I had almost literally just finished reading Carl’s review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, when an email popped into my inbox from the UK publicist offering me a copy for review. I think I might just have bitten his hand off! Definitely sweet timing!
And what a thing of beauty it is! Even before you get to reading it. The colouring… The layout… The photos… (and, they’re not just there for show either, they form an essential part of the story).
Jacob spent his childhood, listening to his grandfather, telling tall stories of his childhood, during the war, and the peculiar children that were his friends and hinting at monsters in the dark. Children, who could pull fire out of thin air, float anywhere they wanted, and were invisible. As a kid he ate up every word, and believed everything, as he grew older of course, he still enjoyed them, but understood them to be, just like everyone else would do. Fiction.
A bit of a spoilt rich kid, he’s still a decent enough sort, and clearly loves his grandfather greatly, helping him though the difficulties his dementia presents, more so than his parents, who would much rather make the problem go away with money (ie. put him in a home).
Then one day he gets a call at work, and rushes to his grandfather’s home. What he finds there, could mean those fictional monsters, aren’t that fictional at all…
Struggling to cope with everything that has happened, Jacob and his dad eventually head to Wales, to traces his grandad’s peculiar childhood.
I can’t say enough good things about, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and what the author Ransom Riggs, has achieved. The characters are fantastic, especially the friends he meets in Wales (there’s a wonderfully sweet romance, between Jacob and one of the girl’s he meets.) It’s also deliciously creepy at times, with the text and photos, just working so well together in developing that mood.
It’s also interesting that the story has an open ending. It’s definite enough to conclude the story, but it’s nice to see a book that works so hard to push the imagination, that doesn’t end up tying-up every loose end, and feeding it to the reader on a plate. Any reader can certainly spend a pleasant few hours after finishing this one, imagining what happens next.
That, also means of course. That is ripe for a sequel, and I’ll be taking my place in the queue, just as soon as there is one.