The Couple Next Door

20170819_170848.jpgThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena follows Anne and Marco Conti as they are invited to a dinner party at their neighbors house. Their babysitter cancelled, so they decide to take turns checking on the baby every thirty minutes during the dinner party. They also use a baby monitor that they bring with them to the dinner party.

Some time later that night, they arrive home to their baby missing. With everyone lying and keeping secrets, who could have taken the baby? Can anyone be trusted?

My Thoughts

I initially picked this book because I’m always on the lookout for a good psychological thriller. I absolutely love the twists and turns they take you on. The unreliable narrative is one of the best tools an author of this genre can use. Some of the best books I’ve ever enjoyed have been in this thrilling genre. This book may not have been the best psychological thriller I’ve read, but man, I really enjoyed it.

“She knows how judgemental mothers are, how good it feels to sit in judgement of someone else.”

My favorite thing about this book is the fact that you can’t trust anyone. Every character you’re introduced to has a secret they’re hiding, and could potentially be the one who took the baby. The characters aren’t all that likeable but, in my opinion, they don’t have to be. The story was thrilling and had me compulsively turning the pages. This was definitely a speedy read.

This book is quick-paced and full of twists and turns. I was excited to see what would happen next and couldn’t wait for the conclusion. The ending wasn’t what I was expecting, and I can gladly say I didn’t see many of the twists coming. I really enjoy when I can’t guess what’s going to happen next in a book. The unreliable narrative in this book is interestingly done and, although not my favorite, was very entertaining and surprising.

“The wife is always the last to know, right?”

Although the story isn’t completely realistic, it’s also not an impossible premise. There are some flaws throughout the story, and may require suspension of belief in order to fully enjoy it. The characters weren’t very well drawn out, and the story focused more on the thrill and mystery. I honestly wish there were more fleshed out characters in this book.

If I were to compare this book to something, it would be like a Lifetime movie, but better. There were some eye-rolling moments and even more nail-biting moments. The momentum of the story helps drive it forward. The mystery behind who took the baby only lasted about half of the book, but the momentum never stopped. There were still plenty more twists and turns remaining after the big reveal.

It’s much easier to make money if you don’t care who you hurt. If you have scruples, it’s much harder to get rich.”

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a fast-paced thriller with plenty of twists and turns. As long as you don’t mind suspending your belief a bit, this story is very enjoyable. This book was full of unlikable and lying characters, twists-galore, and plenty of suspense. The story wasn’t the most believable at times, but I honestly enjoyed this book.

And Then There Were None

20170812_170902.jpgAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie follows ten guests that are mysteriously invited to an island mansion by a “U.N. Owen.” During the dinner, a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret. By the end of the night, one of the guests dies.

The group becomes stranded by a violent storm, while being haunted by the nursery rhyme that seems to be counting down their lives. Which among them is the killer? Will anyone survive?

My Thoughts

Agatha Christie is known as the Queen of Mystery for good reason. Her mysteries helped define the genre and reinvent it at the same time. Mystery has always been one of my favorite genres. I love trying to guess whodunit and why. My favorite part of reading them, honestly, is how wrong I can be about my theories. It’s actually more disappointing when I’m able to guess the end of a book. This definitely isn’t the case for this book. This is one of my all time favorite mysteries.

“In the midst of life, we are in death.” 

I knew I was going to like this book when I first bought it. I had heard all about Christie books, this one being the most talked about book by her, and for good reason. This book follows multiple characters throughout, creating a dynamic and well-rounded read. I enjoyed reading about the different characters, and discovering their big secrets that brought them into this predicament.

Just when I thought I knew who the murderer was, that person was killed off too. This was exactly the type of mystery I love. There were many shady characters and many who believed they had done nothing wrong. It was hard at times to know who was telling the truth. The characters aren’t super fleshed out, but you get a rough idea of who each one is and where they come from. It was hard to like some of them after you figured out their “guilty secrets.”

“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”

This isn’t a terribly long mystery, coming in at less than three hundred pages. Personally, I believe this helped make the story strong and effective. The book definitely didn’t drag and was a nice speedy read. Some of my favorite books get right to the point and keep the momentum going the whole way through. This book definitely kept up the suspense, but in a more subtle way at times.

One thing I love about reading Christie books is how well she wraps things up at the end of her books. This book wrapped up beautifully and the conclusion shocked me. I was reeling for days after finishing this. I really enjoyed the idea behind the book and it kept me guessing the entire time. The premise was very similar to Clue, but with a clever nursery rhyme and more death.

