Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

 (Note:  I would like to give a huge thank you to Eric Smith of Quirk Books for sending me a copy of this book to review. My opinions on this book were in no way influenced by this fact. I can't help that I loved it; it was simply an amazing novel. ^w^)

Starting where the first book left off, Hollow City is a spectacular adventure right from the beginning. Vintage photographs are once again used throughout the book to illustrate its plot. The story is also enhanced by its strong setting and bit of history, captured through beautiful, realistic descriptions. Even better than the first, this book was a wild adventure with an ending that left me speechless.

In this sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob and his friends go on a grand adventure, a rescue mission to save Miss Peregrine from being stuck in her bird form forever. However, they are being followed by the hollowgast and wights, evil beings that only Jacob can see. Along the way, they are introduced to many other peculiars and common people. Their journey starts on the first page and goes right to the very end, begging for a third book to be written.

Once again the setting was stunning. With the help of the vintage photographs, to give the story a bit of a creepy feel, the entire book was dark and eery. The written descriptions were strong enough to be powerful even without the photographs. As the children traveled, new magnificent settings unfolded. The landscape of the seaside and the forests and the city came to life as I read it. Moving from the little island, to the bomb-threatened city of London, this series has so far held a perfect air of antiquity and oddity.

While Jacob and Emma seem to be the two main characters in the book, the rest of the children don’t simply fall behind as secondary characters- with the exception of two that end up staying behind early on in the story. All of the characters gave off strong personalities, and each of them play an important part in the group’s survival. Even Jacob seemed to grow more in this sequel, as he learned more about his powers. I really liked how each of the children were showcased in this story. They are all so great together, despite not agreeing all the time.

Along with the characters from the first book, we are introduced to a handful of new ones. As the group journeys onward, they meet several other peculiars, and common folk- from the Gypsies to a peculiar girl who didn’t even know she was peculiar. It was really exciting to discover all the peculiars’ powers, as well as the peculiar animals.

The children’s journey unfolds at a perfect, believable rate. Though their amount of running and tiring seemed a bit excessive, overall the story was well-paced. The plot was even more exciting than in the first book, and it was especially enjoyable to read about the peculiar children more.

The ending of this book left me with my eyes wide and mouth hanging open. I could not have predicted it even if I tried. I was so stunned at its sudden plot twist, that I felt like I had been lied to the entire time, which I’m sure is how the children felt, as well. I wasn’t even sure what to feel about it, other than the fact that I wish the third book would come out already.

This book- it’s setting, plot and characters- were absolutely beautiful. Aside from still being iffy about liking Jacob or not, there is nothing else bad I can say about it. It was so much fun learning about the peculiardom, and the people residing in it. This was a perfect second book to a series that I hope is going to be even more fantastic than this story was. I cannot wait for the next book to come out.

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