Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016
Date Finished: September 25, 2016

Pages: 428
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Media Type: Paperback

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

The instant I picked this novel up in the bookstore, I required it.  The mystery of it tingled along the cover promising a grand read to come.  While I didn’t say so above, there is a horror element to the story, though I doubt anyone would ever officially categorize it as so.  I was unsettled by many aspects, and this feeling was augmented by the photographs contained therein, photographs the author obtained (legally) from unknown sources, and as he didn’t know their origin, decided to weave threads of story between them.  This was a nice touch even as though it gave some false impressions that the chapter was coming to an end.

To give too much away would be to ruin the narrative.  It follows Jacob Portman, a young man who witnesses a terrible tragedy that completely changes his life.  This event is the impetus for his adventures in a Welsh orphanage where his grandfather supposedly grew up. What he finds there defies belief, and yet he, too, is a part of it in a way that may have been kept hidden for Jacob’s own good.

There are some critiques that the peculiarity of the children is similar to that of the X-Men, and the special house set up for them does nothing to topple that observation, nor does its special “teacher.”  However, this is no way diminishes the narrative since children with special powers is a fairly common trope (Eleven anyone?).

The children themselves were a bit difficult to keep track of, and I constantly forgot what name went with which power.  Barring a few, there could’ve been more character development on their end to make differentiation a bit easier.  Only Jacob and a few others receive the benefit of a discernible personality, but the novel’s many other attributes make up for this.

Like many other YA novels, this one comes equipped with two more books to make a trilogy.  I’ve already added Hollow City to my reading list, which picks up right where Miss Peregrine leaves off.

The prose isn’t your typical fare for YA in the least.  There’s a lyrical flow to it, which not only enticed me to purchase the book, but kept me reading into the night where the shadows presented by the stories could grow quite long.

4 stars.



The State of the Reader: 8/24/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/17/16          The State of the Reader: 8/31/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

This was a nice quick-read mystery that I highly recommend along with the first book in the series The Jade Dragon.  I’ll be writing a full review of this hopefully by the end of the week.

Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 77%

I finally finished the chapter on Malkuth, and I’m about to start the one on the Qliphoth or Unholy Sephiroth (emanations from the left hand of God).  After that the format of the book changes to be more instruction like for practical workings so I’m not sure how much of that I’m going to read.  We’ll see when we get there.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read two and a half chapters in one setting this week instead of my customary one.  This compendium continues to delight.  Ms. Walton has a wonderful way with language.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 13%

I added this book on the May 11, 2016 State of the Reader post.  The instant I picked this volume up in the bookstore a tingle ran through my bones.  I knew it was going to be extraordinary, and I have not been disappointed.  It grips you from even the prologue, which is amazing since prologues are considered out of vogue these days and Ransom Riggs is a new writer, (or rather this is his first published book) so I know the story is fantastic since newbies are usually castigated for making that faux pas (I removed the prologue from my original WIP for that very reason).

This is a mystery that involves a murder, but the murder is only the start.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I added this book on the June 16, 2016 State of the Reader post.  Like the first story I read by this author, Spectrum (reviewed here), Sigil immediately grips you.  Each chapter so far hangs you on a cliff and you have to see what happens next.  Murder-mystery in a sleepy (Irish) town is certainly something that’s been often done, but the unconventional priest detective puts me in the mind of another unconventional murder-mystery 3 Gates to the Dead by Jonathon Ryan (which I’ve reviewed here).  The author himself is from Northern Ireland so there’s a powerful and authentic voice behind every word.

If you didn’t notice I’m currently reading four books instead of my customary three.  I noticed I was getting a bit of reading done on my Kindle right before bed with The Red RoseI’d already decided I was going to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children next, and realized that since Kindle reading (on my phone at least) doesn’t require a light, I could snatch some pages up before going to sleep.  I used to read from my Kindle prior to jazzercise (back when I was able to go ;_;) and have noticed I can even get some chapters read at work during lunch.  I’m always trying to get as many finished read as possible especially considering I’ve over 500 on my TBR list.  Since I managed to read 10% in only about a day, I think this plan has merit.

Therefore I’ll now be doubling up on my fantasy/general fiction reading since I can have both a physical book and a kindle copy going concurrently.

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