“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”
Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.
With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.
I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of Tiger Lily with this novel… a retelling of the story from Hook’s point of view, perhaps. However, this book was so much more than that. It was such a well-crafted piece of literature. Don’t get me wrong — I like “chick flick” books as well as the next gal. There is certainly a time and place for light-hearted easy reads, but this book was not one of them. It wasn’t a difficult book to read, by any means, I just mean that it felt “meatier” than most of the YA books that I’ve grown accustomed to reading lately.
First of all, I would not categorize this as YA fiction. This is an adult piece. Maybe that’s what surprised me. This is a story of Hook, who has been sentenced to a life without end as the villain. He has grown weary without aging in his 200 years. Pan is portrayed as the true villain — the one who makes the rules, who orders Hook to play by his games in this place where Hook finds he cannot die. Yet, things begin to happen that show that maybe Pan isn’t as much as control as he thinks he is… and a woman mysteriously shows up on the island, despite his orders against it.
The characters, especially that of Hook, but even other supporting characters, are exquisitely written. You see Hook’s depth — all his flaws and insecurities… as well as his good intentions and yes, even his love. The setting was also complex and well-crafted. I enjoyed so much about this book & all its layers!
Would I recommend this to a fellow book lover? Yes!
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter? No. Some of the scenes are too adult in nature.
4.5 of 5 stars.