Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Read - Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)
by Ransom Riggs
2014
396 pages

'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.

10 comments:

  1. Hmmm... doesn't sound like I will enjoy it as much as the first, either. I'll wait and get it from the library.

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    1. I'm in no hurry to read the third one, whenever that comes out. I suppose I might, someday down the road when the series is complete. Or maybe if the third comes out and I'm wrong about where the story is heading, maybe I'll end up reading it.

      I'm almost hoping the pictures get phased out of future books in the series.

      ~Deb

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  2. I love your review. I am definitely going to wait a bit to read this new one.

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    1. Do you use the library much? Maybe get it from there (like Kate) instead of spending money on it. When I get through the unread books I currently have waiting, I'm hoping to start using my local library more. I'm running out of room for books of my own! lol

      ~Deb

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  3. Have either of you (Kate, ufgatorbugg) seen that book called Asylum? It looks like someone copying the whole idea of the Miss Peregrine books. I want to read it, yet I don't want to.

    ~Deb

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  4. I agree about the library. I have about 100 unread books on my nook. After I wade through those I will be hitting up the library. The museum I work at is right across the street. I have not heard about Asylum. I will definitely look into it.

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    1. I hadn't heard about Asylum and just looked it up on Amazon. Creepy! The author even lists some of the real asylums she researched in writing the book. I have to check it out.

      The library has really helped me cut back on my book spending, not to mention the space they were taking up. It helps that the local system has an efficient hold program so I can get whatever I'm looking for delivered to my local branch within a day or so, as long as it's not checked out.

      I'm also a huge fan of the Kindle previews on Amazon--being able to sample a book before I buy it or order from the library has saved a lot of time and money. I don't really read many full books on my tablet--still a fan of paper--but the samples are great.

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    2. I'm torn about switching to using the library. I really want to because it would save money and space, but I just loooooove books, love buying them, love the idea of eventual floor-to-ceiling walls of bookshelves.

      Oh well, I guess I don't need to worry about it for a while yet because I have so many books that I've already bought, just sitting here waiting to be read.

      So many books, so little time! (Especially for a slow reader like me!)

      ~Deb

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  5. Ok. I read the book now and I must say I agree with you. I liked the book well enough to read it decently fast but it was strange with the animals and then the whole twist ending kind of made me mad. And Jacob's gift sure did develop pretty darn fast. All of a sudden he can talk to Hollows and tame them? Weird. I will still read Library of Souls just to see where it goes, though. Thank you for lending me this book. I appreciate it!

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    1. I don't even remember much about this book anymore. Something about a whole building being locked in ice is all that comes to mind now. I never did read the next book. I should look up a summary just to see what all happens.

      ~Deb

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