Hollow City, Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine #2)
Published January 14th 2014 by Quirk Books
396 Pages, Hardcover
The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his new found friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.
Hollow City takes off right where Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children left us and the action really doesn’t stop at all. Jacob and his peculiar friends are trying to help the injured Miss Peregrine transform from her bird form and are fleeing the wights and hollowgasts who attacked their island safe haven. That must sound totally bizarre if you didn’t read Miss Peregrine! If you haven’t go get it!
First thing, the photos. If you’re reading this post and you haven’t read Miss Peregrine’ Home, the text is interspersed with incredible black and white photos the author collected over the years. Ransom Riggs has such a gift find these amazingly creepy photos and then build the story around them. Its so impressive to me how well the narrative flows despite the fact that you’re stopping reading to look at these photos and try to figure out what the heck exactly could have been going on. Its even more impressive to me in book two because he had to fit the photos to the narrative this time, rather than build his characters entirely around their photos.
Photos like these…
But when you’re reading these bizarre photos completely make sense in context and you totally buy the story of the Emu-raffe (photo on the right) from Riggs. The book begins with a photo cast of characters of Jacob and the familiars he starts out with which I loved. It has been a while since I read Miss Peregrine so the refresher was perfect for me to get the names and peculiarities straight.
Hollow City is a novel of action. Jacob and his companions find their way into other Loops and we meet some amazing new peculiar characters like the emu-raffe above. I love that all the peculiars are given a chance to shine and use their peculiarities to help the fight. I also liked that the peculiars are all individuals-Jacob is not a hero who is blindly followed by the group. Its hard to remember the characters just look like children and they have opinions and experience far beyond their appearance. They were a great group to read about. As for Jacob, he does start to come into his own as he understands how he too is peculiar and what that means for his life.
The only thing I really don’t love about this series is the romance. Jacob is in love with Emma, who was also his grandfather’s girlfriend. This is something I tried to forget as I was reading, but this is really icky if you think too much about it. I really like Emma so its hard to not feel good about the romance.
This book is haunting and creepy, but still funny and touching in its own way. Check it out and tell me if you’re as delightfully creeped out by the pictures as I am.
Thank you Quirk Books for this review copy in exchange for an honest opinion!