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Publisher's Summary

In the vein of Gregory Maguire’s bestselling works, the award-winning artist Brom takes us on a haunting look at the true world of Peter Pan, in his first full-length novel. From modern day New York to the dying land of Faerie, The Child Thief reveals the world of Peter Pan through the eyes of an insecure runaway who is seduced by Peter’s charm. But any dreams of a fairy wonderland are quickly replaced by the reality of life and death survival as Peter’s recruits are forced into a lethal battle in which the line between good and evil is blurred.

©2010 Brom (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Child Thief

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an exceptionally excellent story

This is the Peter Pan that that should have been made into movie. Excellently written and what a exceptional performance by the narrator. I bought all of Brom's other books, and I mean all of them, audio and hardback off the back of this, I start Krampus tomorrow.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

Was a great first book, a really good twisted dark side to a Peter pan type of story. Really enjoyed it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • derek
  • 21-07-2019

a beautiful entry but far from his best

most of Broms books seem to follow the same plot structure but that in no way means they are dull and boring. the child thief, krampus, and old gods do a great job of mixing together myths and legends into a new story while giving you points of reference. it gives you a way to get inside and fully understand the world that these myths embody. I'm not a smart man and ive got no gift for words but I'm trying....a little.
The child thief amd krampus were great books all around but old God's was by far my fav. try them out and I'm sure you will see what I was trying to vocalize.... especially about the plots

15 people found this helpful

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  • Elijah
  • 08-01-2013

Very well done.

The Child Thief was interesting and cleverly written. I enjoyed the new and interesting take on a very classic story. The story is told from many perspectives, so you know how each of the main characters feel, which makes them easy to relate to. It was a fairly violent book, but it only seemed to make the book seem more authentic. The danger seemed somewhat more real when described in such detail. I couldn't listen to this book all at one. It was dark and I often had to listen to some happy music because the story bummed me out so much.I wasn't sure I'd really like the book very much, and skipped over it several times. Then I read Krampus, also by Brom, and after reading that I was hooked on his style.

All in all it was a fantastic book, that I would be happy to forget- ONLY so that I could read it again as if it were the first time.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-11-2019

great premise terrible execution

R-rated Peter pan is a epic premise but the writing killed the story, Peters character doesn't draw you in nearly as much as you'd expect, he's just a bloodthirsty kid with just enough charisma to talk wandering kids into following him to a deadly island which would have been fine if there was more to it, but that's practically the whole story. The writing seemed lazy and blatantly linear at times with predictable and dissatisfying outcomes throughout the 19 hour listen. huge time commitment, somewhat expensive, and forgettable overall. If you're looking for something really good by Brom I'd definitely recommend "Old God's" enjoyed every moment of that one.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mary B. Coates
  • 23-07-2018

I read the reviews

I read some of the reviews on this book before I bought it, and almost didn't. Fortunately I listened to two other stories by Brom and was hooked on his style. This is not a child's story. It is about children, specifically about Peter Pan, but it is a story for adults or young adults and older teens, who have grown up fascinated by Peter Pan and are looking to hear the real story, or one more plausible then the Disney versions. The story was good, fast paced and full of suspense and vivid descriptions. Peter is a darker version of Pan than we are familiar with, but , for those of us who are familiar with and wondered at some of the things he did and said in the original, it is a more honest portrayal of the sprite that never ages,who is self centered and self focused and has no memory for people he has known. I enjoyed this story and the narrator who read the book. I look for ward to hearing more form Brom. He has shown himself to be a thoughtful, genuine creative writer, who knows how to build suspense and weave a tale of wonder. As Hook might say, "Good Form, Brom, Good form."

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kristin
  • 13-08-2015

Wow. Really good book. Loved it.

I didn't know going in just how good this book would be. From chapter one though, I was sucked into this world of magic. I'm normally a thrill reader, love Stephen King, so this isn't my usual cup of tea, but wow. Great spin on Peter Pan. Glad I took a chance.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Webber
  • 07-02-2011

A gory retelling of Peter Pan

I thought this book was very well written and it kept my attention, the narration was excellent. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it really is very violent and gory. In some cases it really seemed gratuitous and did not advance the plot. So, if you are squeamish you will want to avoid this one.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ophelia74
  • 08-12-2020

It's okay

I love dark retellings of fairy tales. This one is dark but after 12 hours, I'm over the whole thing. Peter wasn't captivating as a character. He talks children into going to his realm, but then just leaves them to either make it to the Devils (I guess they're the Lost Boys) or not, which makes the endeavor pointless. I have 6 hours left of this story and I don't care what happens to any of them anymore. I've heard such high praise for Brom, but I'm bored at this point. It's an okay story. I don't know that I'll listen to it again once I'm finished.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 29-01-2018

So Many Thoughts

So this is the second time that I've picked up The Child Thief. The first time I bought the ebook to read on my Kindle as I had been suggested this book by a friend I've known since high school. It's one of her favorite books and I hoped to love it too. I didn't love it and frankly thought it was just an okay book. Last year, I realized just how big a difference a good narrator can make to the enjoyment of a story. I decided to use an audible credit and buy the audiobook. In truth the narrator did make the book better but not as much as I had hoped. The ebook version was a 3 while the audiobook version is a 3.75 rating for me. Mr. Heyborne did a good job voicing characters of both genders and speaks clearly. I was able to listen at a speed of 1.50, which is the fastest I've ever listened to an audiobook.

If you were going to buy a version I'd recommend the audiobook. Learn from me and the money I spent on The Child Thief.

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The world can be full of ugliness, hate, and cruelty with many of our youth often losing their innocence all too quickly – especially those impoverished, abused and neglected children. For some of those youngsters they fall prey to a charismatic young teen named Peter, who gains their trust and promises them a paradise far away where their earthly problems cannot follow them. Instead of J.M. Barrie's version of a happy and playful boy whisking happy young children away for marvelous adventures in a magical Neverland, Brom's version of Peter preys on the hopeless, the molested and the desperate, repaying their trust with deceit, leading them to a wasteland even more terrifying than the world they decided to flee. Peter’s world is dying and the only way he can save Avalon and the ailing Lady that keeps his world safe is to amass an army of children and make them become feral warriors – his “Devils” – to fight the battle to end all battles, against an old, cunning foe called The Captain and other creatures that live in Avalon.

Bad points: This book is a very different than I thought it was going to be as it had both ups and downs for me. I found The Child Thief to be somewhat uneven; there was a large amount of initial backstory for both our main characters (Peter and Nick, a new “Devil” recruit) followed by what felt like a rushed final battle/conflict. Brom really explained the back stories of main characters and what Peter’s hunting ground was like, but the dramatic climax of the book felt a bit underdeveloped. The farther I got into the book the less explanations and descriptions there were. And, while most of the characters in the book are layered, complex and detailed creatures, it seemed like a one major character lacked the same development as Nick at Peter (the spurned son, Uthger). I don’t understand why Brom would make so many complex characters and have the puritanical zealots in the book’s final act. These characters felt continued the trend of rushed and underdeveloped characters that are only know as the single-minded “bad guys.”

Good points: The like how the world Brom wrote about is something less black and white and something more mixed up and in grey. As in most wars, both opposing sides fight with the utmost conviction that they are unerringly right while the other side is undeniably wrong. In the end, this insight manages to humanize and allows readers to sympathize with Brom’s characters as they have all made bad choices in order to survive. The notorious Captain is one such example I ended up sympathizing with that I hadn’t done when I read J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Brom did a really good job of including introducing us to other characters that are each strong in their own way. Redbone, the intimidating and scary looking experienced warrior, the hotheaded Leroy, who makes an infuriating – but oh so believable – character, Cricket, another new recruit we were introduced to in the prologue, and Sekeu, Brom’s warrior princess version of Tiger Lily who is Peter’s Second-in-command.

I can see why so many people have loved this book but if I’m honest I just didn’t connect with this book. My expectations were to love this story but I just thought it was okay. This is one of those books I would recommend people give a try as it is impossible to know for sure if you’ll love or hate it until you read it yourself.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sgtbuk1
  • 21-08-2011

The darkest Pan ever!

You'll find yourself cringing more than once while listening to this. Fits well in both the fantasy and horror genres. I really liked the afterward by Brom as well, it gave insight into what inspired such a twisted take on Peter and the Lost Boys. The Disneysation of Peter Pan is over! Long live the Child Thief!

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle
  • 25-11-2020

it was okay

I felt like the story was a little too long. I didn't have a connection to any of the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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