Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

"I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn't a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn't we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less..."
You can read my review of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children here.

(Some spoilers from Book 1 follow)
Wow, it's been 3 years since the first book was published. It was a story of a boy named Jacob. His grandfather always told him stories of the peculiar children who live on an island in the care of Miss Peregrine. Jacob stopped believing in the stories after he grew up. When his grandfather passed away, he decided to travel to the island featured in the stories. There, he met evil creatures called hollowgasts who want to eat peculiar children, and the twisted wights who want to steal their souls for their own evil purposes. He also found that Miss Peregrine and all her charges were real, and still the same age as when his grandfather knew them.

They live inside a time loop, where they are safe from wights and hollowgasts, and where they remain the same age forever. At the end of Miss Peregrine, their loop is invaded. The wights force them to flee their island to England, which is in the middle of the blitzkrieg of World War II. Even worse, after being apprehended by the wights, Miss Peregrine is stuck in her bird form until they can find another ymbrne (The bird ladies who watch over peculiar children) to help her.

Now, the children are on the run. With help from their book of stories detailing famous peculiars, they reach the time loop where Miss Wren keeps her menagerie. Unfortunately, the animals of the menagerie have long been oppressed by normal humans and only a few remain. A bulldog named Adelaide directs them to London, which is being evacuated because of the bombings.

Along the way, they encounter a hollowgast inside a time loop, which should be impossible. They are nearly captured by wights, but must fight their way out. If they don't reach a ymbrne in time, Miss Peregrine may be stuck as a bird forever. Then, the children will never be able to re-enter their loop, and Jacob will be permanently stuck in the past.

This book contained a lot more action than the first. That one set up a lot of the story and introduced the characters, but a lot more happened once the basics were out of the way. Additionally, I thought that some of the pictures from the first book didn't actually tie into the story. In Hollow City, everything fits. Something or someone is described, and you know a picture will be soon to come. My minor issue is that there are a lot of landscapes and such in this book, which is boring compared to the peculiar pictures. Even so, the old black and white images definitely make the Miss Peregrine books what they are. They add a lot of interest and atmosphere to the story. I only hope that Ransom Riggs doesn't take as long to put out a third book.

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