I cannot understand why this book was in Poundland.
It was quite easily one of the most interesting, captivating books that I have come across.
We see the story from the point of view of Captain Hook, as bloodthirsty pirate, cursed by a witch centuries ago, to Neverland; a boy’s paradise and a grown man’s nightmare. Never able to die, he is forced to witness his crew slaughtered time and again at the hands of Pan and his lost boys as part of a grand game. However the boy requires a full crew to act in his games so he allows the lost boys who abandoned him to grow up, to return as pirates. And the cycle repeats.
But then who let in a woman?
Seeing the realm of innocent boys from Hook’s perspective is not something often explored, save in the odd English essay. It steals away the idealistic children’s fantasy and exposes the dark, gruesome nature of the inhabitants and the island. What we find is what we all knew would be there, that which would never be revealed in any children’s version of the story.
The author questions the very nature of innocence. The lost boys murder and maim, however, because they think of their time in Neverland as a dream, they are free from the burden or consequences of taking a life. An idea which is not directly addressed in this book, yet is evident in its implication, is that the lost boys souls are corrupted, which is why they can never settle back into their lives when they go home to their mothers, and why they inevitably wind up actively seeking out the role of Pan’s enemy.
The theology however, is only one aspect of the storyline. The romance aspect is carefully and respectfully played out. It fits so perfectly with the ideals that the author has created, that the passion and tenderness really hits home. Hook’s memories of love, betrayal and revenge that existed in another world and another lifetime, for which he pays the ultimate penance, lend a new meaning to the phrase ‘sympathy for the devil’. The reader comes to understand his punishment and how he deserves redemption.
I would absolutely recommend Alias Hook to any true Peter Pan enthusiasts and lovers of romantic fantasies with a dark past.