Peter: egotistical, maniacal, sadistic, manipulative, half insane...and horribly alone. This golden eyed boy laughs loud, plays hard, and schemes endlessly for his own, demented good, recruiting lost children into an army destined to die horrible deaths, all so Peter can continue playing his twisted games.

When a fourteen year old runs afoul drug dealers and faces certain torture and most likely death, he's rescued by a strange red-haired boy with golden, sparkling eyes. He calls himself “Peter”, and he promises Nick there's a place where he'll never grow old; a wondrous place of adventure and challenges, with no adults looming over their shoulders, spoiling their fun. Nick thinks Peter is just a bit crazy...but fun and exciting, also. Something inside Nick yearns to be near this strange boy, so he follows Peter down to the docks, out into the mists...and into another world, filled with monsters, death, and evil.

Peter is no mischievous child; rather an immortally young commander recruiting lost, abused, and neglected children to wage a war against the black and twisted “Flesh-eaters”. Reeling, Nick encounters others just like him, though seemingly hand-plucked from different parts of human history: Abraham, the former African-American child slave; Sekeu, the mysterious, elegant yet dangerous Native American girl; and Redbone, a refugee of the seventies. They all worship Peter with a fanatical devotion that terrifies Nick, because he sees the truth behind the lies: it's all a game to Peter. All his loyal followers: merely pawns he's more than willing to throw away in pursuit of his mad obsessions.

“The Child Thief” is a dark delight sure to please lovers of legend and lore. Brom samples from just about every fairy tale here; borrowing bits and pieces from Arthurian legend, faerie lore, even throwing in bits of Greek mythology. And, it works well, almost as well as a Neil Gaiman myth-work, though perhaps not as refined. It may be a bit too long, with some late character development at the end, but on the whole it's an obsessively readable twist on an old, often taken for granted fairy tale.

Visit Buy it today.

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