by Brianna Shrum
Published on 22nd September, 2015
by Spencer Hill Press
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
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Also by this author: Never Never
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does.
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have such mixed feelings towards this book. The idea was there but I don’t know how successful the execution of it was. I was such so slowly built up story that I never really felt that a-ha! moment. There was this lack of connection to the story, it was always that little bit out of my reach.
The main problem, for me, was the lack of direction the plot seemed to have. I never knew where the story was heading, and not in a good way. When we first meant James Hook, our protagonist, he was a naive little boy that got swept away with by the charming Peter Pan and his promises of adventure. The middle grade-like story was sweet but didn’t grab me. I just couldn’t picture the world Brianna Shrum was trying to paint. Well, I hope that no-one can picture a 5 year old slitting a grown pirate’s throat but you know what I mean.
From there, skipping a few years ahead
because you know how much I love when books do that, we begin to delve into a much darker story – which would have been preferable if the transition between the two hadn’t been so sudden that I swear I got whip-lash.
The darker tone the book took certainly adding a sense of urgency to the story, but didn’t help the plot to find a direction. The plot darted in fifty different tangents before settling into a hopelessly tragic love story that made me both cringe and cry. ‘Cause while a little tedious at times, and even more frustrating in other points, it was quite a sad and emotional read too.
I did enjoy our protagonist though, James Hook, as unlikable as he become. There was a certain rawness and openness to his character that really just worked for me. Tiger Lily and Peter Pan just didn’t hold that much interest for me. I would have liked to have understood Peter more than we got the chance to, and Tiger Lily didn’t seem much more substantial than her role as the romantic interest.
The ending was also quite frustrating. Looking back on it now, I cannot see how else the story could have ended. It didn’t make it any less sad and infuriating though.
Overall, even though these books had some rough patches that could have done with some smoothing out, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read. I look forward to reading more book by Brianna Shrum and I would recommend giving this ago if you enjoy Tiger Lily – the second half of the book is very similar.