Welcome to the first day of HauntoberFest~ I’m pretty excited to get this ball rollin’. Shall we begin?
I decided to go with a more “dark, disturbing, grotesque fantasy” choice to start us off instead of straight-up horror. We’ll get to those titles later on. For now, let’s have a little Pan…
I’d love to hear your opinions on my first selection (if you’ve read it), or if you’re now thinking of picking it up yourself~ :3 Comments are always welcome. The more the merrier…
Title: The Child Thief
Page Length: 481 pages
Synopsis: Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.
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.
“We are the lost, the wild, the untamable.” ― Brom, The Child Thief
“Everything comes with a price. Everything. Some things just cost more than others.” ― Brom, The Child Thief
Why did I chose this book?
From the moment I laid eyes on it, there was… just… something that stirred inside me.
(And no, I’m not talking about lunch or the lack thereof.)
No… I’m talking about a very real and all-consuming NEED, to HAVE AND TO HOLD, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, POSSESS THIS DAMNED BOOK.
And I won’t lie – it was entirely due to that god-help-me, GORGEOUSLY CAPTIVATING cover that drew my butt and my wallet in like a moth to the flame. I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed either. Gorgeous covers will forever be my weakness and I know I’m not alone in that category. Besides, in this case, being drawn in by the art was a damned good thing considering it’s FILLED with gorgeous chapter images and even a section of full-color inserts later on in the book.
But there’s so much more to it than that.
I bought and read this book almost the moment it first came out back in ’09. That was 6, almost 7 years ago, around the time when dark fantasy was really just starting to become more mainstream and popular. I was and always have been a big fan of all things fantasy, DARK AND TWISTED, macabre, and fairy tale. So a friggin’ book called “The Child Thief” — … the CHILD thief?? jskdnafjlnjfskl — demanded I read it.
I certainly was not disappointed.
(I mean, COME ON NOW! For goodness sakes! What a twisted fucking title for a fairytale book. We’re getting pretty GRIM here, if you get my drift…)
Nevermind it being the most twisted Peter Pan tale I’d read (at that time), it was also wildly in line with my own belief that Peter was a touch mad, and entirely NOT to be trusted. EVER. I liked the keenly calculated, pathological madness behind his psychopathic “recruiting” of these boys to become his little henchmen and sacrificial army.
Lastly, I leave you with this bit of helpful information (it’s entirely relevant, I swear.)
For those not aware of this little tidbit: Click here for an interesting insight on the true nature of “Pan”.
The more you know, eh?
What I love/like about it:
- The ART. Nuff said.
- The creepy factor. No, this is NOT a horror book in the sense of blood and gore and heads lopping off. This is… more along the line of an undercurrent of terror. Just imagine this sort of nonsense happening to you when you were this age, or to ANY child this age and younger. Imagine that all the stories — fairytales, myths, legends — are true, but they’re wrong. So horribly wrong from the truth. Imagine that Neverland isn’t so-happy-a-place. That when you dream, your dreams are nightmares made manifest, and your happiest memories? Twisted incarnations of reality. This book… features THAT kind of horror. The kind that leaves you so glad this shit is NOT real because WHAT. THE ACTUAL. FUCK. Lock your windows and doors and never EVER leave home at night again. (Unless, of course, you’d like to be snatched away~~)
- Arthurian Legends + Pan Mythos = AWEEEEESSSOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMME. I swear to all who will hear me, I was NOT expecting that nor did I have any idea when I started reading. And then I did. And then I think I had a mild heart attack. Now the book has a special place on my wall of fame. ❤
- This reinterpretation of the Pan mythos is probably one of my favourites EVEN to this day. I’ve read some other really good ones, including fanfiction that blew my mind, but… I’ll always come back to this one as sort of… starting it all for me? I guess that’s the best way to put it.
- Pan, as a whole. I always wanted to see a version of him where he isn’t good, where he isn’t just childishly playful, either. Where all that sinister darkness was brought to life… in the body of a child. One who has forever, and ever… to play with you.
- I actually enjoyed the length of the book (though I know some people said it was too long for the story being told. I think they’re idiots, but that’s just me.) I would have even liked to see more in some areas, but overall: BOOK IS FAB. GO READ. ❤ ❤ ❤
Warnings or Triggers
(highlight below to see)
Let’s get say, it’s a twisted story. It’s NOWHERE near a gruesome or graphic as say… GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is (or as you TV lovers might know better as Game of Thrones), but it’s certainly high on the Richter scale of grotesque nonetheless.
ALTERNATIVE TITLES FOR THE DAY
These can be anything, but for today, they are all other choices I thought of using to open our HauntoberFest event and the October month. Click on the cover to go to their Goodreads page!