“It had come about exactly in the way things happened in books.” 

I recommend this book, along with many other Christie books, to anyone who loves a good mystery. I would consider this a cozy mystery to read at any time of year, but especially summer. This story is timeless in plot, but brings you back to the late 1930’s. This book was shocking and brilliant. This book made me fall in love with classic mysteries.

Red Rising

20170805_130848.jpgRed Rising by Pierce Brown follows Darrow, a member of the lowest color class in a future class living on Mars. Darrow and his fellow Reds live under the surface of Mars, working hard everyday to build a better future for themselves and their planet. But they’ve been lied to.

Darrow realizes that humanity had reached the surface of Mars generations ago. The surface is scattered with sprawling buildings and luxurious lifestyles. The Reds are being used as work slaves for the higher classes.

Inspired by this betrayal, Darrow decides to infiltrate the higher Gold class. He must fight for his life and the future of civilization against other Golds. He must do everything he can to bring down his enemies, even if that means he has to become the one thing he hates.

My Thoughts

Ordinarily I don’t read books that take place in space. It’s not that I wouldn’t give them a chance typically, it’s that I don’t actively seek them out. I’ve seen this book all over the place, in bookstores and online. There are many comparisons to the Hunger Games, which is a fairly accurate, except for the fact that this book was much more enjoyable for me.

“The measure of a man is what he does when he has power.”

I hate to compare this book to the Hunger Games, but it’s hard not to. The idea behind the book is very similar. There’s a higher class that dictates the lower classes and lives in luxury, while  others live in poverty and ruins. There’s even a part of the story that involves fighting for your life in a brutal game reminiscent of capture the flag. I’ll stop there, in fear of spoiling anything! Let me start with the things about this story that I wasn’t thrilled about.

First of all, Darrow can’t do anything wrong. I felt like his character wasn’t quite flawed enough. He was always strong and always had an answer and justification for everything he did. He was stronger and faster and smarter than most. If someone can jump ten feet, he can jump twenty. You get the point. Another thing that slightly bothered me was the fact that I didn’t always feel like I was actually on Mars. This could be a bonus for people who aren’t fans of space books, although this could definitely change in the other books. There were some names of objects that sounded futuristic, which got confusing at first. But after letting the imagination take over, I found it easier to picture these things. Now, onto the things I really enjoyed about this book!

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

It was pretty neat getting a glimpse of some of the different of the different castes. They’re not as fleshed out in this book as I’m sure they are in the later books, but it gives you a good taste of what’s to come. There were some pretty exciting scenes in this book that felt like I was watching a brutal game of capture the flag. This was my favorite part of the book.

The story didn’t take a ton of time to explain the worldbuilding in advance, or the terms of objects throughout. You are basically just thrust into this world that everyone is already living in. I actually appreciate when an author can do this well, as it prevents the story from dragging and info-dumping. I believe this story did a pretty good job of worldbuilding without taking pages and pages to explain everything to you.

“Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.” 

There were plenty of characters in this book and, surprisingly, I actually felt something toward a few of them. There were fun and crazy characters throughout and I genuinely enjoyed reading about a handful of them. Sevro and Mustang were absolutely lovely characters, which I really didn’t expect to love so much.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi book or even lovers of fantasy. This book is something very different, and I bloodydamn loved it.  I can’t wait to read the rest of these books. I hope the other installments are as entertaining as this one was for me. Despite the very, very small issues I had with this book, I really enjoyed it.

The Marsh King’s Daughter

20170727_150906.jpgThe Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne follows Helena as she tries to live a normal life with her husband and two daughters. When she hears that her father has escaped prison and killed two guards, she feels her world come crashing down around her.

Helena’s father kidnapped her mother when she was a teenager and held her captive. Helena had no idea when she was a child how monstrous her father could really be. Now that he’s escaped from prison, anything could happen and everyone is in danger.

Her husband doesn’t know her grisly past and the truth threatens to ruin everything she has built. In order to keep her new family safe and to put her past behind her, she must hunt down her father and bring order back to her now chaotic life.

My Thoughts

First, I have to say that this cover is absolutely gorgeous. The cover is what initially drew me into this book, followed quickly by the synopsis. Second, this book is somewhat hard for me to pinpoint. It’s claiming to be a psychological thriller, but I didn’t really get those vibes. It definitely had thriller moments, there’s no doubt about that. The story was incredibly well-written and had an eerie undertone that kept you drawn in. But the book didn’t mess with my mind like most psychological thrillers. Nor did it have any twists that I can pinpoint.

