A review by tachyondecay
Hooked by A.C. Wise

Did not finish book. Stopped at 12%.
Alas, for the first time in over a year, I must shelve another book as “did not finish.” I am loath to do this with an eARC I received from NetGalley—I try my best only to apply for books I will hopefully like, and even when I don’t like them, I do my best to finish them and provide a full review. That being said, I have no problem with DNFing a book if it isn’t right for me.

 Hooked is a reimagining of the Peter Pan mythos. It is, apparently, a loose sequel to A.C. Wise’s earlier novel, Wendy, Darling (I haven’t rea dit). I love the premise behind these two novels. Retellings remain all the rage, with good reason, but the challenge is to twist the source material in such a way as to find new themes and entertaining layers to it. The idea that Captain Hook was the victim of some kind of fae spirit masquerading as a boy is really cool, and perhaps this book will work better for others, as many of the more positive reviews it has attracted so far seem to attest.

Why didn’t it work for me? Pacing was a big one. And the style of writing overall.

I am only about ten percent into the novel, which I admit isn’t that much. Normally I give a book a little longer to grab me—but something is telling me that Hooked won’t do that, and I want to listen to my gut. Very little has happened so far. The chapters are long and meandering. Wise flits in and out of flashbacks, taking us from present-day London, 1939, to James’s time as Hook in Neverland. The exposition this provides allows me to understand what’s happening, yet I don’t feel it, if that makes any sense.

Stylistically, then, Wise and I seem to be working at cross purposes. These days I much prefer novels with shorter, concrete scenes, and a good mix of dialogue and narration. Though Wise is fond of in media res storytelling, the action we get dropped into doesn’t seem to culminate in anything that then furthers the plot, so far as I can see.

Consequently, what I have read of the novel so far feels very jumbled to me. We have James, haunted by the ghost of someone I think was a former lover? Wendy, all growed up, off to help her daughter, who just witnessed a murder most foul. Pan and his monster are lurking somewhere. Like I said—this is a really intriguing premise, and I wish I could have enjoyed the writing enough to keep going. As it is, I will pass on this one.

Originally posted at Kara.Reviews.