Well I have to say I quite enjoyed this trip into Neverland, even though it was rather bittersweet. Sometimes it can be really cool to get the villain’s point of view, and I really liked getting one of the most notorious ones, Captain James Hook. For even villains have a story to tell, and most of the time villains are made, not born, so their stories tend to be pretty compelling. I think that starting with James’s childhood was a fabulous way to go, it was nice to start at the beginning and see his slow evolution into the nefarious Captain Hook.
I think one of my favorite things was Hook’s depiction of the infamous Peter Pan. The funny thing is, I actually like Peter Pan, always have, there is just something I find rather charming about the boy who wishes never to grow up. And while I do like Pan, I don’t think that Hook’s representation of him in this book was wrong. The truth of the matter is, no matter the depiction some things about Peter Pan are inherently true, he is narcissistic, thoughtless, and irreverent. All the completely uncharming aspects that accompany being a child. In most adaptations I think these more unsavory characteristics are done in a way that they don’t seem as pronounced, but in Never Never these traits were accentuated and it wasn’t hard to see how other people could suffer from such behavior, namely James Hook. I really appreciated that this tale where Pan was made to be the offender, the author didn’t feel the need to add much out of the original tales, just make the more unsavory things more pronounced.
It was hard not to sympathize with Hook, when you looked at all the things that befell him because of Pan. I was never really sure which side of the line that I was on. And getting Hook’s inner turmoil over the harsher things that he was doing, made a real difference on how I viewed them. Suddenly his relentless pursuit of Pan did not seem so evil, but more of a Neverland justice. I thought that Neverland itself was a really fascinating part of this story as well. I had no problem visualizing this enchanting and dangerous place. It was pretty cool how even land and all it’s inhabitants seemed to revolve around Peter, just a change in his mood could affect every and anything down to each blade of grass. I think it made Hook only detest Peter that much more that everything was merely another disciple of Peter’s, and Peter didn’t even appreciate any of it.
I have to admit that Tiger Lily’s role in this book was surprising to me. But although unexpected, I did quite enjoy it! Although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed with the way things went down with her at the end of the book.
Even though I ultimately knew how this story would end, it was actually pretty heartbreaking to watch it happen through Hook’s eyes, especially after all we had watched him endure. All in all this was a fresh new perspective on a classic tale and I thought it was well done.
I received a copy of this book from Spencer Hill Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review