Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs

I tried to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children several times when it first came out. I could never get into it - I think a large part of that was that the photos in the novel looked alarmingly similar to the images in the "American Horror Story" TV show commercials, and I was just too terrified to see the book through. I recently read (and LOVED!) it, though, since its sequel Hollow City came out.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Hollow City picks up right where Miss Peregrine's Home left off, and it's definitely one of those sequels that mandates reading the first installment first. Sometimes you can get away with skipping straight to the second book, but I don't think you'd be able to here.

Hollow City finds Jacob Portman, who used to think he was normal, suddenly bound to the group of "peculiars" that his late grandfather (read about that in the first novel) used to be a part of. Jacob and his new "friends" are determined to save their loop and their ymbryne (read: leader) from destruction and peril at the hands of the evil "wights". Secondary to this cause, Jacob also longs to learn more about his grandfather's life and death. This quest takes them from Wales to WWII London, hoping to find aid amidst the network of peculiars that they know is out there. I realize in reading my summary that it probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense - that's the thing about these just have to read them!

There were lots of things I loved about Hollow City. First, like with Miss Peregrine, I actually grew to love the intriguing and (sometimes) disturbing photographs that accompanied the text. I thought it was such a cool concept and gave the book a really interesting feel. Next, I loved the blend of so many different genres that was going on in Hollow City. First, there's the sort of fantastical idea of children ("peculiars") with magical, mystical powers. Then, that was set against the historical backdrop of World War II Wales and London. Finally, there was this realistic aspect to the novel - Jacob's struggle between his newfound, adventurous life and his old, boring, but comfortable lifestyle with his parents.

Also Try: Freaks, by Kieran Larwood; Wonder Show, by Hannah Barnaby; The Wells Bequest, by Polly Shulman; and (obviously) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, and apparently there's a book three in the works!!

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