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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – by Ransom Riggs

April 9, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenIn spite of the fact that this book contains three things I absolutely love (Wales, time travel, and kids with paranormal abilities), it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was fine but nothing spectacular, and I liked it but didn’t love it. I never found myself desperate to get back to reading it and I didn’t feel any particular devotion to any of the characters. All the right elements were there, but they somehow didn’t coalesce into something more.

All his life, Jacob has listened to his grandfather’s stories about the magical island he lived on as a boy, the strange children there, and the monsters he spent his life fighting. Jacob stopped believing the stories a long time ago, but after his grandfather’s death and the disturbing circumstances around it, he starts to wonder. His grandfather’s last warning takes him on a trip to the island of the coast of Wales that the stories were centered on, and he starts to unravel the truth behind them.

The plot and characters are based around a collection of old photographs, which are scattered throughout the book. They are wonderfully creepy and the best part of the book. Riggs’ writing is also lovely, so it’s hard to say where the problem lies. Partly it’s that the story never gets as creepy as the photographs are on their own. I also think there was a lot of potential left untapped. For example, there was some time travel, but so much more could have been done with it. Apparently there is a sequel planned, which I have mixed feelings about. There sort of has to be, given the ending, and I’m intrigued enough that I’ll probably read it, hoping it gets better, but I don’t have very high hopes.

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