By Lisa Jensen
Hardcover, 353 pages
2013, Thomas Dunne Books
Hook, nemesis to the beloved Peter Pan, has been trapped in Neverland for centuries. Unable to die, he’s forced to endlessly battle Pan, living at the boy’s whim, and watching crew after crew die at the hands of the savage Lost Boys and their cruel master. Then one day, a grown woman appears in the Neverland – this has never happened before, as grown women are not allowed by Peter Pan. Hook doesn’t know if she was sent to destroy him, but he takes her captive in the hopes of finding a way to use her against Pan. However, she’ll show him more about himself than he ever thought possible.
Finally, a story from Hook’s perspective (if there are others out there in this vein, please let me know!).
I love to hear from the villains, especially when they’re complex characters (a la Elphaba from Wicked) and boy did Jensen create a very complex Hook. She deepened Pan’s character as well and added so many layers to the traditional story, really making it her own. I was totally engrossed throughout the whole book. I loved Hook immediately – he was world-weary and desperate for death, yet determined to keep his men safe from Pan’s murderous games, but would still fly into a rage. I wanted him to succeed and wanted to smack him when his rash actions caused a setback in his quest against Pan. He wanted to better himself, but it wasn’t easy. I was enamored with him – if you’re looking for a sexy pirate captain, look no further than James Hookbridge.
It’s hard to talk about this book without talking about the plot, and I think it’s better to let the book speak for itself. The pacing was excellent, the characters varied and complex, the atmosphere was vibrant and Hook’s language was spot on. It’s clear Jensen did some research on the time period and nautical times as well, creating a very authentic feel (for someone who knows nothing about ships or older languages anyway). I wanted to fly through this book to find out what happens, but at the same time, I never wanted it to end. And the ending!
If you like dark, angsty, sexy retellings and you’re interested in a different perspective on the Hook versus Pan relationship, I highly recommend this! I look forward to more from Jensen!