Hook's Revenge, by our very own Heidi Schulz.
I say "our very own" because Heidi is a reader, and actually sent me an advance copy of Hooks' Revenge a very, VERY long time ago. She's also pretty active over on Fans of Epbot, which is where I discovered this fabulousness from her premier party:
Ok, so obviously any author who dresses up to match her book theme is already someone we want to be friends with - but can she write?
Hook's Revenge is a quick, easy YA read focusing not on Captain Hook of Neverland, but on his daughter. Young Jocelyn Hook never knew her father, but at age 12 she is charged with avenging his untimely demise by hunting down and destroying a certain infamous crocodile.
I love stories that revisit and twist classic fairy tales, and Hook's Revenge does that in spades. We get dashes of the familiar - Smee! Peter Pan! Neverland! - thrown in with an all new adventure and new characters. Jocelyn is the typical rebel we love in all the great stories: the girl who - to borrow from that song John won't stop listening to - refuses to "sit still and look pretty." She is daring and brave and loyal, and her adventure is one of those delightful romps parents will enjoy reading to their little ones.
I especially adore the way Schulz wrote Peter Pan, who is such a minor character he barely graces a dozen pages. It's Peter Pan exactly as we know him, but written from the perspective of a modern, independent young girl who has no time for "silly boys." Jocelyn's conversation with Peter as he attempts to "rescue" her from her own pirate ship is gold. I was half-tempted to include some here, but no; there is too much. You'll just have to go see for yourself.
Hook's Revenge is listed with an age range of 8-12, so it's a safe family read. There's one line about Jocelyn seeing some corpses early on that was a teeny bit icky, and the crocodile *might* scare especially small listeners, but that's about it.
Oh, and one advantage of my taking two years to read Schulz' debut novel: she's already released the sequel!
In Hook's Revenge: The Pirate Code Jocelyn sets off to find her father's famous treasure. Niiiice. If you've already read it, be sure to let me know what you thought in the comments!
And if you're looking for more recommended reads, hop over to my Book Review Page. My top favorites are starred, so you can scroll down quickly and see if we have similar taste. Plus there are a LOT more recommendations in the comments there, which I'm still working my way through!
Now, let's announce some art winners!
The winner of the "Dogtor Who" print is: Science and Static (Trapeze)
The winner of "The Targaryen Girl" is: Crystal Pauley
And my wild card winner is: MaiiLuna
Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!