Sunday, May 8, 2011

Review: Capt. Hook

James arrives at Eton an intelligent, angry, and vindictive young man.  Bastard son of a lord that ignores him and a dead mother, he wastes no time in arranging himself as King Jas.: hero of his class and bane of his superiors.  He's handsome, superior, manipulative, and clever.

King Jas. could have been happy at Eton, but he dreams constantly of a beautiful fantasy island he called Neverland. So after falling in love, exacting revenge on his tormentor Arthur Darling, and learning to control spiders, James flees Eton and sets sail for his eventual destiny as Captain Hook.

Entertainment: ★★

I read the first few chapters, happily enjoying myself, thinking, "Oh, what a clever spin on the Captain Hook storyline!"  And then, frankly, it got weird.  Even tacky.  First James's blue eyes turn red when he's angry.  Then his blood is yellow.  Then he learns to control spiders with whistling.  I think at that point I actually put the book down and thought, "What the heck?"

And it got weirder from there.  Not in a good way.


 Maybe this book was intended for a much younger audience.  Because frankly I couldn't take the plot seriously.  I just kept thinking, "Really? Really?  Is he serious?" as I was turning the pages.


As previously mentioned, James is gorgeous, incredibly clever, has color-changing eyes, can control spiders for no apparent reason, and basically is the definition of a Mary-Sue (or Gary-Stu, if you prefer.)  If you haven't heard the term Mary-Sue, it refers to a character that is overly, obnoxiously perfect.  Google it and you'll see what I mean.

James also has an unhealthy obsession with the guillotine.  He was actually very unpleasantly macabre at times.  He also decides at a drop of a hat that his life is not worth living without a girl he just met.  This girl, of course, is a Sultana - a princess - who doesn't want to be royal and just wants to ride horses and fight and tomboyish things like that.

I don't think the word cliche can express all of my feelings towards these characters.  Ridiculous  might do a better job.  Honestly the characterization alone made finishing this book very, very difficult.

Writing: ★★

Aside from all the weirdness mentioned above, some fairly noticeable grammar errors, and some very oddly written dialects, I suppose the writing wasn't too bad, technically at least.

End Result: two stars.  I was not impressed.

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