Author: Lisa Maxwell
Date Started: March 22
Date Finished: March 24
Format: Hardcover from local library
Gwen Allister is sick of moving. For the umpteenth time her mother and her move again, this time to a new flat in London and she isn’t happy about it at all because she started putting down roots the last time they moved. In fact, her best friend Olivia, comes with them to help them out for the next two weeks and that is pretty much the only thing that Gwen is happy for. But eventually she knows that Liv is going back home and she’ll be stuck here with her mother who believes that the fairy mural painted in the second bedroom in their new flat is real and that they are watching her.
On the first night, Gwen is awoken by something moving in the shadows and making noises, she thinks it’s just a draft of some sort, until a hand clutches over her mouth and lifts her up and out of her room. After a freaky light show, some flying, and possibly a cannon fight, Gwen finds herself falling into water and losing consciousness. When she wakes up she is on board a ship and its Captain welcomes her to the last place she ever thought possible. Neverland. Only this isn’t the land from the stories and Captain isn’t the villain he is made out to be. Pan, on the other hand, just might be the villain and he wants Gwen no matter the cost.
I’ll admit that I like fairy tale retellings. I like seeing where authors like to make their twists and somehow stay true to the original tale. With Unhooked, the thing that caught my eye was the Goodreads snippet about Hook. I’m a huge Once Upon a Time fan and may or may not have a huge crush on this character:
So Maxwell had a lot to live up to with her rendition of Hook, and she did come close to beating Killian, but she fell just a little bit short. The first few chapters were a little slow and didn’t give too much information, but once Gwen drops into Neverland the pace picks up and the witty conversation flies. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked Captain – real name Rowan – but he grew on me as I devoured each chapter. The added twist of adding the fey to Neverland was an interesting one, and I think it paid off.
‘Peter Pan’ as the villain though kind of made me want to barf – but in the best way possible. I like villains who try to come off as the good guy who’s just been wronged, but are actually the vilest character in the book. I especially liked how hard Gwen had to fight to stay immune to his charms. The bit with the shadow too was a huge plus and made me realize how deep Maxwell really thought this tale out.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A slow start that picks up fast and a great retelling of Peter Pan with a lot of interesting twists. Big points too because this was originally Maxwell’s NaNoWriMo project. It makes me smile every time I come across one that actually gets published.
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