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Published: Aug 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Fairytale Retelling
The first time you see Peter, it is a strange sight to behold. Bright red hair, freckles, and pointy shoes. An ever present mischievous smile. And a laugh that is infectious, making you both wary and relaxed around him.
He will save you from your troubles, and take you to a magical place. Do you want to play a game? He will ask. Just be careful of your answer. Because the place he will take you to, is not like Neverland. And the game he wants you play could end in death.
In The Child Thief, Peter saves lost and scared children. Offering them a place in Avalon, a once beautiful and lush paradise. That is now gray and filled with war. Here is where Peter asks you to play, asks you to fight for him.
So... Do you want to play a game?
This is a masterpiece. I don't remember ever saying that about a book, but this one demands I do. I am at a huge risk to just gush about this book, so heres why you MUST read it!
Characters: Everyone in this book was diverse and interesting. They were all unique in their own ways, and constantly surprised me. Each character is multidimensional, they are all both good and bad. With complicated back stories, that made me understand them fully and empathize, even with the characters I hated. Peter is one of the most complex characters I have even come across. He is charming and childlike. Then he is cruel and cold, and then he is lovable and pitiful. His back story which we get to see through flash backs, made me incredibly sad. And showed how this intricate person came to be.
Setting: I felt like I was there with the children in Avalon. Surrounded by the gray landscape that hinted at a magic beneath. With faeries trying to steal my food, and danger lurking outside the big round door. The illustrations also added to my vision of Avalon and its occupants. They were very detailed, and gave me a picture of Peter, Nick and the rest of the characters, that was so much better than my own. The atmosphere of Avalon, and also Boston was also really good, and added to the horror and creepiness of this book.
Plot: The darkness and the cruelty of this story were kind of a shock to read. Not because they were outrageous, in fact it was the opposite. The things that happen are realistic, and happen in the world today. But the way in which they were told, no sugar coating, no holding back, just simply described for me. Made me have to stop reading more than once. Overall the plot was rich and unique, and I loved seeing things from Peter and Nicks perspective. And although the ending wasn't as epic as I was hoping. It was still as dark and twisted as the rest of this book, and in a way felt just right.
I feel like Ive barely brushed the surface of how amazing this book is. It is probably my new favourite book ever, and I couldnt recomend it enough!