“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.” – Ransom Riggs.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. The majority of this book is set on an island off the coast of Wales following a family tragedy which left Jacob, our main character, burning with questions surrounding one particular relative. Jacob’s quest for answers leads him to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children where he unearths exactly what it means to be peculiar…
Where to start, where to start… Let’s start with Miss Peregrine herself. Miss Peregrine clearly cares for all these children, and they all clearly adore her and know that her strictness is for their own well-being. She seemed a little frightening at first which I must say I found confusing after having watched the trailer when it was first released and thinking she seemed lovely. Throughout the novel she kind of reminds me of Minerva McGonagall, Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee all rolled into one.
The Peculiar Children were so interesting to read about. I loved hearing about all their different abilities and seeing what they could do with them. I found it a little difficult to keep track of who was who at times, but Riggs was clever with creating a diverse range of characters who were each made memorable in their own ways, even if they didn’t appear in all scenes. It’s hard to pick a favourite of the peculiars, but I really loved Millard and Bronwyn and Olive. Enoch was probably my least favourite because he seems to have a bit of a dark streak within him and if reading fantasy books has taught me anything over the years, bringing people back to life, even briefly, never goes well.
I can’t not touch on the amazing format of this book. Let’s get the obvious out of the way with Riggs’ incredible use of photographs. Each photograph adds a little something to the book whether it’s reinforcing a certain peculiarity, or creating an element of horror; the photos give us that much more depth into this hidden world. I also love that we have photos of characters within the book and they all link up to the story so well.
My only complaint regarding the photos is that it kind of takes away the creativity from the reader as they can’t imagine characters for themselves so much when there is a photograph; however Riggs’ descriptions were still detailed that even without photos you can grasp what he is trying to show us and they matched the photos accurately and in a way that actually aids our imagination.
The whole concept for the story was completely new. It was so unique and creative that it’s impossible not the be drawn into it from the first page. I loved Riggs’ writing, it flowed so well and I couldn’t stop reading, I had finished the whole book within less than twenty four hours and my favourite quote, included at the top of this review, is actually the first line of the novel.
I couldn’t really see where the story was going throughout the first half of the book. This is both a good and bad thing because it made it unpredictable, but it looked like the book had no aim or direction, plus there wasn’t a lot of action in the middle of the book. The monsters of this book are called hollows and because we don’t really have a lot of action with them before the big action scene near the end, it’s difficult for the reader to comprehend the danger the characters are in, plus we are never told if there are only specific ways to kill them and their weaknesses. Of course, we do see a hollow at the beginning of the book, but we don’t actually get to see it in action, it’s just a spooky thing hiding between the trees.
Later on in the book it definitely started to pick up a bit more and the twists both did and didn’t shock me. Most of them I had previously guessed, but I’m not going to go into detail about what did and didn’t surprise me as I like to keep my reviews relatively spoiler free.
The first part of the book left me with loads of questions and it seemed like I was never going to get answers as I didn’t really understand this world I had been thrown into with Jacob. Fortunately, we did get answers in the end, but I feel like we should have found out some things sooner e.g. what a wight is. Nevertheless, we did find out eventually and it was explained really well.
Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. We had a little mystery, a little action and a lot of peculiar children. It was all well-written and formatted and clearly very much thought about. Overall, I rate this 5/5.
Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?
What were your thoughts?