Author: Lisa Jensen
Provided Synopsis: “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.
Review: After he insults a voodoo witch, James Benjamin Hookbridge, his ship, and his crew find themselves marooned on an island named Neverland. There, they are unwillingly conscripted to play the role of the villains to Peter Pan and his Lost Boys for over two centuries. Neverland exists as a place for children of the world to dream of, and the battle Pan continuously wages against Hook and the grown-up world the pirate represents is necessary to maintain the balance of thing. But what happens when the man destined to be a villain realizes that he wants more? What happens when he comes to understand kindness, sacrifice, love, happiness, humility, and forgiveness? In Alias Hook there is much more behind the façade of a fabled villain, and I really enjoyed reading about the growth Lisa Jensen arranged for this man.
However, what I think bothered me most about this book were the children involved. Pan and his Lost Boys are clearly the instigators of every skirmish detailed in this book, yet all the other inhabitants of the island give them a pass because they are children. The mermaids, the Indians, and the fairies agree that Hook can be fought against if he raises a hand against the children because children do not know any better. Yet I find that hard to believe. These boys were killing people and bloodthirsty; the excuse given for their actions as being the work of “boys” was not justifiable.
Other than that qualm I would recommend this book to many readers in search of a fairytale re-telling with more of an adult tone. Hook must learn to put aside the mentality that was so like Pan and the Lost Boys to become a man. And he is able to do this when Stella, the first grown woman to ever come to Neverland, shows him that there is another way and that he can become more than the puppet of the story.