A life changing tragedy sets off a spiral of events in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. What begins as a journey for answers to a life mysteriously lived turns into something that our hero, Jacob Postman, could never expect. He is unflinching from the very beginning of the story about who his family is and how their roles led him to a mysterious island set off the coast of Wales.
Ransom Rigg’s first novel is decidedly in the Young Adult category but it feels like it could easily fall alongside any of contemporary horror novels being published today. The beginning of the novel doesn’t immediately delve into the home, or the children, or their caretaker, but it doesn’t drag at all. Creating a world that is as real as the one that we live in before diving into the one that is nothing like our own, makes the world of the peculiars all the more magical and the elements that build that world even more solid.
The cover is enticing to any horror book lover. The pictures on the inside, all in black and white and all of them equally chilling, only add to the eerie atmosphere of the book. These pictures were curated from the personal collections of people that have spent their time looking for photos to create an archive of historical significance. The fact that most of these photos are, for the most part, unaltered, makes the reader delve even deeper into the universe that Ransom Riggs has created.
The build up that was crafted throughout this story will leave you breathless. Jacob tells the story in a way that is easy to draw sympathy for him and the world that he lives in, even if it feels like he doesn’t necessarily want it. There are small references that are dropped throughout the story that hint at a much larger world at play here, something that Jacob’s grandfather, the only other person besides Jacob who knew about the peculiar children, told him about.
Jacob’s narrative and the pacing of the book, the haunting atmosphere and the pictures create a plot that isn’t easily forgotten or put down. The character development of Jacob, that of a young man who is more self-deprecating than he is heroic, is spot on and relatable to not just young adults but to a much wider audience. Ransom Riggs created each character solidly and made their interactions with each other and Jacob cinematic, which makes it a natural translation to the big screen.
It’s the perfect book for the current autumn atmosphere, chilling, and with an ending that will keep the reader reaching for the next book in the series.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is directed by Tim Burton and stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield with Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson. The film will be released September 30th, 2016.
Published by Quirk Books
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