Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones - Review

There are spoilers, highlight to view!

"For one long moment, she held hope in her hand.  Then,
like sunlight, peter slipped through her fingers."
After a lazy summer I'm back to blogging and Book Reviewing!  Today it's Hook & Jill, by Andrea Jones, first in the Hook & Jill Saga.  The story is an adult interpretation of Sir James M. Barrie's Peter Pan stories, taking liberties with the source material1 in order to explore themes of emerging sexuality and desire, with the story mostly told from Hook's perspective.  The story's convolutions and complications of  Hook and Wendy's near DeathNote level gambits are fun to watch as they unfold and unravel.  Equally fascinating are the complexities of morality presented.

Jason Isaac's Hook is closest to
Book Hook, but I think we can all
agree that Dustin Hoffman's
Hook from Hook is Best Hook.
Hook is a bad man, there's no real denying that, but so too is Peter.  Peter was terrifying.  Sure, he's happy-go-lucky and puckish, but he holds an aura of menace over the Lost Boys that gives you a feeling of constant danger whenever he's around.  His puckishness gives the impression that he could snap at any moment, and his border-line control freak personality creates an impressive threat.

Meanwhile, Wendy's sexuality is turned up a bit.  In the novel, the children are aging, and Wendy's hitting puberty like a chevy slamming into a brick wall.  We get this repeated image of "A kiss sitting on the edge of her mouth" that functions as an effective McGuffin throughout the story.2

The language is rather interesting in the novel as well.  Many characters are referred to by monikers as much as their real name.3 "The Golden Boy" or "The Italian Sailor."  It's a welcome change, it keeps the book from getting to repetitive as different characters take the stage with increasing rapidity.  There are also some fantastic bits of wordplay, for instance, Captain Hook contemplates Wendy thusly:

"Pluck. And abandon. Exactly the traits he required of her. He nodded to himself. Exactly the things he would do to her."4

That line makes me shiver5 with how good it is.  The book is a wild ride, especially towards the end, after Wendy dies, Slightly and his boyfriend6 discover Pan's darkest secret7, Spoilers, and the Crocodile gets sprinkled with Fairy Dust.  I will admit that as things get a little chaotic it can be a little hard to tell what's going on, but then again I was somewhat sleep deprived after #mww13.  Also, the last full chapter, "Seas of London" must have been written under the influence of the Mead of Poetry or something, because it simply sings.  I could almost smell the Chimney Smoke and hear the tinkle of the Kensignton Garden Fairies.  If you're a fan of fairytale or women's coming of age lit, I'd definitely grab this book.  I'll probably pick up the sequel.

"Disarming women was his forte. One only had to identify their weapon and use it first."
Oh!  And did I mention I actually got to meet Andrea Jones at the Enchanted Lakes Renaissance Faire? She signed my book!  I love signed books!

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