“The Child Thief” and “The Plucker”–Two Unique Novels by Brom

Gerald Brom is a unique writer who does his own cover and interior illustrations to his novels. His most well know books are The Child Thief and The Plucker, two stories that take a dark twist on the classics that people generally know about. His art is phenomenal and his writing brings the reader into the dark twisted worlds he is going for.

The Child Thief is a dark twist off of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Peter absolutely lives for the Lady of Avalon, and part of gaining the Lady’s favor is stealing children from their miserable lives. Nick, a boy stuck in a tight spot between a gang and his mother, is taken by Peter to a world free of gangs, responsibility, and money. Nick learns that Peter is willing to allow any number of deaths to keep his place with the Lady. When betrayal occurs among Peter’s Devils, a revolution for Avalon occurs. The children gain power from living in Avalon, and their enemies-the Flesh-Eaters-are a group of Christians who have lost their way in the Mist. Ulfger, son of the Horned One, holds the Lady prisoner in her own land. But guess who else is a son of the Horned-One?

If you are looking for something dark, this book has plenty of blood, gore, battle, and head chopping (not your usual Peter Pan logistics.) Of course Peter causes plenty of mischief and mayhem in this version as well, but it’s quite more violent. This book has lovely black-and-white illustrations at the head of every chapter, as well as beautiful full-color illustrations of the main characters in the middle of the book.

 

Half a pound of tupenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Every night when I get home
The monkey’s on the table,
Take a stick and knock it off,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Up and down the city road,
In and out the Eagle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

The Plucker is a completely illustrated novel of about 150 pages. This novel is very reminiscent of Toy Story, if the toys had to take up arms and fight an evil spirit. This novel features Jack, and old jack-in-the-box figure who was left to the darkness of the Underbed, forgotten by the child, Thomas. When Thomas’s father comes home from one of his voyages, he brings Thomas a gift from Africa. Mabelle, Thomas’s caretaker when his mother and father are both away, recognizes the malevolent thing that his father brought for him. The evil spirit of the Plucker is released and takes Thomas hostage in the world of make believe. The toys are too frightened of the Plucker’s evil minions–the Foulthings–and do not wish to go after Thomas. Jack, neglected by Thomas, still feels indebted to his child and goes after the Plucker, fighting his own fears.

This novel is illustrated in full color and is a fantastic read for those who prefer the dark side of things. Some of the images are rather graphic, both violently and sexually. This book is not for the weak of heart and soul, but for those who wish to face their fears.

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