Rating: ★★★☆☆

Note: generally speaking, I avoid spoilers in my reviews. But this time I found it tough to avoid, so consider this your due warning – spoiler alert!

In my years of writing pirate book reviews, I’ve definitely seen those that I’ve adored, and others I’ve not cared for. It’s not always a question of quality, either – sometimes a book is well conceived and well crafted, but just isn’t for me. I’d thought that was going to be the case with this review, as indeed, the first 2/3 of the novel Hook&Jill by Andrea Jones simply wasn’t to my taste. But never have I seen such a recovery – the final third of this book felt like setting off a killer fireworks display that you’d spent the entire afternoon assembling – a long time coming, but worth the wait.

Essentially this book begins as the story of Peter Pan as we more or less know it. Wendy and her brothers have spent an undefined amount of time (a month? a century?) in the company of Peter and his Lost Boys. Wendy plays the mother to Peter’s father, and they all continue in an unchanged routine of daily adventures, Wendy’s tales, Peter’s rules about not growing up, and – for Wendy, anyways – a growing restlessness. (more…)