Thursday, March 15, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs

Jacob's grandfather always told fantastic stories about outrunning and fighting monsters before moving to a Welsh paradise with people who could float or play with fire. Eventually, Jacob stops believing and thinks his stories are a metaphor for a Jewish boy who outran Nazis to end up at a refugee home on a desolate Welsh island.

But when his grandfather is killed, Jacob sees something horrifying in the woods and his grandfather's last cryptic message "Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man's grave. September third, 1940." Jacob goes to Wales and discovers that his grandfathers stories were true. On this island is a day that repeats over and over, where children can float or manipulate life. The monsters are real, and it's up to Jacob to stop them.

You guys, this more than lived up to the hype. It takes awhile to see where it's going-- if Jacob's reliable, if his Grandfather was crazy. The world building as Jacob slowly discovers this other side of things is so well done. I loved the theory of time travel and time loops (Charlotte-- you might want to look at this for Timeslip Tuesday.) I liked how Jacob struggles between worlds and how he has to scramble to cover for himself.

I LOVED the slow build and how creepy the island was (especially when compared to September 3rd.) Also, a little thing, but I loved how it worked in the 1908 Tunguska explosion (which I first heard about in Goliath)

Plus, it has pictures! Riggs uses found vintage photography to illustrate the book and it's done so well, it's hard to believe that many of the pictures weren't taken specifically for the book.

Overall, it's an intriguing concept and idea (both the plot and the use of photographs) that could have easily fallen flat. Lucky for us, Riggs is just a damn good storyteller, so it all works so very, very well.

The ending's a bit ambiguous because there will be a sequel. Sigh. I actually liked it just as it stood, but I'll be happy to re-enter this world.

A small note on format: I read this half in print and half on my Kindle. The book design uses a lot of brown, especially on new chapter pages and photograph pages. The brown adds a lot that wasn't there on my e-ink screen. SO! This is one worth seeking out in print. Or at least use a color screen.

Book Provided by... my local library (both print and Kindle versions came from the library.)

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