For this post, I will be reviewing book one of the trilogy, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
This is the first book of the three book series written by Ransom Riggs. The cover of the book grabs you right away where it depicts a young girl dressed in vintage clothing hovering above the ground a few inches. The theme of these vintage pictures continues throughout the series and absolutely adds to the magic contained within its 382 pages.
Ransom Riggs is an excellent story teller. His creative use of old vintage photos he searched everywhere for to use in his series, is aspiring. Considering the great lengths he went to realize his vision is astounding. Without spoiling the contents of the book too much for readers who are wishing to engage in this series, I will add that Ransom Riggs background was part and parcel to the success of his trilogy.
There are many differences between the movie and the first book and I recommend everyone who’s seen the movie to go out and get their hands on the book and read it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the movie and I expected the novel to resemble it, however, after halfway through the book, I realized many subtle differences right up to the end. I won’t list them because I do not wish to spoil the book for you.
In my opinion, the benefit of seeing the movie first is that you get a visual of the actual villain and monsters. So when it’s mentioned in the story, you’ll have a nice visual in your head of what they look like.
Book one is a page turner, filled with subtle tensions and creative dialogue. It is unique in its construction let alone how the story-line develops. With a backdrop of WWII (spoiler), one would think we’ve seen alllllll the WWII story twists, but you won’t see this one coming.
The characters are inspiring, also unique in their descriptions without a tremendous amount of woo-ha placed on the children’s powers, but enough to make them peculiar. I love every one of them, this being accomplished with the added vintage photo that fits right into their descriptions, developments, quirks, oddities and strengths. Reading along with Ransom’s visual aids (thanks to his learned and established background prior to writing the series), you have no trouble identifying with the characters as their arcs develop throughout the story. They feel realistic and because their differences were encapsulated in a child’s body, this makes you cheer for them when they were winning and worry when they were not.
I am sad that the movie version picked a different peculiar to be secondary to Jacob (BIG SPOILER). But both versions are entertaining, however the book, mores so for me.
The author could have focused a bit more on setting development. I would have welcomed more information about the big house. However, that is just my preference of visualizing character’s during their struggles.
As for the Protagonist, he’s fantastic, a typical teen with a problem. Sure, the problem is outer worldly, but he’s different. No, I won’t spoil that for you, you’ll just have to read all about it yourself.
I give this book: