Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

From the Back Cover:

"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 never-ending game.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to read this book, especially because I've not really been a fan of Peter Pan. I always thought he was a bit of a brat, so I was very intrigued to read about him from the viewpoint of his great nemesis, Captain Hook! As the son of a wealthy British shipping merchant in the eighteenth century, James Hookbridge had the world at his feet and took full advantage of the pleasures it had to offer. In love with the sea and life on board a ship, he happily took on a privateering commission and swashbuckled his way across the sea, seizing the riches of enemy ships and leaving a trail of female conquests in his wake. Until the day he was captured by the French and thrown into prison to rot for several years. Upon his escape, he emerges into a world much changed, where everything he once loved has disappeared and a bounty has been placed upon his head for piracy. Angry and lost, he decides he might as well earn that bounty and throws himself into the cutthroat world of pirates. But along the way, he breaks yet another heart--only this time with disastrous consequences--and the beautiful Caribbee witch Proserpina banishes him to the Neverland to atone for his sins.

For two hundred years he has languished there, a mere plaything for the boy tyrant Pan and his band of Lost Boys, forced to be reborn every time he is killed while he watches a stream of his men find their way into the Neverland only to be killed in truth in Pan's bloody games. He longs only for the peace of eternal death--until something that has never happened before forces him to re-examine everything he thought to be true: a grown woman stumbles into the Neverland. First mistaking her for a spy and then for a witch, Hook is finally forced to consider that twentieth-century Stella Parish may be something else entirely: she may be the key to his salvation, his freedom, and his heart. But when Pan finds out a woman has entered his domain, he becomes determined to find her and kill her for breaking his laws. Hook and Stella must navigate the pleasures and the terrors of the Neverland together in their search for a path home, battling the magic that bends to Pan's will but also finding allies in unexpected places, before Peter Pan can seal their doom.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the absolutely gorgeous prose. Hook's world, both before and after he finds himself banished to Neverland, is brought vividly to life with lush description and rich emotional undertones. The narrative switches back and forth in time, heightening anticipation and deepening mystery as Hook's history alternates with the present day in the Neverland, and Hook himself is a wonderful character. A beautifully flawed antihero. Yet in spite of all those positives, I didn't end up loving the book as much as I'd hoped I would. Though the writing is lovely, it's rather wordy and thus makes for a dense read. Slow pacing coupled with large chunks of time spent on introspection also contributed to my feeling at times that I was slogging through the book, even though I anxiously wanted to see how it would all play out. And then there was a twist near the end that I didn't see coming--yet made perfect sense, but I didn't feel like enough time was spent developing the repercussions of that twist to make the ending as believable and satisfactory as it should have been. Still, the book is beautiful, a worthwhile read for fairy-tale lovers, and a must-read for fans of Peter Pan.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars out of 5

Alias Hook is on a blog tour!


  1. I just picked this up from the library and from the very little I have read I agree that it is a beautifully written novel. It is too bad that there were slog-worthy parts in Alias Hook, I'll finish with caution. Great review!

    1. Thanks, Whitney! I struggled in describing how I felt about the pacing because while I was hooked (ha ha) on the story, I just felt like it moved slowly. Not unbearably slowly, else I wouldn't have finished it, but slow enough that I wondered if it should have been shortened a bit before publication. Still, it's pretty different and worth the read!


I love comments! Getting feedback on my posts makes my day! Thanks for being here!