Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Pages: 399
Format: Hardcover
Average Rating: 4.20
Read it in: 4 days
Source: Bought from Walmart

- Summary -

September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters, and only one person can help them — but she's trapped in the body of a bird.

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.

Hollow City draws readers into a richly imagined world of telepathy and time loops, of sideshows and shape-shifters—a world populated with adult "peculiars," murderous wights, and a bizarre menagerie of uncanny animals. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

 - Review -

At last! After nearly two years of waiting, Ransom Riggs has released his second book in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, Hollow City! You have no idea how long I have been waiting to get my hands on this thing. Or maybe you do. In which case; I am sure you feel my pain.

This books begins where the last left off; with Jacob and his peculiar friends on their way to London, leaving behind the island that had housed the majority of them for over seventy years; all in the hopes of saving their headmistress, whom is currently stuck in the form of a bird. Sounds kind of... strange, right? Right. And I LOVED it. This book was just as weird and thrilling as the first; with scary situations, non-stop action and creepy photographs to go along with the story. Even as the children are rowing their way to the mainland, things are constantly happening—a storm, lost luggage, near drowning—all in the span of a few hours. That is what I like most about these books, SO MUCH is happening in such a short amount of time that you have no idea what to do with yourself afterward. "Did that really just happen?" Yes; yes it did. And it gives you very little time before something else occurs and you are thrust, face first, into another thrilling episode of 'Let's try to save our headmistress and not die in the process.'

Characters. As a sixteen year old who is constantly describing himself as completely unordinary, Jacob, our main man, is really anything but. We do get a glimpse of his peculiar powers in book one but, seeing as we really only encounter one Hollow, the experience is brief and leaves us wondering. This time around, however, we get to see his powers deepening and growing; watching him go from someone who collapses whenever a Hollow is near to a peculiar who can anticipate their moves, where they are, and even speak to them. And I feel like this is probably only the tip of the iceberg. I am very interested in these dreams he has been having, and what they could mean. His overall character development was outstanding; he begins Hollow City terrified of leading his friends into danger and, while he never fully gets over this fear, we see him beginning to embrace it, which helps him to perform the amazing feats that he does. A huge part of this story deals with the budding romance between Jacob and his grandfather's old squeeze (it's not as creepy as it sounds, I promise). Oftentimes, with a romance like this, we get one of the characters falling into a love that reaches clich├ęd proportions; where he or she is announcing their love from the top of buildings and swearing an oath to remain by the other's side even if they do not want him/her. I hate that. However, one of my favorite lines from this story is when Jacob says, 

And I'd go back to being Jacob the poor, traumatized, mentally disturbed rich kid. It sounded like a prison sentence. And yet, if my best reason for staying in peculiardom didn't want me anymore, I wouldn't debase myself by clinging to her. I had my pride.

I believe that was the moment I thrust my fist into the air and begged that Ransom and/or Jacob repeat these words to the millions of fictional characters that foolishly cling to their "one true love," and make me want to headdesk repeatedly. The romance, while still a big part of the story, is not so huge and plot-consuming that we lose sight of the other, equally as important occurrences and characters. Even though Jacob loves Emma, he realizes that maybe leaving would be for the best, and chooses to part ways rather than cling to a false hope that everything will work itself out. Granted, I am hoping that they do find a way to stay together, but still. It's the principle.

The tone of this book, while very dark and disturbing is also quite humorous. I have grown so attached to the characters as they fight for their survival and am sincerely hoping that we do not get any deaths in the future. Their dialogue brightens the mood and give us random glimpses of light during some very dark times, and I commend Riggs for being able to create a world and characters that are in such direct, drastic contrast to one another, yet still fit together perfectly. Enoch had some of the best lines in this book, in my opinion. I loved his sass! And darling Horace, who managed to insult a Wight in the face of death. Just. My heart. It explodes

Overall, this book was amazing and I really felt like I took the journey alongside these peculiar children; reacting to each betrayal, heartbreak and warm, fuzzy moment as if they were my own. I laughed out loud, nearly bit all my nails off during the crazy, kick-ass fighting scenes, and practically-just-about cried at the painful almost goodbyes. Ransom Riggs has this amazing way of writing and I cannot wait for the next book. Hopefully, by the time it is published, I will be able to grasp a better understanding of all this time-travel, loop stuff, as it was the only thing I had a difficult time with while reading.

- Rating -


5/5 stars! Hopefully we will not have to wait another two years before we get a third book. Did you guys read Hollow City? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Great review! My favorite character is Ben, he makes the book a little less serious.
    Please check out my review here....