Ransom Riggs’ debut novel is uniquely brilliant and with a very peculiar yet slightly familiar story.
The story follows Jacob, a young boy who after a family tradegy explores the hidden world his grandfather told him stories about: A mysterious orphanage on a small island, home to children who have very peculiar abilities and are at risk of being killed because of it. Jacob sets off on a trip to investigate the truth behind the stories and enters an exciting world he never expected to exist, but the dangers lying there are all too real.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the first book in a trilogy and is so unique as not only does it have a brilliant narrative, the story is also accompanied by vintage photographs throughout the entire novel. These are usually depicting the children in the orphanage or scenes used as a flashback, but they are used so well that having them to go along with the story fits so well.
Riggs collected an archive of photos for this novel and its two sequels so therefore the individuality of this novel is definitely shown there.
Sometimes however the amount of photos all at once can get a bit too much, when you’re in the middle of reading a paragraph and it’s broken up by a couple of photos it can get slightly disruptive, but it does help to bring your imagination to life.
Riggs has created similar elements in the novel to that of the X-Men, such as the peculiar children, however this is a nice reference and doesn’t follow the X-Men story too strong to feel like you’re reading something you’ve heard completely before.
Another defining characteristic of this book is that the protagonist is male which is a welcoming change compared to most Young Adult fiction, since they tend to be female orientated when it comes to protagonists. It’s nice to see a boy take the lead and be the centre of the story.
Young Adult novels tend to have a large amount of romance in them, but the romance is hardly noticeable in this book. This is a nice breath of fresh air as the story between the children and the antagonist becomes the centre for the development rather than entirely focusing on the romance side to it.
Riggs’ novel is the change of direction needed for the Young Adult book genre these days, with the fast pace of the story and the uniqueness of the characters and the narrative behind it, it’s definitely one to look out for.
The final two books in the trilogy, Hollow City and Library of Souls are out now.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!