Hooked by A.C. Wise is an adult Peter Pan retelling that will be published July 12th. This author previously wrote Wendy, Darling although the two books are not being marketed as a series. I enjoyed Wendy, Darling and thought I’d give this one a go. I didn’t go well.
Captain James Hook, the immortal pirate of Neverland, has died a thousand times. Drowned, stabbed by Peter Pan’s sword, eaten by the beast swimming below the depths, yet James was resurrected every time by one boy’s dark imagination. Until he found a door in the sky, an escape. And he took the chance no matter the cost.
Now in London twenty-two years later, Peter Pan’s monster has found Captain Hook again, intent on revenge. But a chance encounter leads James to another survivor of Neverland. Wendy Darling, now a grown woman, is the only one who knows how dark a shadow Neverland casts, no matter how far you run. To vanquish Pan’s monster once and for all, Hook must play the villain one last time…
I have no idea what I just read. The constant changing of timelines and weird imagery paired with characters using opium and multiple POVs has left me totally confused. The parts I did understand were also just not good enough to make me try to understand the rest.
I’ll start off by saying that I picked up this book because I really enjoyed Wendy, Darling. I have no idea why this isn’t being marketed as a series, it is the same characters and world and this really is a sequel, set several years after that book concludes. The only reason I didn’t love Wendy, Darling was the bizarre ending. Well, this book was like an entire book of an epilogue extending the weirdness. I got really confused multiple times and eventually started skimming over the weirder parts which probably didn’t help but I figured I would not understand them anyway.
I also feel totally gypped on the premise of this book. I was promised a book about a gay Captain Hook in a twisted feminist Peter Pan. What I got was 1/3 old James looking back on his time in Neverland with glimpses of his romance and then 2/3 a continuation of the Wendy/Jane story from Wendy, Darling. The promised plot was not delivered or at least way underdelivered. There might be a story worth telling in there but this book got so caught up in trying to be literary and lyrical and different that it just fell into a mess of confused purple prose.
I still would recommend Wendy, Darling, I thought it was a very solid book. If the ending of that one doesn’t leave you at all confused or angry, maybe given this one a try as a sequel and further dive in the realms of weird.
* I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *