“I knew there was something peculiar about you…”
A Mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 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 Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
This novel is amazing! The first thing you want to do when you pick up this book is flip through the pages to look at the unearthly mysterious collection of vintage photographs. Riggs has done an amazing job of pairing each photo with the narrative being told. Instead of trying to imagine what these children look like, these photos give us almost the whole picture of their personalities. The part we have to imagine is their peculiarities.
Jacob is definitely someone you can sympathize with as he struggles to make sense of his grandfather’s death and the mysterious “magical” life he led before. Jacob learns that the stories his grandfather told him about his childhood, featuring children with peculiar abilities and terrifying monsters, are actually true.
Most fantastic still were his stories about life in the Welsh children’s home. It was an enchanted place, he said, designed to keep kids safe from the monsters, on an island where the sun shined every day and nobody ever got sick or died. Everyone lived together in a big house that was protected by a wise old bird – or so the story went. (page 9)
The pacing of this novel is right on track to keep you on the edge of your seat. The scenes and the atmosphere that Riggs has written are so real that you can smell the salty sea air. You can hear the wood from the village shacks creaking. This is a book you can read again and again and never lose the sense that it could be real.
The world and characters created by Riggs is one I’d love to see come to life, which will happen soon. According to the author’s blog, Tim Burton is attached to direct the film version of the novel, coming to theatres in 2013. Also coming soon is a sequel, untitled at this time and publishing date TBD.
Publisher: Quirk Books (June 2011)
Available as an eBook
Image from www.goodreads.com
FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from the local library.
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