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342 pages, Hardcover
First published February 2, 2016
“What’s next?” I ask doubtfully. “Fairies?”
“Well”—he turns and leans his hip on the bulwark so he can face me—“they have been a large part of the mess you’re finding yourself in.”
He gives me a dark and dangerous smile that has something equally dark and dangerous curling in my belly.
It’s not I who will kill you, lass,” he says softly. “Neverland will do that well enough on its own.”
He steps back abruptly then and turns to face the sea. I’m surprisingly aware of the loss. His attention was like a flame, warming me, even as it threatened to burn. His dismissal makes the night feel that much colder, that much more dangerously empty.
His mouth is so near that if I just lifted a bit onto my toes—
What is it about pirate books that makes me so disappointed later? We need a good pirate book. Urgently *wink to Luke* And apart from being a bad pirate book, it is also my third failed read, agh, I am so tired of writing negative reviews on books that were supposed to be amazing!
Unhooked is not all about pirates, actually it's a Peter Pan retelling. The events of the book take place in the alternative version of our world, where book about Peter Pan actually exists and our heroine Gwendolyn is well aware who Pan and Hook are. But apart from the two iconic characters, this story is different and has a darker undertone to it. Unfortunately darkness didn't save the story which went downhill approximately after 40% of the book.
- dark mood, scary creatures, creepy noises (in the beginning).
- Captain aka Hook who is more of an anti hero in the book. He had his motives and dark secrets and wasn't willing to follow someone's rules. Many people imagine him as Killian Jones from Once upon a time tv-series:
I suppose the author aimed for comparison with that character on purpose, but honestly, when I started the book I did not imagine Captain as Killian Jones, because I don't have hots for the actor, I guess I just imagined someone in my head, not a specific person.
- the language is nice and melodic and perfectly transfers the mood of the story to our minds.
That's it, nothing else in this book touched me.
- first POV narration. It was terrible. It always risky to write from the first POV knowing the perspective of the world will depend on narrators interpretation. And Gwen was a terrible narrator. She was more bothered with her personal affairs than with what was happening around. Her constant sighing over Captain then over Pan were tiresome. She didn't notice or refused to understand simple truths around her. It was annoying.
- MC Gwendolyn. It's logical to presume that if I didn't like first POV, I wouldn't like the person it belonged to. That's right. Gwen was an okay character in the beginning but when she was transported to Neverland, she turned into a whiny person. She couldn't decide what she wanted, she couldn't even thing logically and it was so naively and annoyingly frustrating at times.
“Even if I believe we’re in some sort of magical otherworld,” I say, “even if I accept that much, you expect me to believe I’m stuck in some kind of fairy tale?”
And it's like that all the time with her. She sees something that is right in front of her, but she refuses to believe or to turn her logic on.
- Romance. Romance was insta-lovish or was it lust?
“Do you need my allegiance too? Or will you toss me to those monsters?”
The Captain’s eyes go dark, his face an emotionless mask. He takes my measure from where he stands, just a few yards away, his mechanical hand balling itself into a gloved fist. “No, Gwendolyn,” he says softly, his voice rough and filled a desolation that makes my whole body go still. “It’s not your allegiance I want.”
Agh, 30% into the book and already hardcore!
No love triangle here, but it didn't stop the heroine's knees from trembling because of Captain's beauty and Pan's too. Agh, she doesn't know whom to trust: Pan or Captain, but they are both so sexy and beautiful and masculine *face palm* Girl was kidnapped, girl was almost killed, girl needs to find a way out of this mess, but all she does is starry eyes at male characters.
I should struggle. I should pull away from him and make it clear just how distasteful I find him. But I can’t. His voice curls about my brain, and the warmth of him, the solidness of his body against mine, is suddenly too real. Too immediate for me to even process. He laughs then, softly, as though he knows just how weak I am, and the sound of it rumbles up out of his chest and across every one of my nerve endings.
Still, the longer we fly, the more I find myself drawn to him. The more I find myself wanting him to look at me.
Maybe it’s because he smells like the night, wild and free as the wind whipping through my hair, but it takes all my focus not to let myself lean into him. His is a cold scent, distant and empty as a winter day, but that doesn’t make it any less enticing. I want to breathe him in, and it’s only when he chuckles darkly that I realize I’m doing just that.
- Peter Pan. I honestly don't understand the purpose of this character. Don't get me wrong, at first I understood but in the end his character didn't make any sense. Hard to explain without spoilers, but let's just say that Pan's purpose in the story wasn't fulfilled and that sucks, because he played a significant role in the book and then he was just left hanging aimlessly in the plot hole.
- World-building. Erratic, partly done. At first it was good, but the longer I read the more I questioned the world in the book and how it worked. I didn't find the explanation author gave us satisfying. Just no.
- Plot. It's even worse than the world-building. What happened closer to the end was just meh. New characters appeared, new plot twists were suppose to shock me into liking the story but they were terribly done, absurdly even. Where logic, where consistency? That is not how you build most of the book and then crush it all, because you want something entirely new? I don't get it.
- The ending. The worst part of the book. It was utterly ridiculous. Am I suppose to buy the stuff? Am I suppose to believe that leaving things like that is okay? Maybe author wants us to rely on hints about the possibility of the sequel, but it still does not justify the pile of unanswered questions we were left with. The ending made the whole book pointless, annulled the meaning of the story and characters lost their place in the book, they just left hanging somewhere with no purpose.
It just seems that most of the book is underdeveloped. Author started something intriguing and dark and couldn't keep up with her imagination. She tangled up in her own ideas, and like the ever changing island of Neverland, author changed her vision of the story more times than my poor brain could except. It's really sad, because like a lost child I wanted this book to give me direction and purpose, but in the end I only got more lost.
All images courtesy of Pinterest.
“Hers might never be calm or easy paintings, but those canvases are the way she keeps herself centered. She needs to create, or she will lose herself bit by bit to her fears and delusions.”