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…
I have always hated Peter Pan. Not the book, the character. I enjoyed the story of Peter Pan but childhood me always found the character of Peter Pan to be really creepy. He swooped in and stole children, like some sort of flying Pied Piper. I remember a period where I couldn’t sleep with the windows open because I was so scared that he could steal me away. So, this resulted in me always having a soft spot for Captain Hook. He’s one of my favourite villains and this is what drew me to this book. Im so glad to have picked it up because I absolutely loved this story!
This wasn’t a villain origin story but sort of a redemption story for Hook/James. When an old enemy started picking off victims in London, Hook and Wendy found themselves both drawn back to the wonder of Neverland. I really enjoyed the beast! It was such an interesting angle.
I thoroughly enjoyed having more body added to characters that I already knew. I loved getting some backstory to Hook/James. Despite not being an origin story, there was some interesting character building on him and I thought that this really worked. I absolutely loved his story, it was so tragic and sort of explained everything about Hook. I loved the almost way that Hook and James were sort of like Jekyll and Hyde. I didn’t like Wendy’s daughter that much. I found her character to be a little annoying but considering that she was grieving and struggling to cope with what happened in Neverland in a previous book, I think her character made sense.
This book covered love, loss, grief, survivor’s guilt and I think it was just excellent and handled these topics very well. My wee heart broke for Hook when he was dealing with his loss, his loss hit me the hardest. I really enjoyed his character being a sort of tortured soul who was just looking for peace.
I believe that this is a standalone novel but I would still like to read Wendy Darling as there were some references to things that happened in that book that I’d like to know more about. I really enjoyed reading a story taking place in a world I knew (Neverland) but with protagonists who didn’t give me the heebie jeebies! I cannot fault this, it was perfection and I didn’t want it to end.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review