Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

As promised in yesterday's post, I have a follow up review on Lisa Jensen's Alias Hook for you today!

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan and Neverland - "second star to the right, and straight on till morning" and all of that. And in all the various tellings of the tale there is Captain Hook, the nefarious pirate and sworn enemy of the flying boy. 

But as the saying goes there are two sides to every story and now Hook has been given a chance to tell his.

Ooh, this book was irresistible to me as a reader. Though I have to confess something horrible - I've still never read J.M. Barrie's stories. I know, I know! As a proclaimed Peter Pan fan, it's truly awful! I do have an old copy (a 1950's edition hardcover, illustrated by Nora Unwin) and of course I was raised on the Disney version. Let's not forget Hook either! But I know it's still shameful of a bookworm to admit having not actually read the book they claim to be so fond of. I've got it off my chest, though, and the book IS in the TBR (along with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers).

But still, I do love the story and immediately had to read Alias Hook when it popped up on the soon to be released lists.

I really liked Jensen's approach with Hook. Rather than the looming baddie, he has a story and a history. He's James Benjamin Hookbridge, the son of a sugar cane plantation owner. James never wanted to live up to the expectations society placed on him and eventually set off to sea to make his name as a hero in the war against France. Unfortunately for him things didn't quite work out that way.

This Hook is somewhat forced into his circumstances both by things beyond his control and by a series of bad decisions, too. After 200 years in Neverland with an ever rotating crew and endless battles with Pan, this Hook is tired of the life. But his curse keeps him trapped until the end of time - or so he thinks. It's the arrival of a woman that begins to turn things around for him, and that's when things get REALLY interesting!

Obviously I can't compare to the "real" Peter Pan mythology having - sadly - still not read the original tale, but I did love Jensen's twists on the story: the Wendys, the truth about the Lost Boys, and Pan as a not quite so great guy here.

Alias Hook is a fun and clever follow up to the classic tale, one I think the kid in all of us can appreciate. (But don't confuse this for a kid's book.)

Rating: 4/5

Don't forget, I'm giving away a copy of Alias Hook. You can enter via the Rafflecopter on yesterday's post.

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