Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
:"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.
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Review by Shrimalya
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
As soon as I read the blurb of Alias Hook I knew that I needed
to have it mainly because of two reasons.The first is that I love retellings
and second is that I can't resist Peter Pan retellings about Captain Hook
because I love Hook.My Hook obsession started with Once Upon A
Time (Seriously who can resist Colin O'Donoghue and his sexy Irish
accent??).I have come across a few Peter Pan retellings in the past year
favoring Hook in the past year but none were as good as Alias Hook
The best part about Alias Hook is that it is from Hook's POV.We get to
be in his mind and we learn the story of how he came to Neverland.But
do not mistake this for a light hearted read because it is not one.It is
a dark,gritty and gory version of Peter Pan where no one is innocent
especially not the Lost Boys or Pan.
The book has chapters that alternate between the past and
present thereby telling us the story of how the wealthy and noble
James Benjamin Hookbridge became a privateer and ended up in
Neverland.James has been cursed with an unending immortal existence
in Neverland.No matter how many times he is killed by Peter Pan he
always comes back.He is tormented by this and wishes for death and
freedom from this existence.He is merely a plaything to Pan
“Or is it Death I dream of with such ardor? Who else can it be, this stranger
with the power to end my misery? There is nothing else I crave so much.”
As you can guess Pan is the antagonist in the story.He hates growing
up and despises adults.He is the one who picks up the Lost Boys or
the Wendys that dream of Neverland.But if they start growing up he
abandons them and sends them back to the earthly plane.No one
remembers theIr time in Neverland.But many of the Lost Boys on
growing up, lead dissatisfying and disheartening lives and while looking
for a reprieve from these lives they end up back in Neverland.
Hook finds them wandering in some corner and takes them under
his wing.They become pirates.As usual Pan and his Lost Boys come
and fight them and everyone in the crew except Hook perishes.Hook
is tired of this endless cycle and wishes for a way to break free from
this misery.Lately he's been having mysterious dreams which seem
to be telling him that their might be a way out of Neverland forhim.The
mysterious stranger is dropping hints of escape and giving him encouragement.
"Don’t be afraid."
"May I help?"
“There is always a way.We can find it together".
“Peter doesn’t know everything”
Even more surprising is the fact that a grown woman has somehow
ended up in Neverland.Hook finds this woman named Stella Parrish and
is immediately suspicious that Pan might have sent her as a spy.But he
finds out that somehow she dreamed her way into Neverland inspite of
Stella also has her own sad past and demons to deal with.But as
Hook starts spending more time with her they start seeing each other
as kindred spirits and what starts as a wary friendship develops into
something very beautiful.Also along with Stella, Hook gets a glimpse
at the inner workings of the other parts of Neverland as he has never
ventured into those territories before.
But Pan doesn't allow adults into Neverland .Even though Pan had
forbidden Stella fron entering Neverland she somehow dreamed her way
into It.Also it looks as if Stella is Hook's last hope and she might just be
his way out of this unending misery. As much as Pan hates Stella and
wants to get her off the island and is ready to go as far as to kill her, he
still wants Hook to remain in Neverland.
So will Hook and Stella beat the odds and find a way to get out of
Neverland or will Hook lose his chance of redemption and remain stuck
forever in this Hell??
The thing that I loved the most about the book(other than Hook!!)
was the writing.Lisa Jensen's writing was absolutely magnificent and
breathtaking.The descriptions of the Fairy Revel and the Mermaid
Lagoon along with the other characters and different races living on the
island were very creative.Some might not have liked the slow pace and
the writing style but I loved it.It had a very addicting quality to it with a
tinge of melancholy.
The slow development of romance in the book was another wonderful
aspect.I loved how they were able to see the best in each other and they
gave each other hope.Even the conflicts were interesting and made the
characters very believable.
"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 novel is not just about adventure or romance.It has many hidden
aspects to it.We can see the dark side of never-ending youth and it
shows us how growing up is different from aging.It is a powerful tale of
hope,redemption and forgiveness.Also due to the nature of the scenes in
the book it is recommended for adults.
*I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest