on 25 February 2014
That pretty much sums up my feelings towards this book. It's not a bad book, but did it make the same kind of impression as the first in the series? No.
There is nothing wrong with this book. It just lacks any sort of "wowfactor", meaning I could really take it or leave it. Halfway through, I almost gave up and had to really push myself to keep going.
The problem for me is that it feels like a sequel. Like a book that was written with a lucrative movie deal in mind, rather than a story that needed to be told.
The result is a rather formulaic offering- like painting by numbers. The peculiars, the hollows, the wights are all there, as are some fairly predictable "twists", it's just hard to care enough to respond with any degree of surprise.
I read the first book twice and would happily read it a third time. I didn't have anything like the same connection to the 2nd book.
I'm not in the habit of leaving things half done, so I will read the third book. After the let down of the 2nd, I won't get too excited.
This is the second book in the series concerning Miss Peregrine's Peculiar children. Don't even think about reading this book until you've read the first. You would get hopelessly lost. There are numerous references to events and facts that are in the first book.
The children arrive on a seemingly deserted welsh coast and spend the entire book being chased over hills, through lakes & into wartorn 1940s London. The chase doesn't let up in this book, the children are always on the move.
This book is not as good as the first book and I almost went with 3 stars as opposed to 4. I know this is a young adults book and so I am slightly older than the target market but I feel that young adults are as deserving of a well written book as adults. There are several continuity errors and a few incorrect facts. For example the inscription of Sir Christopher Wren's tomb is in latin, not english - a simple error that would have been easy to correct. There are also errors such as every piece of glass shattered in the whole area but 2 minutes later a hollow puts his hand through a piece of glass on a telephone box, Jacob's mobile gets taken from him but he has it back in his pocket later to use. These are simple errors and proof reading should have picked up on them - you can bet the young adults will!
I do like the chracters in this book. We learn more about Jacob's personality and also Emma's. I am not too sure about their blossoming love affair but others may feel that it adds an extra dimension. There is a nasty side developing to Emma's character which I am not so keen on & I struggle to understand why it isn't commented on more by the characters.
There is a twist towards the end of this book which although at first seems quite clever is, in reality, quite wrong. It causes a great number of questions and more of the aforementioned continuity errors.
Having said all of the above, I did enjoy this book. There is no doubt that it is different and there is plenty going on. I do intend to read the third book which I believe is the conclusion of the series.
on 2 March 2014
I just read my review of the first book since it's been three years between the two books and I didn't love it as much as I thought I did. I did like it a lot though, but enjoyed this one less. As the first book, it is a slow story, not a page turner, but an intriguing atmospheric story. The photographs really do enhance and perhaps, even make, the story. This time around though the photos are much less creepy and weird. They do fit into the story very well though, and you can tell at times the author probably wrote a scene to match a photo rather than finding photos to fit his scenes. If the next book is the last in a trilogy, I'll definitely read it, but if it's only the next in a much longer series, I think I'd give them a pass.
on 23 December 2015
What this book is about (assuming you have read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children):
Shortly after the Peculiar Children, Jacob and Miss Peregrine, injured and in bird-form unable to turn human, escape from the island and time starts running again, they find themselves in small boats in the sea. Their main goal is to make it somewhere safe and to survive. To do that, they have to find a way to turn miss P. back to her human form so she can take care of them. Hollow City is about the groups adventures while trying to find a way to turn miss Peregrine into a human again while time is running out. If they don’t make it soon, she will stay a bird forever!
Hollow City reminded me a lot of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket which I really liked when I was a kid. As an older “kid” now however, I felt that this book tired me out. For the most part of the book it was as if events were happening in a circle over and over again. I got a little bored and was not very excited about the ending which is probably the best and most twisty part of the book.
But enough of what my adult self thinks of this book. I am very confident that this is a brilliant book for young readers. I wouldn’t call it YA literature even though the protagonist, Jacob is 16 (or 17?) years old. Many of the characters are children and the dialogues are quite simple. More like a Middle Grade book, in my opinion. So I will try my best to treat it as a Middle Grade book.
If Miss Peregrine and the children’s story was published when I was in school, I would have devoured this book for sure and it would have become one of my all time favourites. There is a lot of action, there are lovely characters, hilarious conversations and a magical atmosphere. Another plus is that it shows children some history about WWII which doesn’t exist in many time-traveling, Middle Grade, fantasy books. And to make history exciting and interesting..that’s another big accomplishment on itself. Another thing I don’t want to forget to mention is that there are more pictures in the book than in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and they are breathtaking. They add to the whole creepy, mysterious atmosphere surrounding the story and bring it to another level.
