This is the first book in a series by Ransom Riggs, and again it is yet another debut novel. If these first novels are where these authors start in their writing career then one can only imagine the quality of their future books.
I actually read the sequel, Hollow City, for my book challenge seeing as I read the first book quite a while back, but this review will be mostly dedicated to the first book with tiny snippets about Hollow City.
Most supernatural books have unique characteristics which set them apart from others in the genre. However this book is unique in style because Riggs uses a collection of old photographs to help illustrate the story. The characters themselves are also different than what the audience might expect. They are not superheroes; they are children who possess peculiar abilities, but like ordinary children they still feel afraid and vulnerable, having to rely on one another to overcome the fear that confronts them.
While discussing the book with a friend, Riggs’ use of photos came up in the conversation. I mentionedthat I thought the photos made an interesting addition to the story especially when you realize that the pictures served as mini writing prompts that he used when describing scenes. However, she thought the photosdistorted her perspective of the characters. After hearing my friend’s complaint I thought about it as I read the sequel and she was right; the scenes were influenced by his pictures but the characters weren’t, and that’s what I consider to be most important.
Storyline for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Jacob Portman witnesses the death of his grandfather who is killed by a horrifying monster. Recovering from the trauma of the event and frustrated that no one will believe what he saw, Jacob decides to follow the one clue his grandfather left behind and travel to a small island off the coast of Wales where he finds a group of children trapped in time under the stewardship of one, Miss Peregrine. His life quickly becomes intertwined with theirs as he learns that his grandfather’s murderer is out for more blood and these children may be in danger.
This first book moves slowly. For anyone who needs action and a fast moving plot, you may feel bogged down in character development. I was fine with the slower pace in character and plot development, however the book does pick up about half way through. And when you get to that point in the story it all becomes worth it.
Hollow City moves a bit faster because it takes up where the first book left off and keeps moving at a fairly quick pace. There isn’t a serious amount of action like you would expect in supernatural books, but I didn’t mind that. It felt more plausible because none of them are fighters in any way; it’s a rag tag group of kids trying to protect the world they live in.