The Second Novel of Miss Peregrines Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs
Published by Quirk Books
Copyright © 2014
Review by Anthony Kendrick
In the “Miss Peregrine” series the side show freaks are the main attraction and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This second book gives us even more peculiars, even more action, and even more suspense. This sequel definitely lives up to, and even surpasses the original!
The adventures of Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children continue in Hollow City. Miss Peregrine has been saved from the Wights but she is stuck in bird form, and only another ymbryne can cure her. So, her wards will embark on a journey to find help in war torn London of 1940. Finding one uncaptured ymbryne is hard enough, but with bombs dropping everywhere, Wights disguised as allied soldiers, and Hollowghast seeking to eat them alive it becomes a nearly impossible task. With the help of a menagerie of peculiar animals, some gypsies, and some stray peculiars they will find the only free ymbryne in London, but will they find her quick enough to save Miss Peregrine?
Ransom Riggs surprised me with his initial offering “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” which seemed like an old fashioned X-Men. The story, however, was heavily focused on Jacob Portman the boy from the future who finds the Cairnholm Loop and can see the Hollowghast. Jacob is still the main protagonist and the development of his abilities play a key role in the safety of him and his friends, but Riggs real victory here is that he develops the other peculiar children more fully in “Hollow City”. He also delivers on the X-Men feel with more action as Miss Peregrine’s peculiars show how useful their powers can really be in a fight; I mean who really thought that a boy who has bees living in him would find a way to be useful. (And why in the world do bees live in him anyway!? Riggs gives us a very succinct answer.) Additionally, he adds to his cast of peculiars by introducing child and adult peculiars from other loops and times whose abilities are just as odd and powerful.
If I had any qualms with the story it was that the relationship between Jacob and Emma got a little boring at times, but I understand its utility within the story. That said, “Hollow City” is the perfect sequel. I loved it just as much or more than the first book. One fantastic thing is that the author has left us hanging once again, so we know there will be a third in the series. I don’t want to give too much away, but just when everything seems to be going right it doesn’t. And just when heartbreaking decisions are made, they are turned upside down. I am now eagerly awaiting the third installment even more anxiously than I did the second. Fans of Fantasy, and comic book fans (this is not a comic book), should read this story. Riggs really shows how good Juvenile and Young Adult novels can be.