I did feel that Hollow City dragged out in the beginning but the end is fast-paced, full of action and unexpected, interesting twists! For me, it’s always a plus when a book has a powerful ending and this one did not disappoint. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Middle Grade books and to all young readers.
on 3 November 2015
In this second book, we get to explore the world of the Peculiars a lot more, and we get to spend more time with the other kids, getting to know them a bit better. I ended up loving them all even more to be honest. I found them such an easy bunch to relate to, Enoch is definitely me when I haven't had enough sleep and I'm grouchy! Each of them is so different, but they all work together, and each of them has something relatable about them.
This book made me fall even more in love with the setting as we spent a lot of time in time loops, mostly the 1940's, but a couple of others as well and I just loved how well each was created through the authors words and the photos that went with certain passages. The 1940's came alive, each setting had a different vibe and was different from the other. It's vivid enough that you're pulled in there with the characters and you're completely fascinated because it's so authentically written. The visuals from the photos just give the book an entirely other level.
In this book the suspense is even greater as the kids are trying to save Miss Peregrine and are kind of on their own, on their quest to locate Wren and get her help in restoring Miss Peregrine, while being chased by the bad guys the entire time. The ending really leaves you hanging as well, and the tension is ramping up further and further as you read.
We get to meet and learn about peculiar animals in this book, and boy did I love Addison, and the visual we where given! They're integral to the storyline and I loved learning about them and getting to know them. One of the way's we learned about them was through a book of Peculiar Tales, and I would love for that to be brought out in real life, because what we did read....I loved and was completely fascinated by. I just love what the authors doing, what he's creating and each new taste of it leaves me wanting more! There's something so compelling about the writing, that even when it slows down a bit....you can't stop reading. This is the perfect continuation of the series!
on 30 August 2015
This is not a standalone novel - it is Part 2 of the runaway success "Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" by debut author Ransom Riggs, and the story does not resolve by the end of this second book, so be warned.
The first book dealt with Jacob Portman's discovery of his grandfather's true childhood, and that the tall stories the latter told him about the origins of strange photographs in his possession had in fact been true. In this installment, Jacob finds himself in the thick of things as he journeys with the children to 1940s London in order to rescue Miss Peregrine from her arrested state as a falcon and possibly find the other ymbrynes (or guardians of the peculiar children elsewhere in peculiardom), while the wights and their hollowgast (a type of soul eater with a special taste for peculiar children) are hot on their heels.
This is a wonderful follow-up to the intriguing first novel as it shows Jacob discovering his own powers and his increasing sense of belonging with the children even as he struggles with the guilt and pang of leaving his parents back in the 21st century, with fading hope of ever returning as he traverse time loops on his quest. The children whom the reader meets in the first novel as also fleshed out in greater detail and it is with palpable anxiety when the reader finds them in mortal danger at almost every turn of the page.
Riggs must be applauded for his consistent world building, so much so that when he weaves in new characters and situations that the children encounter, they are always conceived within the logic of that storyverse. In one particularly poignant moment, the children meet a pair of sisters and have to make a decision to leave them behind in war-torn London because they were already part of history that cannot be changed and their fates were already sealed. Though not a central event in the story, the cold logic of it haunted me even as I hurried away with the children.
Action-packed YA books that meld fantasy and adventure may not be uncommon, but well-written ones definitely are. This is fortunately in the latter category, and it shows through in Riggs' delectable prose. I cannot wait for Part 3 to arrive.
on 25 February 2014
To say I was impatient to read 'Hollow City' was an understatement, I could not wait to get back to Jacob, Emma, Miss Peregrine and the rest of the Peculiar children. I was engrossed from the start of the book (I did start it on the 10th February but got caught up with another book and then went back to reading 'Hollow City'). In 'Hollow City' we are introduced to peculiar animals, who are just as amazing as the peculiar children, they also share sad stories of their past, I would love to see more of Addison, the talking dog in the next book.
I enjoyed reading the progression of Jacob and Emma's relationship, despite their differences and Emma's history with Jacob's grandfather, Abe, I personally think that Emma & Jacob's relationship is different but Abe is still very much with them.
As with the first book, the peculiar children are wonderful to read, they are so vibrant, different with their own unique personalities, I particularly like Bronwyn, I love how she is the mother to all the children despite her amazing strength she is very gentle. I also like Millard, he's invisible but he makes a impression.
The story is very well written, it's engaging, you are very much part of their adventure, I found myself speaking out loud while reading because I was so surprised at what had happened. The world is opened to the peculiar children and it highlighted how the children felt about living in Cairnholm for so long.
As with the first book, the photographs are a big part of the book, I love how they have their own story.
The ending was a cliff hanger! And I cannot wait for the third book.
