Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review: Child Thief by Brom

Book description:

Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter's crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?
There is always more to lose.
Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the "Devils," Peter's savage tribe of lost and stolen children.
There, Peter's dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the "Flesh-eaters" and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.

My review:

This isn't your beloved Peter Pan from childhood, full of optimism and battling pirates. This magical tale is dark, scary and sinister...unlike anything you've ever read before.

Peter came at them, running all out. The men tightened their ranks and leveled their spears. But this was what Peter had wanted. at the last second, he faked left, drawing their weapons to bear, then leaped right, launching himself from a large root, bounding up, and cartwheeling over the men. He struck out with both swords, the blades scissoring into the face of the man holding Danny, cutting the entire front of the man's face off, exposing his eye sockets, nasal cavities, and an open hole where his mouth had been. There came a horrible gargling cry; the man's tongue flapped like a windsock. He fell away from Danny, clutching what was left of his face.

Brom has created an elaborate fantasy, built with layer upon layer of finely worded details, and held together by the tightly constructed history of Peter and the changing face of Avalon. This Avalon is dying, all the magic of the Lady being sucked dry, and with that death comes about a most terrifying nightmare, one that you hope never to encounter. Reminds me of a cross between Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman, the type of book that takes the reader to a twisted funhouse and never lets you find the right path out, never giving up all the secrets until the very end. Brom absolutely brought these characters to life and the inclusion of color illustrations just furthers the combination of beauty and fright, all at once.  You'll definitely want a bedside lamp on for this one!

Visit Brom's website for more book and art information.

*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for Bite Club
*Book was given for review by the publishers.

1 comment:

Jen D. said...

Great review Anna. This one's been on my rader for a while. That excerpt was gruesome but, I liked it.