Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hook's Revenge - Heidi Schulz

Hook's Revenge book cover
Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz
Series: Hook's Revenge #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Cassie!) || Hardcover
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile's clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz's debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out? (from Goodreads)

Hook's Revenge is a darling tale, filled with lovable characters, a series of (un)fortunate events and a heartwarming lesson to be learned. It was all too easy to get swept up in this story, particularly because it revolves around one spunky gal: Jocelyn Hook, daughter of the infamous Captain James Hook. The girl's got brains, courage and a thirst for adventure, and readers will enjoy following her journey.

And what a journey! Jocelyn faces as many obstacles as you'd expect, from the gigantic crocodile that haunted and hunted her father to the ever so bothersome Peter Pan who keeps showing up at random moments. There are plenty of details to take in, and while it had the potential to be overwhelming, Schulz's excellent writing makes it all flow in a manner that is easy to read and recall.

Actually, the narration of Hook's Revenge adds extra character. Schulz writes in a way that makes it seem like we are hearing the story from the lips of an actual storyteller. I've no idea how she managed to capture the essence of oral storytelling in her novel, but it's definitely a success. Plus, the integration of random quips and pirate slang all throughout was really fun too!

Hook's Revenge, in spite of a pretty simple story arc, is colored with enough details to make things interesting. While there is a lesson for kids to learn from Jocelyn's experience, we never once lose the sense of whimsy among the events that transpire. There's clearly many more adventures ahead for brave Jocelyn and her crew, and I, for one, am looking forward to being aboard for them all!

(If you caught the reference in the first paragraph, by the way, you win at life.)
(Also, side note, but any Once Upon a Time fans among my readers? I honestly cannot help but picture Hook from that show, because that man is badass and a total crush-worthy male.)

3 comments:

  1. This looks like such a fun book!

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  2. ooh I so want to read this! it sounds DELIGHTFUL and now I'm curious about the narration style!

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  3. I had to think about it but then I noticed the DARLING reference :) Hehe. I'm glad this was a charming and fun book, I've had my eye on it for awhile! Sounded wonderful. I love Peter Pan retellings plus my husband loves Peter Pan in general so I'm always hoping to get him to read a retelling sometime ;) Very curious about the narration!

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