For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
I received this eARC from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Unhooked was my first book by Lisa Maxwell and I must say it was pretty freaking awesome! Peter Pan is one of my favorite fairy tales, who wouldn’t want to stay a kid forever and do nothing but have fun? Sure there are perks to being an adult, but there’s still that absolute magic that comes with never growing up.
In Unhooked, we get a different view of Neverland and all it holds. But first, a little about Gwen, our heroine. Gwen is used to moving around endlessly on her mother’s whims, for her mother sees things that no one else can. She comes off a bit…kooky, but naturally, she was right in the end. For when Gwen comes to their latest house, she and her best friend are taken in the middle of the night.
Gwen soon finds herself aboard a ship at the mercy of a Captain, named Rowan. Rowan can’t be more than a few years older than her and his crew of young boys has her grasping for straws. For in this Neverland, there truly are no adults. The oldest is likely Rowan or Pan himself. I found this change to be very interesting and it makes better sense in a way, for that was one thing I never understood, if there are no adults or growing up in Neverland, then why was Captain Hook and his crew adults? Yeah…I still don’t grasp that…but it’s truly no problem here!
Gwen is determined to find her friend, Olivia, who was taken as well, but the Captain isn’t quite rushing to save the day. He’s not villainous like the story once led you to believe. He’s quite the opposite in fact, but he loathes Neverland and the boy who calls himself Pan. So that part of the story still remains true.
There’s a lot that goes on in this story, but I don’t want to get into all the details. Just know that Gwen sees the truth behind the boy called Peter Pan and the infamous Captain who was always his enemy. I definitely liked seeing these differences, even with my love for the original and Disney version. It’s rather fun seeing a twist to a beloved tale. And I absolutely LOVED all the hat tips to the original story as well. We get mentions of boys named John and Michael, a note to take the tunnel that is second to the right…all things that had me smiling with absolute glee!
There is a bit of newness to this tale when we bring in the fae, and that’s about all I will say on that. Some of it started to make my head turn a bit, but it was because of all the secretness and duplicity. It’s very exciting and different, yet it did get a little twisted at times, but twisted can be good.
After reading the final pages, it’s become clear that this is a standalone and just wow! At first I thought things might be pushed aside for future books, but the characters kept going for all those things that they had to accomplish and then the ending! Holy cow!! It was freaking incredible!! There were soooo many emotions at play too! Maxwell really knows how to tug on your heartstrings!
Overall, I must say that Unhooked was an exciting read! It’s got adventures, pirates, fairies, flying, a hot pirate, tons of action and naturally, just a little hint of romance! It’s the perfect fantasy/fairy tale type read for all readers! I highly encourage reading it because who doesn’t want to return to Neverland in a completely different and exciting way?
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
Unhooked releases February 2, 2016