Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
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Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan. The boy who won’t grow up defeats the villainous Captain Hook, saving the day and making children everywhere squeal with glee.
This is not that story.
This is Hook's tale. The man who would become Captain Hook was once a dashing privateer, before he landed in Neverland to become the villain and a victim of a never-ending war. Hook is sure that Neverland will never change, but he's proven wrong when a mysterious woman dreams her way to Neverland. Stella Parrish is a smart, determined woman who will stop at nothing to redeem the cursed Captain Hook. Their adventure will take them through Mermaid Lagoon to the land of the fairies and beyond. But will Stella's love be enough to save Hook's soul when the powerful Pan is equally determined to hold onto him forever?
Enter a Neverland where magic is as sinuous as a snake and twice as deadly. In ALIAS HOOK author Lisa Jensen puts her own twist on J. M. Barrie’s PETER AND WENDY and the result is an imaginative, dark ride through a fascinating, purgatory-like landscape. Our guide through Ms. Jensen’s Neverland is Captain James Benjamin Hookbridge, the man who comes to be Hook, the foil to Neverland’s boy ruler. Hook is a Restoration-era privateer who is vain, proud and not wholly likeable. Ms. Jensen gives us his backstory, showing the man before the myth, and though this part of the book is long and not exactly captivating, it does show readers how and why Hook came to Neverland and became the number one villain in Pan’s personal game. And once Pan sets his sights on Hook, the boy, who is a dark and twisted version of the beloved character, will not let the pirate go. Pan’s will and Hook’s own reticence to see that he needs to change and grow keep the two locked in a never-ending battle that Hook will always lose.
Hook’s one last shot at salvation comes in the form of Stella Parrish, a woman whose mere arrival in Neverland is a shock to all who live there. Stella is the catalyst for Hook’s change and watching him grow from the morose, frustrated pirate to the man he is meant to be is interesting. Hook and Stella’s journey takes them through Neverland and this is where ALIAS HOOK truly comes to life. Ms. Jensen’s insight into the world of magic, the relationship of male and female, and the true nature of boys who run free without ever seeing the real consequences of their actions is marvelous. This isn’t a light book, but it does become fascinating. I loved seeing the ins and outs of Neverland and by the end of the story I could not put ALIAS HOOK down. The story has many ups and downs, but in the end I’d say that ALIAS HOOK is a complex, interesting adult fairytale.
Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.