Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Review: “Library of Souls” (Book 3: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children)

by Ransom Riggs.

This concluding book certainly makes up for the boring second instalment of the Miss Peregrine series!

Travelling through London, this adventure comes to a stop at the slums of Devil’s Acre, a vile corner of Victorian England. Here is where we meet the magical Mother Dust, the mysterious Sharon, and the quirky Bentham. And here is where we go back and forth in time, and in and out of different parts of the world as the mission takes Jacob and Emma from the legendary library of souls through the integrated time loop system. Although at times it felt like things fell too conveniently into place, I enjoyed this book.

Overall this series contained a very good idea at its core, with some interesting characters and some very cool fantasy and action sequences (although there really wasn't enough material to stretch it into three books).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Book Review: “Hollow City” (Book 2: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children)

by Ransom Riggs.

Hmm. Well. Actually there's not much that can be said about this second book in the "Peculiar Children" series of adventures. From Miss Peregrine’s island, the rescue mission now takes the children to London. This entire book is all about the children running from one spot to another, away from hollows and wights, whilst meeting lots of other peculiar children along the way.

On the plus side we meet a few interesting peculiars gifted with everything from telekinesis to indestructibility. On the minus side however, it was just that one thing repeated over and over again throughout the book. (Also, for a rare - even dying - species, the peculiars were surprisingly abundant throughout London).

There was one twist in the tale towards the very end - but I honestly cannot say that that made up for the ordinary narrative that preceded it.

When all was said and done, I enjoyed "Tales of the Peculiar" (one of the books published in the Peculiardom) more, in fact, than the main story.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review: “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children”

by Ransom Riggs.

Okay, let me start with my conclusion. Based on the book's cover and the excerpt, I was expecting a scary story with creepy characters. It is not. And that was a little disappointing. However, once I was past that, it was still a good fantasy tale.

His grandfather's tales of his childhood and a collection of old photographs, take 16-year-old Jacob to a large abandoned orphanage in Wales. Jacob barely steps into a world out of time, before he is introduced to a group of "children" with very unusual talents, and faced with the very unearthly threat of soul-sucking hollowgasts. Armed with a newly discovered "peculiar" power of his own, and supported by a range of talents from making fire, to floating, to invisibility, Jacob embarks on a great rescue mission.

I thought that the concept of the time loop was fantastic, and I really liked the unique characters that make up this tale. (Although I really cannot say I was enamoured by Jacob and Emma's relationship; regardless of what she looks like, she is around 100 years old, and she did have a relationship with his grandfather).

One last observation; I think if the characters were closer to 9-10 years of age, it would have made more sense - within the world and outside: both the children's actions and the narrative style seem to point to a younger cast and a younger audience.

Still, overall, an enjoyable story.