Monday, April 3, 2017

Hollow City; The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The second of three Peregrine novels (excluding the Tales of the Peculiar) expands upon the otherworldly nature of Rigg's unique universe. The little island of the first book is left far behind as we follow Jacob and Miss Peregrine's wards as they journey forth into the dark and scary world that would very much like to see them dead. Is it a successful follow up to the first book? Let's take a look.

Jacob, Emma, and the rest of Miss Peregrine's children have left their home loop in search of another ymbryne to save their beloved matron, who is trapped in the form of a bird. But the world is not kind to peculiar children. Not only do the children risk aging forward a hundred years and dying on the spot, but there's a slew of evil Hollowghasts and their vicious evolved masters called wights and, if that wasn't enough, the children may have to enter into a punishment loop (a loop set up in a violent and dangerous time in history) in order to save Miss Peregrine.

Certainly more action-packed than its predecessor, which focused more on mystery, Hollow City is an intense and far more nerve-wracking installment in the Miss Peregrine trilogy. These poor kids can't catch a break in this book and you're constantly feeling the danger that surrounds them. However, it does give the kids more time to shine. Outside of Jacob and Emma, the last book didn't have much time to give a lot of development to the remaining peculiars but here everyone gets a time to shine. The kids really feel like a team and are able to work together despite some who only seem to want to cause trouble (*cough*Enoch*cough). Still, the characters are deeply improved in this book.

While also serving as an adventure, the book also acts as a kind of world guide and you see just how the peculiar world works and what it's like. We spend most of the book in the past, so it manages to tell you how peculiars live and how the world either accepts or despises them. The idea of punishment loops are a very interesting idea and gives insight into how the peculiar world is managed. You also meet peculiar animals, such as a dog that can talk and the very curious creation called the emu-raffe. Once again, the black-and-white photographs are put to good use. The give exact setting and descriptions of the characters and what's going on with them, unlike the previous book where people had to sometimes stop the story entirely and run off to find a photo to explain themselves. Here, the photos are used just like any other type of illustration, which I think is a bit better than before.

Going into nitpick mode for a second there are a couple of things that kind of bothered me. The ending, for instance, kinda comes right out of nowhere. We're given no hint as to what's actually going on and it would have been a bit more fun if there were clues leading up to the big reveal, instead of it just coming right out of nowhere. While there are blissfully little to no annoying parents in this book, a couple of the wards kind of get shafted at the beginning, which I felt was a bit of a shame. Also the most convenient cosplay convention ever! You just wanted to fit Ash from The Evil Dead 2 into this story somehow, didn't you Riggs!

Final Verdict
It seems we've found another on the list of successful sequels as this book is not only as good as the first, but actually improves on some of the first book's flaws. Is it perfect? No. But still a great installment and a very exciting story and it bumps this series up a notch to the Shelf of Recommendation! Well worth the read.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Find me at goodreads at and on Twitter at @Michelle_Beer88

Next Time: This God of Death can come for me at save me from this book....

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