Jul 2, 2014

ARC Review--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.

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Lisa Jensen does what few authors can, she takes a classic tale and gives us more knowledge to a story we thought we knew well. In Alias Hook, we learn about the man, Captain James Benjamin Hook before he became the infamous villain to Peter Pan.

I've always loved fairy tales and their re-tellings or re-imaginings. There's a special kind of spark that they have, it takes a beloved fairy tale and lets you see the characters in new light. Everyone was changed by Wicked, furthermore with Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die! Getting to know the villain as a hero is a remarkable way to go with a story.

In Alias Hook, we get the story of who Captain Hook really is. There's segments of his past where we see him outside Neverland and then of course there's his endless battle with Peter Pan, one he wishes would just end. He tires of the battles that Peter always wins, he tires of Neverland, of never aging, of watching his crew die time after time. Peter basically runs things in Neverland and Hook is sick of having to live his life around Peter's whims.

Then something strange happens, a grown woman appears in Neverland. Adults are not allowed in Neverland, Peter doesn't allow it--yet there's always the why of Hook, the pirates, the Indians and why those adults are allowed to live in Neverland that never gets answered. At first, Hook isn't sure what kind of trap or game Parrish might be up to. She's quite a mystery to him.

Naturally as time goes forward, Hook and Parrish grow closer. Parrish realizes Neverland is not at all like the storybook led her to believe. Peter is sort of a relentless dictator lording over the place. Demanding battles whenever he feels like it. It's sort of a rude awakening to her that this fairytale place is nothing like the actual tale. The romance that developed between the two though, was sweet. It was one that took building and time, but at the same time you knew they were going to fall for one another anyway.

While Alias Hook was remarkable in some ways, I did find myself  skimming some of the pages. Some of the descriptions started to get a bit lengthy. There were just too many times where I felt stuck as I was reading and basically getting a few pages of scenery. There was good action though. Countless fights with Peter and of course the crocodile. The mermaids and Indians were there too, all the elements of the beloved children's story were there, but this time we get to witness them as adults. 

Truly this book does shine a new light onto Peter and how you almost despise the boy. Or at least are annoyed with him and his childish games. But therein lies the magic of re-imaginings, you see things in a new light and end up rooting for the person who used to be the villain. 

There were some shocking twists and surprises in this one too, but none so much as the ending! Yet it does leave one hopeful that it could actually be a happily ever after, even if it doesn't seem that way at first.

Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars--now don't think I am saying this is a terrible read, if you look to the right on my sidebar you'll see my ratings, a 2 means that the book was okay. This read was okay, maybe a little more than okay, but there were too many times my mind drifted away for me to have fully enjoyed it, although I don't regret reading it either.

Alias Hook releases July 8, 2014


  1. I'm definitely going to give this book a try. I love Peter Pan, but reading about Captain Hook would be interesting (:

    Jackie @Jackie's Book World

  2. I definitely want to read this one, but I'm a bit more cautious now because I need fast-paced reads. I do like the idea of a retelling in which Peter is the villain.
    -Scott Reads It!

  3. I was wondering about this one but wasn't sure what exactly it was about with Hook. It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure it'll be a must read for me. I'm glad it was worth the time spent on it, even if you didn't love it!


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