Book Review: Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen

Originally published in the July 15 2014 issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. Reprinted here with permission. If you don't already receive it, sign up here to receive a bi-weekly dose of readerly goodness in your inbox.

Everyone knows how Peter Pan defeats his piratical foe: Pan throws the evil Captain Hook into the ocean, where he is eaten by a crocodile. But what if Hook did not, in fact, die? What if he could not die?

Lisa Jensen (Witch from the Sea) bases her second novel, Alias Hook, on this premise, turning the classic fairy tale on its head in much the same style as Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz. In Jensen's reimagined Neverland, Hook is Captain James Benjamin Hookbridge, an English gentleman and privateer caught in Neverland and forced to fight the Lost Boys against his will. Peter Pan, on the other hand, is a ruthless barbarian whose youth prevents him from understanding the cruelty of his actions as he kills Hook's men again and again.

Two centuries of fighting with Pan and not dying have left Hook wishing for nothing more than the sweet relief of death--until he encounters a grown woman in Neverland, an occurrence strictly prohibited by Pan. This presents Hook with something new: hope that the rules of the Neverland may not be as unbreakable as he had once believed them to be, and a renewed desire to leave the place forever and live the rest of his life in peace.

Told from Hook's perspective, Alias Hook can sometimes feel cluttered with overwrought pirate speak or ungainly with the outmoded vocabulary of an 18th-century gentleman. As the plot picks up pace, however, this potentially distracting language falls away to reveal a story of magic and romance, powerful in its ability to remind us to believe in the impossible, no matter the odds.


Alias Hook | Lisa Jensen | Thomas Dunne Books | Hardcover | July 2014


  1. Heather sent me a little sample of the language, and I think I'm in love! That overwrought style is exactly what I'm in the mood sometimes as it makes the story feel fanciful. Must read this one!

  2. Second Alias review I've read and I am feeling the need to bump this up in my queue! :)

  3. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. It's a pretty fun read :-)


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