Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#Wednesday Review - Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Format: E-Galley, 342 pages
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Lisa Maxwell's Unhooked is a clever retelling of Peter Pan created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. 17-year old Gwendolyn (Gwen) Allister is a girl who is used to moving around a lot. She is used to her mother claiming that monsters are searching for them. She used to seeing strange things like rows of stones carved with protective runes, or lines of salt, or iron nails buried at the four corners of a property where they have stayed.

So, it's no big deal when her mother chooses yet another strange flat to move to, this time London, England. Yet, this time around things take a very unusual and dangerous turn for Gwen and her friend Olivia Peel. Ignoring warnings is nothing new for so called heroines, so when Gwen doesn't heed her own mother's warning, she and Olivia are quickly kidnapped and transported to the land of Neverland by creatures that come out of the darkness.

Gwen finds herself on board a pirate ship and discovers that a boy named Rowan (Captain Hook) is the captain of the ship and he is not at all what the original Peter Pan made him out to be. Gwen slowly realizes that she is forgetting all about the world where she came from, her mother, and her friend who is facing her own challenges. Neverland is a place that once you are there, you quickly become consumed by the place, and lose all focus on where you came from.

I dare say that I loved the twist with Hook and Pan. In fact, Hook could be considered the hero, while Peter Pan, who just goes by the name Pan in this world, is the villain who is very manipulative and power hungry and eager to twist his own story to his own liking. I will just go ahead and say it, if you watch Once Upon A Time on a regular basis, I won't disparage you for comparing this versions Captain Hook with OUAT's. It is after all, hard to do. 

Unhooked is a remarkably enjoyable story with a heroine that clearly has some interesting secrets that surround her. She is focused on getting her friend back, and finding a way back home to her mother. She puts up with Hook's crap, and gives back as much as she can. She isn't a wilting violet that is going to shrink away at the first signs of trouble. I am happy to report that there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE which has me smiling from her to London. The romance is made from tension, and trust, and adoration.

There really doesn't need to be a whole lot of world building if you have ready any version of Peter Pan. After all, you can't entirely ruin Neverland if you follow the previous scripts that have already been written. Sure there are some questions that aren't answers right away, including why we should really care about Gwen, but do we really need answers from the first page? I'm happy to report that this is also a standalone, and therefore your questions should be all answered by the time you turn the last page. 

Thank you! 

No comments:

Post a Comment