Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
I was introduced to Jacob as a pitiful young man with an eccentric friend and an even more eccentric grandfather who told amazing tales about peculiars. Armed with breathtaking black-and-white pictures of these peculiars, the story began as much of a fairytale as any other. The quest for truth (and to verify that his grandfather wasn’t a crazy old fool), the world of the peculiars opens up spectacularly.
The descriptions really took on a life of their own and when coupled with Random Riggs extensive collection of carefully selected images, the visuals of the story opened up further. The world was as real as any other, taking in the environment so I never forgot where I was or what was around me. From the first time Jacob sees the decimated mansion where the peculiars are hidden, to when he sees it again in all its glory, to the sleepy fishing village on the “mysterious” island, the world is built superbly.
From a story perspective, it’s great to find that, as amazing as all the abilities are, some are downright weird and are not abilities where one would think to don a superhero costume. No one seems exceptionally powerful beyond belief while at the same time each ability is unique… and limited. This limitation made the characters more real, some thing I appreciated about the story, that it wasn’t focused on the abilities as it was on the people who owned them.
Time travel, or at least time related stories, are my favourite. Ransom Riggs’ “time loop” theory works brilliantly and establishes rules that ensure that everything is believable. Combined with a history that makes you want to find out more about this world of peculiars.
Ending on a cliff hanger, after it becomes evident that monsters do exist, this first book in the Home for Peculiar Children series had me riveted and anxiously awaiting the next book.
Rating: 4 out of 5