I will definitely read it again.
on 28 January 2014
If you have forgotten the events of the first entry in this series or read it a long time ago, I'd highly suggest a quick re-read or a glance at the wikipedia synopsis to familiarise yourself with the events from the first book. The reason for this is that the second novel in the 'Miss Peregrine' series picks up directly at the end of the first one, with our bunch of peculiar children heading to the mainland in their rowboat to escape the bombing of their once precious loop, all the while still trying to avoid those dastardly wights.
This novel is best compared to a game of hide and seek, with our children being the hiders and the hollowgast being the seekers. It is a novel 'on the run' which while at all times enjoyable, can also feel a little directionless at times. As we follow our gang from one place to another, extra peculiars are added while others are left behind, bringing with it a more epic adventure feel, than the loop confined story of the first.
Things I liked:
The Setting - The journey through a war torn London was very well done, and I liked the irony of our kids making their way there on the train while so many other children were being evacuated out of the city. I think the decision to continue the story in 1940's to be a perfect one, allowing for eerie settings, eerie descriptions, and of course, eerie pictures.
New Characters -The introduction of a few more peculiars were welcomed, whether they be in the book only for a short time, or seemingly joining the group for the rest of their adventure. It's always interesting to see what wacky superpowers can be concocted from a single photograph, and the new powers are well imagined. The main character of Jacob also seemed like a new character, simply because as his powers grow, he tends to be more confident, and less whiny (I guess) than in the first book.
The Wights - I won't go into the details on this, but I appreciated that the wights had evolved a bit more to make them a more formidable presence in this entry.
Things I didn't like:
The Side Paths - Just like the first novel, some of the pictures used in this entry didn't seem AS connected to the main story (unless they play a part in the next novel) as some of the others. For instance, a trip to the animal menagerie (a loop full of animal peculiars) didn't really seem to have much connection to the plot, other than to show a couple of odd animal photos.
Overall, if you enjoyed the first entry in this series I see no reason you won't enjoy this one also. I do think however, that if you didn't enjoy it, this doesn't bring enough new things to the table for you to change your mind. Overall though, I enjoyed it, so 4 stars!
on 16 January 2014
"Hollow City" by Ransom Riggs is the second novel in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, a sequel of the one of most innovative releases in recent years that even having children in its name is certainly not a title that will interest (only) children.
Seems a lot longer than two and a half years have passed since the release of the original first part in series, but after reading this sequel all can be said that we are glad the author waited to publish it because its quality is at least on same or even higher level - second book certainly not a work written only to earn money as soon as possible.
The action continues where previous part ended, while Jacob and other peculiar kids home was destroyed though they managed to save Miss Peregrine captured in bird form from the wights, unable to turn back into a human form.
Jacob and the other will escape to war London from the 40-ies, the peculiar capital of the world, in order to find help for Miss Peregrine...
"Hollow City" story on its 400 pages is never once boring or slow, being a real page turner until the cliffhanger ending, as expected to again eagerly wait for the next sequel.
What is the most positive surprise is the level of development experienced by the characters in relation to the last part, now they are more serious, more adult, and the relationships among them are far more serious.
The author once again made great photographs managing to make a fantastic story around each of presented characters so that the reader really does not know whether were first photographs found then text created, or vice versa, because they simply fantastically complement.
Therefore although I read the novel in electronic form, I plan to buy it as soon as possible in the paper form, because seldom is encountered such innovative illustrated work of art that is a treat to browse through.
And if by chance you are not familiar with novel subject do not be fooled by the name of children in its title because though they represent children adventures both novels are not for children, at least not very young due to darkness, fear and horror that speak from their pages.
So for all those which were eagerly waiting, waiting has finally come to an end and you can be sure that you will enjoy this sequel; for all others an advice that before reading this one certainly read the first part because these two novels without doubt are the books that should not be missed.
on 1 September 2015
4.5/5 - almost perfect!
1. From the very start the creative levels of Ransom Riggs were evident. His writing style is beautiful and his language choices are poignant. He uses some amazing imagery, particularly with the boats at the start, and it helps him to establish an appropriate tone throughout the entire book. Definitely a unique writing style that stands out from that of other YA authors.
2. The use of pictures is fantastic! They're placed at the correct moments, adding to the story and ominous, mysterious mood rather than just being there for the sake of it.
3. Probably better than book one in terms of the characters - I felt like I understood their motives more than before. Since this is more action-packed (which made it much more of a page-turner), and we see how they're able to use their special traits, I connected with them a lot. Jacob is a great narrator, but I also really liked Emma when she was making fire with her hands, Olive's innocence and Millard's intelligence.
4. The 1940s time period used with the backdrop of the war was something I loved - I felt more empathy towards the children due to their vulnerability at a time like this, and it helped to create an almost haunting sense of magic realism.
5. The ending - what a cliffhanger! I'm still conflicted as to if it's a perfect ending or not? I need the next book now - I have so many questions...!