Neverland, the land where you never grow up, it’s inhabited by Peter Pan and his band of Lost Boys and their battles with the pirates led by Captain Hook…..or is it? Today’s book is a reimagining of the story we all know and love. I came across it in one of my Goodreads groups, the author was offering a copy in exchange for reviews and well after reading the synopsis I decided to give it a read. And I was pleasantly surprised.
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Second on the Right by Elizabeth Los
Published by Self Publish on May 9, 2014
Length: 506 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Spawned from an ancient promise, treachery and intrigue follow the protagonists through our world and one lost to the waves. Bound by an invisible bond, they are thrust into a fantastical world of pirates and demons.
James Benedict is a just man haunted by evil. Pushed to the edge, everything stripped from him, a new man arises . . . a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it: "Captain Hook".
Eileen Davis was a timid woman. Through a fateful cruise she finds herself in the company of the Captain of the Mistral Thief. With his guidance, and the meddling of the local barista, she eventually finds her inner strength.
Will the two of them unite through time to fulfill the promise of their ancestors or will tempers ignite leading all to failure?
Second on the Right by Elizabeth Los is a reimagining of the Peter Pan story and is told from multiple perspectives, but essentially the story is about the infamous Captain Hook and how he becomes the Hook of legend. The story begins with a story about Captain Niles Davis and his cabin boy Robert Benedict. They’ve witnessed a battle between the air god Pan and the sea goddess Daria. Daria won, trapping Pan’s soul in the hilt of a knife. It’s Captain Davis’s responsibility to destroy the knife by fire so Pan will never escape, but the cabin boy steals it and Pan is released by a beggar boy Peter before the knife can be destroyed. Flash forward four hundred years to the present, Eileen Davis a descendant of the Captain is enjoying her first cruise when she meets the handsome entrepreneur James Benedict (have you guessed it?) a descendant of the cabin boy. And from there the story takes off!
I was fascinated with the intricacy of this story. Multiple characters with multiple POVs kept me wide awake and trying to figure out just where this story was going. Eileen Davis is introduced as having won her ticket for a cruise. She’s insecure, hesitant, and unsure of herself to the point that when she meets James Benedict, another on the cruise, she won’t even meet his eyes, thinking he couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Then after a strange dream that involved her learning to be a pirate aboard the Mistral Theif (this dream took about the first 40% of the book) under the direction of the now Captain Robert Benedict she gains the confidence she lacked and meets James’s advances head on with her own. James Benedict is the CEO and founder of Just a Second shipping company and is on the cruise to speak as a part of a business conference. When he meets Eileen, he thinks it’s love at first sight. But James also suffers from insecurities especially where relationships are concerned. However he loves Eileen and does not plan to let her go. Other POVs came from Captain Benedict, Daria, and Pan, however I cannot reveal much without spoiling the story for you!
The plot of this story was intricate and revolved around returning Pan to the hilt of the knife/soul-globe and destroying it which in the process would destroy him. I’ll be honest the story jumps from present to 1640s to present and back to the 1640s a lot! Honestly it did this so much that I was lost and unsure how the story would come together. There were so many plot points: the main one which I already mentioned, Captain Benedict falling in love with Eileen during what she believed was a dream, James’s company being targeted by what he believed to be terrorists, and then the ever-present and meddling Daria. At 60% into the book, I was still clueless as to how these plot points would come together, especially considering the synopsis hinted at this being the story of Captain Hook and he was absent still. However at about 70-75% Captain Hook shows up (no spoilers!!!) and the plot points not only merge but crash together and the rest of the story flowed smoothly.
Lots of action, lots of pirates, lots of suspense, and a little romance make this book a real page turner. In fact once the ending came, I felt it was well worth the read as at around 50% I wanted to give up because I just wasn’t invested in the characters, but the author did a fantastic job of bringing the story together and drawing me in. It was an interesting take on the Peter Pan story and also took a lot of guts on the author’s part to pull off this reimagining. Personally I’m looking forward to what this author has in store next. If you enjoy fantasy, pirates, action and suspense then I highly recommend this book.