Author: A.C. Wise
Pages: 336 pages
Published: 12th July 2022
Rating: 3 Stars
A gorgeous literary feminist take on what happened to Wendy and Captain Hook after Neverland from the bestselling author of Wendy, Darling, perfect for fans of Christina Henry and V.E. Schwab.
Exploring themes of grief, survivor’s guilt and healing broken bonds, Hooked is a modern-day Peter Pan story, perfect for fans of retellings, Christina Henry and V.E. Schwab.
Once invited, always welcome.
Once invited, never free.
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…
Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
It’s no secret I love Peter Pan, hence the name of this blog! I love reading retellings so I just had to read this one. I read Wendy, Darling last year and really enjoyed the new take on Neverland and Peter Pan himself. A.C. Wise has created a world where Peter is a beast controlling Neverland and manipulating everyone into playing his permanent game. The first book focused on Wendy and her daughter Jane, where as this one focuses on James Hook.
‘And a hook! You must have a hook for a hand. That will be your name, Captain Hook, and we shall fight all the time and you will be beastly and terrible, but I will always win.’
There are two different timelines explored in this book. One is when James first appears in Neverland and is forced to begin playing Peter’s games. He endures several different ways of dying and is always revived. So he hatches a plan to escape and tries to bring his crew members with him. I loved that Wise made James queer and the moments between him and Samuel, the only crew member who truly cared about him, were so sweet and heartbreaking.
‘Behind the Devil, I saw that you could be whatever you chose-if you chose. Not just what Pan made of you.’
In the present timeline, Jane is living in London with her friend, until her friend is taken by mysterious shadows and turned into a shadowy imprint of herself. On a visit to London, Wendy bumps into James and they all begin to unravel the mystery of Neverland once again. This was a very immersive book and it definitely doesn’t paint the joyful Neverland that I remember as a child. It’s quite dark but still an enjoyable retelling!