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The Child Thief by Brom – Review




the child thiefTHE CHILD THIEF

Author: Brom

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Format: Hardcover, 476 pages

Published Date: August 25th 2009

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(Click cover or underlined title to add on Goodreads)


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.


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adri's review


As the sun slid slowly behind the cityscape, the shadows crept in -and so did the thief, biding his time, waiting for the falling darkness to sort the children out.

I cried when I finished this book and I’m not even the crying type. I might tear up but that’s as far as I usually go. Until this book… It’s not just out of sadness but also every other type of emotion possible. Reading this book was completely overwhelming- an emotional roller coaster. Honestly, there were quite a few times I’d considered stopping because this book is the darkest book I’ve ever read and will read, but I literally COULDN’T. I read all 476 pages in just two days (which is a lot for me).

I doubt that there could be a better Peter Pan retelling out there, I’d be surprised if there is. The Peter in this book is much darker and deeper than we originally know him to be so if you’re looking for anything close to Disney’s version, look elsewhere. If you’re not comfortable with a very, very, very dark and graphic  read, this is definitely not for you.

But the beautiful writing and the incredibly creepy and breathtaking illustrations by the author himself more than make up for all of it. The author also manages to create the perfect picture of Avalon through his words. It has a feel of darkness and cruelty but also beauty. The world-building draws you in from the start. Not only is he a great author, but look as these illustrations! I’ve literally never heard of such a talented author. I am incredibly blown away.

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Meet Peter, the child thief. He seeks out the abused, the forgotten, the unloved children, he lures them with his irresistible charm and free spirit to Avalon where he promises happiness. Only after it’s too late do these children realize what kind of world they’ve been pulled into- a world full of faeries, witches, flesh- eaters and gods; a world where full of monsters that they are meant to fight to survive.


We get so much insight into Peter’s character and we delve in his past enough that you get attached to him. He is very complex and very well developed.Through time, you begin to understand his actions, his motives and you will be torn over what to feel about him. And I have to admit that there was just something very alluring about this character. You can’t help but like him and it’s a scary thing if you ask me.

One moment a cold-hearted killer, the next a sentimental boy, always the eternal optimist despite a lifetime of tragedy. Of course, that’s his glamour. The very thing that draws the children to him, makes them love him despite so many contradictions.

It’s not just about Peter though. We get to meet so many amazing characters and creatures. In fact, half of the story is told through Nick’s point of view (one of the children). His perspective offers a fresh take on the turmoil and fear and camaraderie that these children experience in this drab, scary place.

The Child Thief is very lengthy and the plot line goes a bit haywire at some point because there are so many things happening that leave your head reeling. There is blood and gore and action; there is friendship and trust and betrayal but weaving through all of it is this inexplicable sadness and heartache. Because it’s as much a story about the abused, the forgotten, the lonely; it’s about childhood and freedom as much as it is about faeries and  monsters.

“Children like yourselves are full of magic, but the men have turned, they’ve lost their magic to the fear and hatred they harbor for all that they can’t explain, control, or understand.”

I don’t know how many times this book broke my heart, I lost count. What these characters have gone through and what they are currently going through. I teared up through most of it, but the ending is what left me absolutely hollow. I was a sulking, sobbing mess by the end. The last few moments are so unfair and yet so perfect. Every thing about the last few pages just…I have no words. Except:


“It’s your time, Nick. Your one chance to have fun before it’s stolen by them, the adults, with their have-tos, and better-dos, their little boxes and cages all designed to break your spirit, kill your magic.”


about author

bromGerald Brom is an American gothic fantasy artist and illustrator. Brought up as a military dependent he was known by his last name only, and now signs his name as simply Brom.

An Army brat, Brom spent his entire youth on the move and unabashedly blames living in such places as Japan, Hawaii, Germany, and Alabama for all his afflictions. From his earliest memories he has been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous, and the beautiful.

At the age of twenty, Brom started working full-time as a commercial illustrator. Since that time he has been working feverishly for every facet of the genre, from novels (Michael Moorcock, Terry Brooks, R.A.Salvatore, E.R. Burroughs), Role-playing (TSR, White Wolf, WOTC), comics (DC, Chaos, Dark Horse), Games (Doom2, Heretic, Diablo2, World of Warcraft), and film (Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Ghosts of Mars, Scooby Doo, Van Helsing). Brom’s powerful and haunting visions can be found in his two art books “Darkwerks” and “Offerings” and also his illustrated novel “the Plucker”.

Most recently, Brom has turned his hand to writing a series of illustrated novels. His first novel “The Plucker” (a twisted children’s book for adults) has over 100 paintings and received numerous nominations and was awarded a Chesley. His latest edition “The Devil’s Rose” (a western set in Hell) is due out summer of 2007.

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