Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Early Review: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads

"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 perfect for fans of Gregory Maguire and Paula Brackston.

So what if Peter Pan wasn't really as cute as the stories made him out to be?
What if he had traded his real life for eternal youth, and now he was just a brat who wouldn't grow up?
Well, a powerful brat who rules the land of children's dreams.
Have you ever seen what happens to little boys who have no adult supervision?!
They go feral rather quickly.
Goodbye, soap and water! Hello, property destruction!
If you've had kids, been around kids, or even just remember what it was like to be a kid, then you also know that children can be incredibly cruel. Mainly, because they have no idea what the word consequences means.
Their saving grace is that they're adorable when they sleep...
Growing up is good. You learn (hopefully) that you are not the center of the universe, that no one is obligated to make you happy, and that you need to take other people's feelings into consideration.
Can you imagine what would become of a boy who had stayed a child for thousands of years?
Yeah. So, Pan is just a bloodthirsty tyrant who still has all of his baby teeth.

And Hook?
What if he were a big bad pirate back in the day? And what if he pissed off the wrong woman?
Oh, let's say...some powerful voodoo priestess?
And what if she decided he needed to learn a lesson, no matter how long it took?
So now he's trapped in a hell called Neverland. Doomed to die over and over again, with no end in sight. His crew is made up of Lost Boys who grew up, and Hook knows nothing he does will save them.
Because the Boy needs evil pirates to battle.

But what about the Wendys?
Well, they never return to Neverland...right?

Alias Hook has a really great premise that was well thought out. I loved how the author turned the original story on it's ear, and then made me question why in the world I ever thought the idea of eternal youth would be cute. It was very interesting revisiting all of the characters I thought I knew, and then see them painted in a different light.
Why only three stars?
Two reasons.
One, I thought I would never finish it. Parts of the story were slow and drug on too much for my taste. I know that's not going to be a problem for everyone, because some readers like to take their time with a book. So, if you like stories with a lot of meaty character introspection, then this will be right up your alley.
Two, I didn't like Hook. I mean, he had a few decent qualities, and he wasn't a cackling villain, but...
That whole rapey/pillagey past he had? Ehhh. Not so much with the liking.
Yeah, yeah, I get it. He grows as a person throughout the book.
I just couldn't get past his...well, past.

On the whole, I'd say it was an interesting look at an old story, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for an adult retelling of Peter Pan.


fishgirl182 said...

I do like this premise but the pillage-y past thing might not sit so well with me. I guess it would depend on how it's presented. I definitely want to read this one though. It looks like it's unique at least.

fishgirl182 @ nite lite


I hope you love it, but I was a bit turned off by some of the things he did. The ending helps redeem him though.

Post a Comment

Due to an increase in spam, all comments are moderated. Even if you do not see an "awaiting approval" message, please only submit your comment once. Sorry for the inconvenience.