One of the greatest pleasures in life is coming across a book that you think “Hmm – that could be interesting,” and by the end of it you realize you have found a treasure. This is what I felt when I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. It is a book that is not just for young adults, but all story lovers.
Published by Quirk Books here is their blurb on the book:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs.
As our story opens, 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 who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather— were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
This magical book is fascinating and original in its design. The story is written around a collection of found photographs that are, for the most part, a combination of unique, odd, and intriguing images. It is from these photographs that the lives of the children are constructed with elegant prose. And, it is from these pictures that we enter into a story where the past is woven into the present.
Time loops have played an integral part of science fiction and fantasy stories in all its forms: TV, literature, movies, video games, and even music videos. They are not always written as well as Riggs has constructed them in this novel. He takes the time to explain how they can exist, and how they are used. His language in doing so is easily digestible and far from boring and complex. He doesn’t overload it with science, but keeps it contained within the supernatural context of the story.
Ransom Riggs has given readers a wonderful and fantastic novel. Many readers may find an X-men quality to the peculiar children, but it does not take away from the story. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an original work, and should Riggs decide to write a sequel I would very much look forward to reading it. If this novel is intended as a stand-alone, than I am immensely happy to have discovered this literary treasure.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY, THAT IS THE QUESTION. This is a BUY BUY BUY! Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is an excellent addition to any library. Need more convincing to run out and buy it – check out the videoon Ransom’s youtube page.