Wednesday, June 08, 2005
What a grand adventure indeed.
I do not profess to be an expert on Peter Pan. I probably know the main points of the story, and I have read books lately like Peter and the Star Catchers. But when I was at BookExpo and saw the cover of Capt. Hook, I knew I had to read it!
I have always been the fan of the villian. In Disney, there are none better than Cruella and Malificent.
James Matthew Bastard is dropped off at Eton by his Aunt Emily. His bastard status preceded him...his father is a Lord and his mother is unknown. His pale skin and Charles II style hair-do set him apart as well.
How does he get from Eton to infamous?
Through a series of adventures involving befriending Roger Peter Davis (Jolly R), exposing his yellow blood, training a pet spider named Electra, being the best swordsman around, attempting to kidnap the Sultana Annanova, and being sent to sea for seven years!
J.V. Hart has out-Snicketed Snicket with the play of language, and use of slang that rolls so sweetly off the tongue. ("scugs", "ripping", "a bit of the various"). This book is begging to be read aloud. Don't be fooled, though. It's not for the young reader. The vocabulary is high, as is the emotional content (dealing with "bastard" status, to hazing, to the slave trade). One of my favourite quotes that sums up Hook is found on page 63 of the arc:
"This was the fear James had to face throughout his days, that amorphous abyss between what people say they want and what lengths they are actually willing to go to, to risk achieving their heart's desire"
I really would like to meet James Matthew!