"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.
With this book being actually the second retelling of my favorite childhood story about Peter Pan and portraying him like a bad character I though that this time it won't suit my ideas about Peter. But once again, I found myself believing the story and actually rooting for my last favorite childhood character, Mr. Hook.
"The Neverland must have its wildness, its terrors," she tells me. "Here, children must find not only their happiest fantasies, but their most violent and terrible nightmares. They must face their demons and laugh at them. That is the key to growing up."
Hook cannot answer that question but he knows one thing and one thing only. He must save her from Peter who will do everything to make her life miserable like he made his. But he never dreamed that she will be what he was waiting for. What will keep him sane in the never-ending cycles of his life which is cursed to last forever.
"That is everything," she rebukes me gently, dark eyes glittery in the firelight. "Kindness freely offered that asks for no reward, love that values another above yourself, the wisdom to live without fear. That is the best of life."
This is not only a story about Hook and Stella, even mostly it is just that. But it's also a different take on Peter and the Lost Boys and even Wendy. But this story despite being dark and mysterious is also romantic and vivid. It's about redemption and finding oneself in hopeless situations.
Surprisingly, I did enjoy this story very much. I loved the writing and the whole world-building. Neverland seems closer than ever now. However, it took me some time to get into this story and actually start to like Hook. It was a bit slow at the start.
Needless to say, this book has one of the prettiest endings out there. I loved it how the author left us some space to imagine how everything went on, but at the same time there are no doubts in your mind.
P.S. Hook, you are a great character and all, but sorry, Peter has my heart and some part of it will always be his.
Rating: 4 stars.
Until the next time,
*Note: Copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, St. Martin Press, via NetGalley. Thank you!
**Quotes have been taken from the uncorrected proof. They might change in the final book.