Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: 7 June 2011 by Quirk Books
Length: 353 pages
Warnings: monsters, violence
Summary : A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 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 who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate 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.
Review: Jacob's grandfather dies in the early part of the book. He leaves with Jacob stories of monsters, which no-one else believes, and some photographs of extraordinary things like a levitating girl and an invisible boy. After trips to a psychologist and other things, he goes to Cairnholm, a welsh island. There he discovers a portal to a time loop, wherein lies Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The photographs seem to be real, so what about the monsters?
I love the photographs that crop up every now and again. It says at the back that they're all real and are largely unaltered. This left me wondering continually about how Riggs wrote this; he can't have written the story then hunted out the photos, as he might not know they existed, and therefore I think he is extremely clever for weaving a long, intricate story together from the photos he obtained. Points for both him (the author) and admiration for the various people who found all these amazing pictures.
The story seemed to take a bit of time to build up to anything. Although the story was moving on throughout, it did so very slowly. About halfway through I wondered if, at the rate it was going, it would be able to come to a climax that made reading it worthwhile. Luckily it did when something shocking is revealed about the psychiatrist, which I can't say here because that will spoil it. And from then on it goes on, reaches a good climax and then sort of fades a bit, but doesn't slow down too much.
The characters were interesting. I found it a little hard to picture them at times, because the descriptions weren't too detailed. And then I'd come across their photo and have to readjust my mental image of them. Whether thats good or bad is your choice. I found it was quite fun.
The writing style was interesting. It wasn't full of sarcasm, or lots of emotion, which I like in my books, but it kept the book going, speeding up and dragging things out at all the right times. I liked the narration more and more as I got into it. The time travel was interesting. It didn't handle it in the normal way, but it worked well, hopping between present day and 1940. The rules were consistent and easy to follow(I really hate it when rules for time travel change halfway throughout a book).
I like the way everything tied up neatly at the end, yet remained open for interpretation. If there is a sequel, I'd really want to read it.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to an interesting book that you should have a try because there's something for almost everyone.
Thank you very much to the publisher who sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.