Don’t let this take away from the fact that this book is very enjoyable. It has some pretty strong elements of suspense. One plus is that this book takes place in Michigan. I may be biased, being from northern Michigan and all, but this state is absolutely gorgeous. The four seasons we get and the lush greenery we get in the summer is the perfect landscape for such a story.

“Memories aren’t always about facts. Sometimes they’re about feelings.”

The story jumps from present to past, sometimes from chapter to chapter. This created a very interesting story and some depth to the main character that would otherwise not be there. My issue with this book was that the present and past were not balanced properly. The past part of the book seemed to dominate at times. The suspense would be building up in the story and then there would be a really long chapter about her childhood, allowing the suspense to fizzle out.

I feel like there could have been much more about how she hunts down her father before reaching the climax. It felt like she hardly looked at all during the entire book, which I initially thought was going to be a big part of the story. This story wasn’t a quick-paced thriller, but rather a story about how a young girl grew up in very odd circumstances with a thriller sprinkled in throughout. Honestly, this story would have also worked if it was only written about her growing up in the marshes and her life after going into civilization for the first time.

“Memories can be tricky, especially those from childhood.”

I know, it sounds like I really didn’t like this book, doesn’t it? But that’s not the case at all, I swear! This book works well in many other ways. The chapters about the past are extremely well-written and the vibe of this book have Michigan written all over it. You can definitely tell that the author is from Michigan as well, and knows a great deal about the scenery. She does a great job building a claustrophobic environment using the beautiful landscape of the Upper Peninsula and the secluded life in the marshes.

The thriller part of the story left something to be desired, but the parts about her childhood and growing up with her captive mother and father were very captivating. I would find myself getting frustrated at times when the suspense got cut off by a flashback, but would be quickly sucked back in by the unique circumstances of her childhood. The climax of the book was suspenseful and satisfying.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

So, to get to the point, I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t mind a slower paced thriller. I suppose I went into this book with certain expectations and I’m sure that’s why it let me down a little. The book is incredibly well-written and has an amazing premise. The Michigan backdrop and the marsh setting create an eerily captivating story. If jumping from past to present (with the past being dominant) doesn’t bother you, this book could really work for you. I guess I was just expecting something a bit more on the thriller end, but this was still an incredibly captivating and enjoyable read.

I Let You Go

20170718_150916I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh follows Jenna Gray as she moves away to a small beat-down shack on the coast, hoping to mask the memory of the car accident and the memory of the loss of her child. She must decide what’s important to her as her painful past catches up with her.

During this time, the Bristol police investigators are tracking down hopeless lead after another in order to find out who was driving the car that killed the young boy. The case follows twists and turns as the investigation begins to unfold.

My Thoughts

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good psychological thriller. I love the twists, the turns and the deception. Some are stronger than others, but I generally enjoy most that I read. The unreliable narratives and deceptive characters always pull me in and spit me out with a twist that keeps me reeling for days.

Wow, this book definitely delivered those feelings. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started this book, and I was shocked by some of the twists and turns this story took. This one quickly climbed up my list of favorite psychological thrillers. The vibes of this book are somewhat dark and claustrophobic at times, which helps add to the unease.

“Such a small impact on the world, yet the very centre of my own.”

This book started out a little slow. The first half didn’t fly nearly as fast as the second half, but for good reason. There needed to be a solid base built before it was all torn down. I didn’t mind the slower pace in the first half, especially with such a brilliant twist in the second half. The twist in this book was one of the most powerful and beautifully executed twists I’ve ever encountered.

The writing in this book makes it hard for me to believe that this is Mackintosh’s debut novel. It was brilliant and thought-provoking. Whether it was disgust or pity, I felt strongly about the characters. This novel clearly shows that unexpected accidents have strong consequences for many people. The grief in this book is heavy and much deeper than expected.

“I want to fix an image of him in my head, but all I can see when I close my eyes is his body, still and lifeless in my arms. I let him go, and I will never forgive myself for that.”

The switching between the cops and Jenna brought a three-dimensional view on the entire investigation. You felt the grief while also seeing the impact it had on officers and their families. Being able to see into the lives of people involved in this devastating case brings new and unexpected light to the topic of grief and loss.

