Book Review: ‘Hollow City’ by Ransom Riggs

Posted: 1 August 2017 in Book reviews
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Synopsis

Jacob Portman and the other peculiar children are now homeless, without a loop, and Miss Peregrine is stuck in her bird form. Their only choice is to leave the island and find another Ymbryne to change her back. But this is much harder than it sounds. They are being pursued by wights and most of the Ymbrynes have already been captured. But they aren’t about to let any of that stop them from getting to London to save her.

And Miss Peregrine hasn’t resigned to her fate just yet. With her help, the children discover the existence of a loop filled with peculiar beings they never imagined existed. They inform the young peculiars that their Ymbryne, Miss Wren, has not been captured, but has already gone to London to try and find the others. More urgently, they learn that Miss Peregrine has only a matter of days before changing her back is impossible. The quickest way to get to London is by train. They are helped to catch the train by a group of gypsies, which comes to naught when they are captured moments before the train leaves the station.

Escaping from the Wights is only one obstacle they will have to overcome, which they do quite miraculously. London is a maze, which none of them knows how to navigate. With time not on their side, the children will have to battle against it, hollows with new abilities, relentless wights, with only hope and sheer willpower pushing them forward. And if they are able to find Miss Wren alive and free, will she be able to return Miss Peregrine to her human form in time? And if so, will she even be the same?

My Thoughts

Well it has been almost three and a half years since I read the first book, but I got to it in the end. I’m glad I did. At least during this time I got to see the cinematic interpretation of the film. Wasn’t bad, but as I haven’t read the entire series, I’m not sure if the ending was based on the conclusion of the series or rather a more dramatic deviation from the actual first book. I’ll be able to tell you this when I read the last book in the series (which is currently in my possession).

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I liked all the hidden secrets within the book they had assumed only contained peculiar fairy tales. I also liked that you could actually see progress in the characters. Jacob learned new tricks he can do, others overcome fears, all in all they each have to step up in order to ensure they all survive. This is harder for some than others, but they all (most of the time) step it up. I also really enjoyed the little twists and turns in the story. Especially at the end. Let’s just say that Jacob learns another pretty cool trick at the very end of the book.

There are really no new main characters. There are plenty of new acquaintances. There are plenty of new peculiar characters including a gypsy boy who is rapidly disappearing, a girl who heals despite bad injuries, a girl who can create ice (I would love to have that power. I mean, I am a fan of Sub-Zero), and many more. While there are many new little bit characters here, there is one main character who irritated the s*** out of me: Enoch. He is so negative and nasty. I get that he enjoys death and such, but holy hell. He rarely has anything nice or positive to say, especially towards Jacob. I also understand being realistic, but he takes it way too far. You got to have a little bit of hope. Not Enoch.

The writing is much better in this book than the first book. Not that it was bad, just that I didn’t catch any inconsistencies like in the first one. That being said, I read what I wrote and I mentioned Miss Peregrine being smaller towards the end than in the beginning. That seems to link purposely with the end of this book and makes me want to reread the book (a third time) to see if what I’m thinking is correct. One day. Anyway. The writing was fluid, the language easy to understand, and the story very engaging. Despite being a dark tale, it is written with language suitable for any age.

This book is a worthy sequel to this riveting series. I wholeheartedly recommend continuing the series. The book is dark and clever and never dull. I cannot wait to read the final book! Enjoy 😉

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