This book was deeply enjoyable and once I started it I couldn't put it down. What I found most unique about this book, and most satisfying, is the manner in which it ties the well known story of Peter Pan into other similar stories and historic events as well as returning to some of the oldest mythology concerning the nature of human interaction with non-human faery-like creatures.
There is, if viewed honestly, something more than a little disturbing about Peter Pan. The desire to remain a child forever, though tempting, can't be separated from an unethical lack of responsibility. The oldest stories about faery creatures and the humans who interact with them tend to always convey the same message. Faery's may not be evil, they are generally playful and well-intentioned, but their utter disconnection from the concerns and standards of the human world along with their non-human power make them exceptionally dangerous in a unique way. Theirs is the danger of consequences unintended because of an utter lack of reflection which fits perfectly the danger of a powerful entity joined to a complete incapacity for reflection and responsibility. We see clearly in this story the way in which any entity with the power of Peter Pan would either be or become a terrifyingly non-human creature. Particularly fascinating is the way in which the book points this out through the limitations of Peter Pan's memory. Memory is a form of responsibility-taking, and a life of perpetual irresponsible play would be a life devoid of a past. Despite this, however, the character of Peter Pan remains enchanting, charming and seductive. In their revisiting of the character of Peter Pan the authors set themselves no small challenge and they met the challenge with resounding success. In this it even resembles, at points, Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell". Bringing these reflections on Peter Pan into play with the character of Captain Hook gives rise to the rich irony of the story. The ethical lack on the part of Peter Pan helps lead to a reversed ethical failure on the part of the conscientiously responsible James Hook, a fact which provokes some troubling questions about the nature of moral responsibility and ethical dilemmas in human life.
Classic stories like those of Peter Pan tend to exist in their own world entirely insulated from other literary references or historical context in the same way Peter Pan is insulated from any worldly connections. To tell the story from the perspective of Hook, however, is to reconnect it to the human world with its historical and literary references. This the authors have done in a deeply satisfying and fulfilling way. We get to meet other historical pirates while also being treated in subtle non-artificial ways to reflections on the origin and nature of the Peter Pan figure (for example through references to Puck from Shakespeare). If you have ever wondered how Captain Hook's personality would stand out next to those of Blackbeard or Long John Silver this book will be a treat.
As a reader I tend to most enjoy these subtle historical and literary elements, but one need not be such a reader to deeply enjoy this book. Setting aside the aspects I think make this honestly a deep book in a unique manner, it is also an entertaining and enthralling adventure story with characters you care about and a pleasantly complex plot that nicely comes together by the end. The book manages to achieve all this while successfully expanding the original Peter Pan story and filling gaps the original story left undiscussed.