Even though I went into this book knowing there were going to be some twists, it definitely didn’t take away from the impact, nor did it give away the twist. Even when I was subconsciously looking for a twist to happen it caught me completely off-guard. I love having my mind blown by a great book, and this one definitely didn’t let me down.

“My steps feel lighter now and I realize it’s because I’m running toward something, and not away from it.”

In short, I can’t recommend this book enough. I recommend it to people who love psychological thrillers, mysteries and thrillers in general. I have to applaud Mackintosh for such a well-written, quick-paced debut. And seriously, that twist! I can’t wait to get my hands on her second novel. I truly hope the second novel stands up to this one. Despite the title, this book definitely didn’t let me go.

Magpie Murders

20170715_125656.jpgMagpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz follows Susan Ryeland, an editor for a publishing company, as she introduces the manuscript of the newest installment of the Atticus Pünd mystery series. Alan Conway’s bestselling books about Atticus Pünd pay homage to Agatha Christie’s work and style. Although Susan strongly dislikes Alan Conway, his fame has brought their publishing company strong success, so she must deal with him.

With eight other stories about Atticus Pünd, Susan has no reason to think Magpie Murders should be any different than the rest. But she begins to notice some things within the text itself. Things that may point to real life greed, jealousy and possibly even murder.

My Thoughts

I ran across this book on a new releases table while exploring the bookstore with my girlfriend, like we (way too) often do. The cover and title were about enough to sell me on buying this book. But after reading the synopsis touting the likes of Agatha Christie, I knew I simply had to have it. Horowitz definitely didn’t let me down.

This book reads like two books. There is a modern day mystery and a cozy classic mystery in the form of a manuscript. That’s right, an entire manuscript for an entire story is concealed in this book alongside a modern mystery. Both parts are similar in length and, in my opinion, work really well together.

“The most obvious conclusions are the ones I try to avoid.”

This book had me curious of what was going to happen from the first pages until the very end. Some of my favorite books are whodunits, and this one definitely climbs up on that list. My favorite part about this book is that it had me invested in both stories. Even if you’re not invested in one of the two stories, it still fully delivers a conclusion for both, creating a satisfying read.

The manuscript part definitely took its format and style from Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot books and her love of nursery rhymes in murder from her other works, such as And Then There Were None. In fact, Atticus Pünd was strongly depicted after Poirot himself. But this didn’t take away from the story at all. Horowitz found ways to make the story feel familiar without feeling like I’ve read it before. I really enjoyed this part of the book, as it reminded me of reading a classic Christie book.

“Sometimes you spend so much time chasing something that you lose everything else.”

The main mystery of the book, which I won’t discuss in detail due to spoilers, is a modern mystery that bases heavily around the manuscript and the author that wrote it. Basically, after reading the manuscript, Susan notices that things aren’t as they seem. Events, places and people in the book may actually based on real ones. Real ones that involve greed and a possible murder. She races to find answers through her connections and within the Atticus Pünd novels.

I went into this book with some hopeful expectations. I wanted a good whodunit that I would never guess. A story that would feel cozy and mysterious. I was hoping for an Agatha Christie style. And to be perfectly honest, I got all of that times two. I was excited when I realized I was getting an entire story within the main story. A story filled with mystery and a detective I could get behind.

“Fiction merely allows us a glimpse of the alternative.”

Honestly, I would highly recommend this book for people who love a good whodunit. This book grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t release me until I discovered the truth behind both mysteries. If you love a good mystery with some suspense and clever writing, you should definitely pick this book up. I’ve never read any other works by Horowitz, but I’m really hoping that he writes more works like this in the future. I really, really enjoyed this mystery.

Since We Fell

20170624_163357.jpgSince We Fell by Dennis Lehane follows Rachel Childs, a global journalist, who has an on-air mental breakdown. She becomes a virtual shut-in afterwards as her life falls apart.

A chance encounter with a man from her past changes everything she thought she knew. Rachel’s life slowly declines, ruining her career and marriage.

Riddled with panic attacks, Rachel is thrust into a conspiracy filled with deception and lies. She must find the strength to find truths and conquer her fears.

Who can she really trust?

My Thoughts

You may come to realize as I review more books that I absolutely love Dennis Lehane. His stories are always so captivating and well-crafted. He quickly climbed up on my list of favorite authors and many of his books make my favorites list. His writing style is somehow both gritty and beautiful. Basically, what I’m saying is I’ll buy anything he writes.

