Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series | Book 1
Publisher: Quirk Books; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)
Note: Previously published on the author’s blog Read It or Not Reviews. To view the original post, click here.
The novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, blends black-and-white photographs with a haunting dark fantasy.
Sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman lives a relatively ordinary life. But when his senile grandfather, Abraham Portman, calls him frantically for help and raves madly about someone coming to find him, his mundane life is shattered. At the sight of his grandfather’s murder, he beholds a terrifying monster, but even more terrifying: only he can see it.
Seeking answers, Jacob convinces his parents to let him travel to a Welsh island with an abandoned orphanage that might hold the keys to his grandfather’s past and his future.
When Jacob visits the orphanage, which was destroyed by a World War II bomb, he encounters a girl who can hold flames and an invisible boy. Through them, he is drawn into the world of the Peculiars: a group of people with Peculiar abilities who can never age as long as they’re in their time loop.
But there are wonders and dangers in the Peculiar world. Tentacled creatures called hollowgast prey on Peculiars when they can and the wights–hollowgasts who’ve preyed on enough Peculiars to regain a semblance of human life–are planning something new.
Can Jacob embrace his own powers while protecting his newfound Peculiar friends?
Two of my friends recommended this book to me and it was one of the best book recommendations I’ve ever received. Ransom Riggs creatively blends Peculiar black-and-white vintage photographs, dark fantasy, horror, Peculiar powers, and a hint of historical fiction all into one story.
Overall, the writing was a very smooth and once Jacob found the Peculiar children, the action began to pick up, which brings me to one con point. It took until page one hundred and twenty-one for me to get really interested, but it was well worth the wait.
Following that page, there is amazing world building and I’m introduced to the two groups of antagonists: wights and hollowgast. The author managed to describe the wights and hollowgast in a way that when I was reading it the first time I was mildly creeped out.
The character development was also very strong. I’d definitely say that Jacob’s character had the biggest changes throughout the trilogy, but the author also did a decent job developing Emma’s character too. Miss Peregrine and Jacob’s parents’ personalities did not change very much, but remained consistent. The Peculiar children were also very diverse in personality and I liked how Ransom Riggs gave each character their own distinct personality.
I’d definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a good dark fantasy young adult book that’s not dominated by a romantic plot. Five stars!