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.
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 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.
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 22 October 2014
Hollow City picks up where Miss Peregrine’s left off, with Jacob Portman and his peculiar friends barely escaping the island of Cairnholm, with Miss Peregrine incapacitated and constantly hunted by the wights and their grisly minions, the hollows.
Journeying across a Britain ravaged by World War II, the children stumble across news of a cure for Miss Peregrine, now trapped permanently in her bird form and with time running out for their protector, head for London, the Peculiar capital of the world.
With the introductions out of the way in book one, Riggs now has the time and scope to offer a much bigger story than he was previously, while also expanding on the characters and building on the mythology of the Peculiars. The pace has picked up significantly and while the original felt a little static at times, the opposite is the case here. There is rarely a lull as the children stumble their way in and out of danger in a much more linear fashion and although they have no idea of what will happen once they reach their goal, they continue to push forward faced with the truth that there is no going back. Tension is expertly created throughout, building to several life-threatening crescendos, its opus being a brilliantly devious twist at the conclusion.
It’s also a story about conflict, both internal and external with Jacob worried about the impact of his disappearance on his parents and his relationship with Emma, and the other peculiars torn between their sometimes misguided loyalties and doing the right thing when faced with adversity and the threat of death. What’s interesting about Riggs’ Peculiars is that they’re not treated as superheroes and they don’t act like them either. Each has distinct flaws and regardless of their age (some being hundreds of years old) at times they can still act like the petulant children they once were, largely due to being under the over-protective wing of Miss Peregrine for so long.
Once again the story is brilliantly enhanced by the eerie vintage photography, most real and collected by Riggs over the years (as was the case with book one.) The big difference here is that with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, much of the story seemed driven and written around the photography. I don’t get that impression with Hollow City. It’s much more it’s own story and uses the images sparingly and to great effect in parts, while also building on the plot built around the ones used in book one and once again, this concept never feels gimmicky at any stage of the proceedings.
It’s a brilliant expansion of an inventive novel and although a darker and more grown-up affair which, to an old geezer like myself sometimes feels restricted by the Y.A. audience it’s aimed at, it’s a perfect companion to the original and one that will not only delight, excite and intrigue fans, but leave them with an uncomfortable (but hopefully curable!) case of the Heebie-jeebies.
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 19 June 2016
I was a little baffled about the good reviews on here. I loved the first book. This one just didn't seem to get anywhere. Most of it read like filler. It picks up again at the end, but I got the feeling the entire book could have been shortened *a lot* and stuck to the end of the previous book.
on 24 January 2014
I am sitting here reflecting on this book ...I didn't see the end of this book coming, that's all I am going to say as I don't like to spoil the experience for others.
Give yourself a treat and read this, fabulous
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...!