Reading Level: Adult
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book through NetGalley to review. I love fairy tale retellings and was absolutely hooked (pun intended) when I read the synopsis of this expansion on the Peter Pan fairy tale.
Captain James Benjamin Hook is a well educated privateer when he is cursed to play the eternal villain to pack of malicious little boys led by Pan in a war that never ends. This all changes with the arrival of Stella, a forbidden grown woman in Neverland whose very presence defies Pan. The magic of Neverland opens up to Stella in ways Hook never imagined and, in Stella, Hook sees his chance to finally break the awful curse he’s been a slave to all these centuries.
This was a very excellently written extension of the Peter Pan story featuring Captain Hook. This story is somewhat sympathetic to Captain Hook and tells us how he came to be cursed to an eternity in Neverland. We learn about Captain Hook’s background and history and also watch him struggle in an eternal battle with the forever child Pan.
Stella is a woman from the 1950’s who is sick of dealing with all the war of that era and dreams herself into Neverland. Stella knows a lot about folklore and may finally be the chance to break a centuries long curse that Hook has been looking for. She is so different from the woman Hook has dealt with in the 180o’s that he is absolutely enchanted by her wit, knowledge, and daring.
This book is absolutely beautifully written and engaging, I loved it. There are tons of literature references, battle scenes, adventure, and some romance. Also magic, faeries, mermaids, and curses.
The whole novel gives a new twist to the tale of Peter Pan and explores the darker side of a tribe of boys who is eternally youthful and hence eternally cruel in the way only young boys can be. Most of the story deals with Hook trying to figure out a way to break his curse. Throughout the telling of his tale we go back into his youth and see how he got to the point where he is now.
The story also broaches the topics of fate, destiny and true love. The story is mostly told from Hook’s perspective and I loved his wry and witty tone. This is definitely a book for adults only; there are explicit sex scenes as well as quite a bit of violence.
Overall this was just a spectacular read and I recommend it to everyone. The story was a wonderful balance or beauty, adventure, magic, romance, battle and literature. I would especially recommend to those who are fans of the whole Peter Pan mythos.