18 May 2016

Review #434: Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2) by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”

----Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs, the New York Times bestselling author, has penned a fascinating paranormal-themed story in his YA series, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children and this book, Hollow City is the second book in this exciting series. This story follows the adventure of a sixteen year old rich boy who found his late grandfathers' fantasy and peculiar stories to be true after his death and to rest his grandfather's soul in peace, he embarks on this bone-chilling adventure to an old, creepy island to find out a children's orphanage and the mysteries surrounding those peculiar children. And in the second installment of the book, Jacob finds himself in a difficult situation where he had to escape with the peculiar children along with Miss Peregrine in the bird form after the wights attacked them on the island.


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.

The first book in the series disappointed me a lot and mostly the fact that the book failed to make me feel frighten with its creepily-themed characters and their weird abilities. I was bit confused on whether I should read the second book or not, as I knew that the same characters are going to welcome me in their journey. Anyhow, I had to read this book, as I bought the whole series with my hard earned money, and without giving a second thought, I splurged my money on this series. So here I'm, trying to pen a non-judgmental review irrespective of what I thought about the characters in the previous book.

Well, Jacob, is once again on the run from the wights (villains) who attacked him, Miss Peregrine and the rest of the children on the island of Cairnholm. So along with the peculiar bunch of kids, Jacob leads the whole group towards war-torn London which has the largest population of peculiar human beings, only to save Miss Peregrine who has gone back to the bird form and cannot turn herself into human form. So they need help from another of Miss Peregrine's kind to save her in return to save themselves. They go through tons of loops and in each loop they were introduced with either a peculiar kind of animals or adults or with dangerous and blood-thirsty wights. But can Jacob, Emma, Hugh, Bronwyn, Millard, Enoch and the rest save Miss Peregrine?

The world building is done splendidly by the author as at times I felt like moving along with Jacob and his friends from one loop to another and the sensations and the feels that the author depicted while passing from one loop to another is quite striking. The author has devised the whole structure of the story with depth and edge thus letting the readers to visualize the scenes right with their own eyes. The author has also laced his story with a major unexpected twist near the end of the book which I bet will shock and blow the minds of many readers.

Once again, the author has introduced and laced this story with freakish and peculiar old pictures in between the story and they sync perfectly with the flow of the story. Yes those images are really something that makes this whole series stand out among the rest of the books in the YA fantasy genre. Not only that the author even mentions about from whom and from where he has collected these bizarre set of photographs.

The author's writing style is very articulate, easy to comprehend with, and has been laced with thrill. The story is quite addictive and I kept on reading to find if Jacob and his friends could save the fate of Miss Peregrine. The narrative is bit depressing yet free-flowing enough to keep the readers glued till the end. The mystery part is really good and the author has unwrapped the knots of this complicated and dark mystery layer-by-layer. The pacing is really fast as the characters jump from one loop to another. The whole adventure is highly exciting and mystifying and it feels like riding a roller-coaster filled with unexpected challenges and bumps on the way.

In the previous book, Jacob and the rest turned out to be very, very dull, especially Jacob with his ego. But this time, Jacob involved into someone mature and caring. In short, Jacob can easily warm up the hearts of the readers with his bit engaging narrative. And the rest of the characters, I believe will forever suck, as long as this series go on and on.

In a nutshell, do give it a read if you fancied the previous book and was dying to know what happens with the kids when they escaped the island. As for me, this book is compelling enough to keep my mind and heart both fascinated with the gripping and challenging adventure undertaken by the peculiar kids.

Read the review of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Verdict: An enticing journey of the peculiars!

Author Info:
I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for mentalfloss.com, and make short films.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I'm really excited about it -- it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It's called Talking Pictures.
Visit him here

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