Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
By Christina Henry
ARC e-book, 304 pages
2017, Berkley Publishing Group
Before Hook was a fearsome pirate he was a boy, living on Peter Pan’s island, playing his games and following his every whim. Peter brought James and the other boys from “The Other Place” to keep him company and more importantly, adore him. When the games turn grim and James starts getting more attention from the boys than Peter does, things on the island take a turn for the worse.
I don’t know what to say about this book. I was incredibly bored the whole time and none of the characters or events had any impact on me.
I wanted to love this book – I love Hook-centric stories and the idea that he was once one of Peter’s playmates until their friendship turned sour is an intriguing one. Unfortunately, the execution didn’t do it for me. James was bland – he was a nice orphan boy who’d grown up idolizing Peter but quickly realized the monster he’d become. He’s the mother hen to all the other lost boys and he’s tough enough to stand up for himself. His love for Peter fades fast and I think had he clung to that childhood friendship they’d once had, maybe it would have been more interesting?
None of the other lost boys made any impact on me. There was a pair of twins, a five-year-old, a girl, the mean one, and a handful of others that were quickly killed so as not to take too much time away from the Peter/James plot.
Peter was dry and underdeveloped. I think he was what anyone might imagine as the playful boy who never wants to grow up gone a little sinister. I didn’t really dislike him (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like him either), so if he was supposed to be the true villain, I wasn’t feeling it.
The island was dull too. There was pirates cove, which the gang didn’t really venture into, the tree where the boys lived and some field where the “Many-Eyed” dwelled (giant spiders? I guess???), oh and the rock where the boys kill each other for sport. Maybe that bit sounds interesting, but when it actually happened I was just as bored there as I was throughout the story.
I thought I’d love this story, but it just didn’t do it for me. I just want to go read Alias Hook again instead. If you’re looking for a dark Hook origin story like I was, I would consider looking elsewhere. I do enjoy the minimalist cover art though!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.