Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Jacob grew up with his grandfather's stories about the magical home he lived in Wales during WWII, where children with peculiar abilities stayed, protected from monsters.  Now 16, Jacob doesn't believe his grandfather's stories.  He knows his grandfather fled the Nazis and lived in Wales before enlisting in the army.  His stories are just his way of telling the trauma of that time.  Or are they?  When Jacob's grandfather suddenly and suspiciously dies, and Jacob thinks he sees one of his grandfather's monsters, he begins to wonder if maybe all the stories were really true.

Can we first talk about Ransom Riggs' name?  That is an amazing name.  Is Ransom his given name?  Perhaps it's a family name.  Or perhaps his parents just named him Ransom, in which case they were way ahead of the curve with giving their child a weird name. 

But we're here to talk about the book.  It was not what I expected.  I don't know why, but whenever I see a book with old timey pictures, I go to a certain place.  And that place is often one of tongue-in-cheek humor, like The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.  So when one is expecting The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, and gets this book instead, well it's quite a surprise.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is quite dark. There is the memory of WWII, which is dark as it is, and then on top of that there is this incredible danger, lurking.  And it's really creepy looking.  Like whoa.  There are the wrights, with their white eyes, who seek out the children for the hollowgast, who devour them.  And when they can't find the people with the peculiarities, they'll eat whoever is there.  Yeah, they were creepy.

Jacob and his father traveling to Wales and Jacob finds the orphanage, which he realizes was destroyed by a bomb during the war.  How could anyone be left alive to ask what really happened with his grandfather?  Plenty of people, it turns out.  Miss Peregrine created a time loop, and Jacob steps back to September 3, 1940 and finds all the children his grandfather knew, just as they were, and with their strange abilities.

It made me think of X-Men.  A powerful adult who decides to gather children with strange power together?  Check.  Kids who can create fire, fly, see the future, have extreme strength?  Check.  Dangerous fraction of these people with abilities trying to destroy the world?  Check.  Miss Peregrine isn't trying to train her kids to fight the evil, however.  She wants them to stay in the loop and stay safe. 

It was certainly an interesting story, and I liked the use of the old photographs.  Jacob's grandfather would always show him pictures when he told his stories, and the old photographs are throughout the book.

I do wonder how Jacob and his friends are planning to fight this evil.  It's pretty evil evil and they seem ill prepared.  A good start to a series.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...