by Ransom Riggs
'Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”
This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.
Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.'
*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
It took me a while to give in and finally read Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, the first book in this series, but once I did I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. So when this second book came out right as I was finishing the first, I knew I had to read it. Unfortunately, I didn't like this one nearly as much. I will admit, towards the end of the first book things started going in a direction that I wasn't as thrilled with as what the rest of the book had been, and this second book goes way off into that direction that I wasn't looking forward to.
Hollow City goes way more into the fantasy side of things. There are talking animals and whatnot. It also really gets into the whole time loop thing with so much loop jumping and time hopping that I gave up on trying to keep track of where or when they were time-wise. It also seemed like it was ignoring or at least bending some of the rules that had been mentioned in the first book in regards to loops. But I can't say that for sure because it was rather chaotic and maybe it really did still follow the rules as the author imagined them. *shrugs in confusion*
The group of Peculiar Children that we met in the first book are on the run from the wights and hollows (monsters of the first book) and on a mission to find help for Miss Peregrine, who has become stuck in bird form. It's quite an epic adventure they end up on. They meet characters along the way and are helped and sent on the next part of the journey, where they meet more characters and are helped again and are sent on to the next part of the journey. While it does stick to the main goal of trying to find that desperately needed help for Miss Peregrine, it's also setting up what I'm imagining will be a whole slew of books in this series. The little group keeps getting split up along the way, but new characters are introduced along the way too. I can easily see future books reuniting with characters left behind, while traveling around to fight this war they've become a part of.
Where the pictures in the first book were creepy and curious and part of the lure of the book, the pics in the second book are more of a distraction. They're often disturbing more than anything else, and the author, at times, seems to be trying to fit the story around the pictures instead of having the story first and using pics second.
It was not a horrible story, not at all. It just went into a more adventure-y action packed type thing than I'd been hoping for. It doesn't feel like much time is spent getting to know the characters, like things are just happening too fast to ever build on the relationships. There was a small section near the end of the book that I really did like though, and it was because it put the focus back on the characters and the 'reality' side of things. Main character Jacob is once again faced with the choice of going home or staying in 'Peculiardom,' but this time the choice is a lot harder and the circumstances are more extreme.
If you like more action packed, adventure type fantasy, you'll probably still like this book.