“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.
Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a very unique look at the story of Peter Pan and Neverland. In this book, Hook is the hero and Pan is the antagonist (see guest post from Lisa Jensen about why she wrote Hook as a hero).
Throughout the novel, much of what we know from Neverland and Peter Pan is put to the test. Peter Pan is an evil young boy who considers winning and power over others to be of the utmost importance. His desire to fight and win brings violence and unrest to Hook, his crew, and Neverland as a whole. Pan is ruthless and reason is lost on him, leading to battle after battle that Hook doesn’t want to fight. Even our perceptions of the inhabitants of Neverland (the fairies, Indians, and mermaids) are challenged throughout Alias Hook and through that we find unexpected heroes helping Hook on his journey.
It took me a little while to get into the story. The language is not modern day English and it took me a while to get past the old-fashioned style. However, the writing is very well done and provides some beautiful and vivid descriptions. I enjoyed the story line between Stella and Hook. Stella is a vital force in Hook’s evolution and her spunk and strength are both inspiring and fun. Hook’s past is woven in throughout the book and is important in enabling the reader to see his growth. It also provides an explanation for how Hook ended up a pirate and stuck in Neverland with seemingly no way out. Hook becomes relatable in Alias Hook; he is not the bloodthirsty man we believe him to be but one who feels horrible and responsible every time Pan and his boys slaughter Hook’s crew (who are former Lost Boys returned to Neverland).
The twist on Hook’s story is unique and eye-opening and has me questioning what I know about other villains from well-known stories. I enjoyed the different perspective on the well-known villain and couldn’t help but think of the show Once Upon A Time due to the similar portrayal of Pan as the villain and Hook as a hero.
Overall I enjoyed Alias Hook. I would recommend Alias Hook to fans of retellings or continuations of well-known stories.
***Please note, Alias Hook is not a Young Adult novel***