Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sara's Library: Hollow City

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Book two of the Peculiar Children series
Quirk Books 2014

Summary from Goodreads: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike.

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

This installment picks up at the exact point where the previous one ended: the Peculiars and Miss Peregrine (trapped in bird form) row away from their island.  It doesn't take long before the Hollows are reintroduced and our heroes are on the run, not only searching for safety but for another ymbryne who may be able to reverse Miss Peregrine's avian state.  With only three days to find a solution or risk losing Miss Peregrine's humanity, this second volume keeps up a rollicking pace for its duration.

One of my chief complaints with the first book was that, Jacob aside, there was little character development.  The majority of the characters fit neatly into an archetype, usually influenced by their power, and were paper thin.  I'm sad to say that there's not much more attention paid to characterization this time around.  It's very much a plot-driven installment, so if you're not interested in mutant kids fighting monsters in the 1940's, this book is not for you.

That being said, it is an entertaining diversion, and I enjoyed the world building through the peculiar animals and the fairy tales.  The photographs didn't seem to enhance the story this time and felt shoehorned in, almost gimmicky.  I'm curious to see how Mr. Riggs uses the photographs in the next volume and hope it will be more like those in the first book.

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