Yes, I know we’re already nearing the middle of second month in 2015. And yes, I know I’ve not managed to write a post since a review of Golden Son, which incidentally, I wrote out in December and set it to publish when the book published. But, really, I continue to read faster than I can review books for you. So, whether you like it or not, I’m posting another round of mini-reviews for you, all of which I read in late 2014. I could probably say more about all of these books, but winter is the season when I am least motivated (which doesn’t bode well for those pesky resolutions!). Sorry it took so long to get these posted, and I promise that I’ll get back in the habit (eventually).
Did you ever watch Peter Pan and wonder where exactly those pirates came from? Did you ever watch Hook and find yourself oddly sympathetic to the irascible pirate’s plight (thanks largely to Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal)? If you said yes to any of that, than you, like me, will likely appreciate this rewritten fairy tale, courtesy of Lisa Jensen. Jensen takes everything you know of Neverland, and spins it into a dark tale that leaves you rooting for the bad guy. Hook, a buccaneer who turns to piracy after he is betrayed, gets cursed to live in Neverland by a voodoo queen lover. Once there, he pulls together the lost souls who had once been Pan’s lost boys. See, once the lost boys grow up, they are returned to Earth, where they live half-lives, always yearning for the Neverland they left behind. That yearning brings them back as men. Shunned by Pan, they are adopted by Hook and whipped into shape as pirates tasked with amusing the sadistic and violent young Pan through battle. So really, Hook is just a good guy trapped in a bad situation? Well, not really. This isn’t a kids book. There are no absolutes, but that’s what makes this version so appealing.
Into this crazy world enters a grown up “Wendy” (Peter’s name for the girls he brings to Neverland to take care of him until they tire of him), something that shouldn’t be possible. Against his better judgement, Hook takes her in, setting off a series of events that will change his role in Neverland and himself forever. The unique story, poetic language and historic details bring the Peter Pan story to life like never before. I especially loved Jensen’s ability to bring wonder back into a story that we all used to know by heart. Here’s a great description of fairy travel:
“It’s like dreaming, an effusion of random sensation: tinkling laughter, points of sunlight dancing crazily on the sea, a tang of salt and allspice in the air, a constant, shuddering vibrato, deeper than normal hearing, like a huge swell just before it breaks, or a gust freshening into a gale. Then silence, and the warmth of the sun on my face. Glimmersailing, she called it.” (p. 274).
“Sometimes in life, love and loving can still lead to an ending that we would otherwise choose. A fate with no blame to be taken. She understood that, in this world, there are unexplained wonders and faultless horrors both.” p. 297