“We live in a world of disposable memory, nothing’s built to last, not even shame.”

This book was on my must read list months before it was released. I just had to go into the bookstore and pick up a copy for myself and dive in immediately. The story started off slow and built up to a more exciting ride. I’m actually glad the story started with a slow burn. This gave me plenty of time to develop feelings for the characters and a feel for the setting.

“There’s darkness in this world you can’t learn about by watching TV and reading books.”

The first half of the book is basically a build-up of Rachel’s life and her life in journalism and the downfall of her career. This first half has very little excitement, but plenty of insight on the main character. You watch as Rachel has trickles of panic attacks and mental breakdowns that eventually build up to the fallout of her career.

The second half of the book is suspenseful, exciting and much quicker paced. This half of the book takes you on a wild ride through deception, lies and dangerous situations. My favorite part of this book, by far, is the way Lehane writes. He has a way of painting a picture without getting too wordy. I love the gritty heaviness his words carry from page to page.

“Monsters don’t dress like monsters; they dress like humans. Even stranger, they rarely know they’re the monsters.”

Since We Fell definitely isn’t my favorite novel by Lehane so far, but then again how can it really stand against great novels such as Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone? With that said, I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written and unpredictable most of the time. I can’t go too in-depth with my review for this book, as I fear anything I say could be a spoiler.

I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy thrillers and a good character study. I haven’t been let down by Dennis Lehane yet. I doubt I will, really. If you’ve never read anything by him before, I also highly recommend reading his other works, as most of it is purely brilliant as far as suspense and mysteries are concerned. This book leaves me excited to see what Lehane has up his sleeve next.

 

Strange the Dreamer

20170630_162752.jpgStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor follows Lazlo Strange, a war orphan boy who was raised by monks and works as a junior librarian. Lazlo always thought that his destiny was smaller than other more important people. He always dreamed of one day finding the mythic land of Weep. But he never allowed himself to venture out enough to find out.

Until one day a chance to visit the land comes along. Warriors and a man who is referred to as the Godslayer come into town looking for people to come with them back to Weep for a mysterious task. Lazlo has to seize his chance or deal with losing his dream forever.

New mysteries arise along the journey, raising more questions than answers. Who is the blue girl Lazlo keeps dreaming about? How did the Godslayer get his name? Why was Weep cut off from the rest of the world?

My thoughts

Strange is definitely a word I would use to describe this book. Another word I might use is beautiful. One of the things I love about fantasy is how it can sweep you away into a completely different world and convince you that it truly exists. Laini Taylor did exactly that. I felt like I was in Weep with Lazlo and his new companions, witnessing everything for the first time right along with them. I don’t want to spoil anything in the book, since the mystery is half the fun of reading in the first place.

“It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.”

Lazlo was a great character to follow. He seems like the type that I would get along with. He was a storyteller and a human library. Many of the characters Lazlo gets to know over the time he spends in Weep and along the journey become more real as the book goes on. Sarai is a character that helps define this book. You know nothing will be the same after she enters the story.

There were times where I laughed and times where I genuinely felt sad while reading this. The suspense at times was both exciting and nerve-racking. At times I found that I was able to guess what was ultimately going to happen, but I didn’t feel any less interested. But the best part about this book is that it’s filled with ghosts, gods/goddesses, magic, love, and war. 

“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”

The world-building in this book was both magical and beautiful. The characters were three dimensional and a few had rich backgrounds. The lines between villain and hero were blurred from time to time, creating an interesting dynamic. Forbidden love plays a role, as do unforgiving truths. This is a magical and dangerous story, to say the least.

I have never read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, but I am seriously considering it now. Her writing style is gorgeous and her imagery is truly magical. This book had me wanting more. Lucky for me, it’s planned to be a duology. To say I’m excited for the second book would be an understatement. I mean, Strange the Dreamer and The Muse of Nightmares? Beautiful book titles.

“Like nightmares, dreams were insidious things, and didn’t like being locked away.”

I would absolutely recommend this book if you love fantasy. The world Laini Taylor created is both beautiful and frightening. The mysteries of Weep were a great part of this book, so I recommend not spoiling it for yourself and just reading the book! This book was a nice change of pace from my typical fantasy novel. The ending was a cliffhanger and I need the second book!

 

City of Bones

20170624_163755.jpgCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare follows Clary Fray as she witnesses a murder while at a nightclub. A murder only she seems to see. Clary gets more tangled into the case of the tattooed people and the disappearing body, trying to grasp some reality.

As she gets thrust into the world of shadowhunters and dangerous demons, she is left with more questions about her mother and her own role in this strange new discovery. As things begin to unravel, Clary finds her life constantly at risk of being torn apart by monsters and even vampires.

Can she find answers to her growing questions? Why can she see shadowhunters while nobody else can? Who are these shadowhunters and what do they have to do with her?

My Thoughts

I know, I know, I’m way behind on the hype of the shadowhunter world. I have to be completely honest though, I didn’t choose this book myself. My girlfriend has a deep love for this (and all the other) series and I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up on my own. Especially with the cover being of a shirtless man with tattoos. I’m sure I wasn’t the intended audience.

But I have to say, I really enjoyed this first book. I did happen to see the movie before reading this, so I knew the basic premise of the story and some of the plot going in. But I’m glad there was so much more to the story than the movie showed. I was excited that the book was filled with sarcasm and fighting sequences, two things I love in my books.

“Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.”

I enjoyed that this was an urban fantasy with all sorts of creatures, from vampires and werewolves, to warlocks and demons. You name it, this book seemed to have it. Except mummies, of course. Nobody believes in mummies, obviously.

The story’s setting in New York City is interesting, especially since it keeps Clary rooted in the real world, while talking to shadowhunters who could choose not to be seen. It could really add a funny element when she has an argument with thin air in the busy New York streets.

“The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.”

My favorite character in this book was definitely Simon. I really liked his sarcasm and snarky comments. I wasn’t the biggest Jace fan, but maybe that’s because I’m just not that into him. Maybe I’ll grow to like him more in the later books. My feelings toward Isabelle and Alec at this point aren’t particularly strong one way or the other. Clary on the other hand is more of a neutral character for me. I dislike the way she acts sometimes, like when she completely forgets about Simon, the one person who would do anything for her. But I also really like the way she wasn’t completely helpless in dangerous situations.

All in all, I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although I’m sure I’m one of the last few who haven’t read this series, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story with fun paranormal elements. I’m looking forward to seeing how the characters grow and what other fun twists there may be. This was a great first book and I can’t wait to dive back into this exciting world.

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

The Child Thief

20170619_145506 (1).jpgThe Child Thief by Brom is a Peter Pan retelling of sorts. You remember Peter Pan, right? Peter would show up to children with promises of eternal life without aging and a world of magic. Sounds familiar, huh? Except… something doesn’t quite add up with Peter. 

Peter saves children from sexually abusive parents, drug addicts and certain unhappiness with promises of a magical land with faeries and monsters. Of course, with nowhere else to turn, they go with Peter. But what is Peter hiding? What secrets are behind his dark past? What does he really need the children for?

My Thoughts

Wow, what a dark and beautiful book. This is definitely not your typical fairytale retelling. The darkness in this story is palpable. The sinister twist on the Peter Pan story is brilliant and enticing. Peter recruits the bruised and broken children in order to create his own army to return his land to its former glory.

“Everything comes with a price. Everything. Some things just cost more than others.”

I really enjoyed the way the story went from past to present in order to weave a story about Peter. Part of me didn’t like Peter. The other part of me loved him. The struggles he’d endured in his life. The secrets he keeps from the other children. The way he snaps from giggling to attacking. He uses his young looks to drop people’s guard. 

My favorite part about this book is just how dark and creepy it was. The monsters were grotesque. The illustrations between every chapter were absolutely gorgeous. The story was well-written and ominous. The characters seemed real and almost unreal at the same time. But most of all, the characters made me feel something. 

“If you don’t learn to laugh at life it’ll surely kill you, that I know.”

Somehow Brom twisted the world of Peter Pan to an eerily foggy wasteland. This story has some of the elements of the old stories but none of the happiness. At times the dark and dreary tone of the book can really wear on you. Be sure to take a step into the sunlight to lift your spirits. Maybe dance a little.

I went into this book knowing I was probably gonna like it. I love creepy and dark stories. The idea behind a sinister Peter Pan was exciting. But one thing I wasn’t quite prepared for was how much I ended up loving this book.

“Men who fear demons see demons everywhere.”

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a twisted and dark Peter Pan retelling. I’d even recommend this book to people who just plain love fantasy. I would categorize it under Adult Fantasy to be safe, though. There are elements that may trigger or offend some people. If you feel you may be one of those people, I recommend reading a preview before plunging in. Honestly though, I loved itEvery single dark moment of it.