Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Hollow City

The long awaited (at least for me) sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was completely worth waiting for.  Hollow City by Ransom Riggs came out last week and I snatched it up right away.  I would have read it in one sitting if I didn't have to work and take care of my children... lol.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”
This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.
Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.
And delight me it did!  From the beginning, I was entranced.  I think what really pushes this book and its predecessor above and beyond is the photos.  I am consistently reminded of the eerie fascination of an old time carnival or a Ripley's Believe it or Not where the "peculiar" people are exhibited as freaks who we believe cannot possibly exist in real life.  Except, in this story, they do exist, and we are thrust into their world as they try to survive the cruelty of the people who want to use them and their special talents.  Every one of characters is fascinating.  We have Emma, who can make fire with her hands, Olive, who will float away if not weighted down, Hugh, who can house bees in his stomach and call them up at will, and many more. Reading about them is mesmerizing and almost makes you wish you had a peculiarity of your own.  These characters, who are all mainly children and teens, only have each other and when their beloved caretaker is hurt, their quest is one that demonstrates love, loyalty, and determination to restore her to her former self.  A few new characters are introduced in this story who were not in the first book and I found it particularly interesting that the girl on the cover is only in a very small portion of the story.  I'm betting she will reappear in the third book.  I certainly hope she does!
The story moves quickly and I often found the adventure very difficult to put down.  Because there are time loops in the story, it has a historical aspect to it as well, which was an added bonus for me.  The setting when the children are in London during the German bombings was both interesting and a reminder of how people really suffered everywhere during this time.  The Wights and the Hollows were described each time they appeared in the story with a style that almost has you shivering in fear along with the children.  I found myself praying each time that the main characters would find a way to defeat these creatures/villains or escape from them in order to continue their journey.  When I finally thought they were going to have a huge victory, the book took a huge turn that I didn't see coming and left me astounded, and just a tad cranky that I have to wait for the third book to find out what happens next.
This is a five star book for me.  I truly loved it and will be on the lookout for the release date of the next installment.  I certainly hope it is sooner rather than later!  

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read this! I have to get my hands on it soon :)