Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Source: Print ARC
Stars: 4

About the Book:
"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.



We all know and love the tale of Peter Pan, the boy who never wanted to grow up. We rooted for him through it all, especially when he was facing his nemesis, Captain Hook. Well, I want you to wipe that slate clean and go into Alias Hook with the knowledge that it will be him that we root for. Jensen has crafted a beautifully written story about the pirate with a hand for a hook. We get to take a peek at his life before and after; a life that shows a lot of vulnerability but strength as well. I've only read one other Peter Pan rebelling and it was told from the pov of Tiger Lily. I really enjoyed it. But in this story Peter isn't painted as a nice little boy. 

The book takes place in the early 18th century, and Hook isn't a pirate. He's a regular guy that goes by the name James Benjamin Hookbridge. We go through his story and find out why it is he turned to piracy. The result in all this is being led to a place that only exist in dreams; Neverland. It's there he meets Pan and his gang, the Lost Boys. Time and time again Hook is cursed with dying and then being brought back to life just to die again. For someone who has lived for around two hundred years, all he wants to do is die for real. Can you blame him? While in Neverland, he has the fortune( or misfortune depending on how you look at it) of meeting a woman, Stella. It's almost unheard of. A woman in Neverland? Is she part of Pan's group? How and why would she be in Neverland?

Alias Hook was magical, wonderful, and full of beautiful descriptions of such a classic tale we grew up reading. Jensen has taken a childhood story and turned it into her own with a very flawed character that isn't at all what he seems. It's Captain Hook for crying out loud! He's evil and ruthless! Right? Wrong. Pan is the little demon child who gets way too much credit. I liked Stella and the personality she brought to the story. I was interested in what and how the book would end. 

How many times as an adult have you thought, "man what I would do to be a child again!". No responsibilities, no bills, no having to do no fun, grown up things. Come on. We've all thought it at one point in our lives. But then you truly think about it and realize that yeah, you may not have any sort of responsibility but you also don't have the freedom as an adult does. That's sort of what I thought about reading Alias Hook. Hook is immortal, never getting an older or younger. Just stuck as is. How terrible would that be? Now I ask you, would you truly ever want to stay young forever? 

Overall, I enjoyed this book because let's face it, Hook was kind of hot. I kept picturing a cross between Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. Can't go wrong with those pirates! I also enjoyed and appreciated the entirety of the book. It was nice seeing the POV
from the "villain" for once. 

*Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing me with an ARC for an honest review. 

But Links:

About the Author:
I might have been a pirate in a previous life, or else I watched too many old Errol Flynn movies on TV in my formative years.

My historical/fantasy "Alias Hook," presents the flip side of the Neverland from the caustic perspective of its prisoner, Captain Hook. It will be published by Thomas Dunne Books in July, 2014. Read more about "Alias Hook" on Facebook at:

My historical pirate novel, "The Witch From the Sea," published in 2001, is the first book in a planned trilogy.

In real life, I'm a film critic for an alternative weekly in Santa Cruz, CA, a position I've held since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I also reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years, where my specialty was (surprise!) historical fiction, and women's fiction.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of the book! To keep up to date  with the newest reviews, make sure you follow the blog via GFC or email! Much appreciated <3

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