Yet another impulsive read! I found the cover intriguing and then on turning through the pages, I found a number of vintage photographs which gave me the heebie-jeebies and suddenly I knew I had to buy it. Initially what I thought would be a psychological thriller (my best type of read!) turned out to be a gothic fantasy, a young adult fantasy-adventure tale and though I do want to divulge a little more, I won’t. What I would divulge is that after reading the first story (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) in one sitting, I ordered the next two in the series (Hollow City and Library of Souls) at once!
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very ‘peculiar’ photos. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
-Abridged Synopsis from Goodreads, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #1
Now, if you ask me about uniqueness or how different the story is from a lot of other books in this category, I would say it’s not something totally different. If you ask me if it’s an easy read, I would say NO! If you ask me if it is flawless, I would say NO again! Then what exactly makes it a good read? Well, the exact same reasons do. The storyline is no different than the scores of books on people with superhuman abilities (SPOILER ALERT!) but the way it has been written with/through those vintage photographs is new and unique. By the by, these photographs are real and taken from personal collections and not merely created for the purpose of the story (with the exceptions of a few which are digitally processed).
Moving on with the writing style, it is okayish, not too great, not bad either. The way Ransom Riggs paints the setting and the various locales (loops, as in the story) is good, really! You could picturize the scenes, all the action while reading. The characters are brilliantly complex a lot of times and a lot of times seem to be etched just to fit in with the photographs! The story moves at a good pace building eerie anticipation most of the times but at times goes painfully slow. There are mysteries and questions aroused in the protagonist’s head and yours together and through the book, you keep getting those answers and unravelling the mystery along with him. That has to be a plus! I really liked the first and third books in the series but the second one just seemed to be just a good link-story between the two. The third one-Library of Souls, for me was the most interesting (it’s the thickest) and kept me at the edge till almost the end.
Though there are a tad few open edges to the story, you could tell that every part of the book was thought out carefully, which resulted in a gripping story through the three books. I just heard they have a Tim Burton movie coming up on this book, so I checked it out and the trailer didn’t look as promising as the book. So I would suggest reading the book before you go watch the movie. For me, this series is a gripping read and takes me on a dark gothic adventure trip through photographs (added bonus).
Have you read all the three books in the series? Which one did you like the best? Let me know.
You can get all the three books here at Amazon.in.