As you can see from the title, today I will be reviewing “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children,” a popular young adult series by Ransom Riggs. Since the movie adaptation is going to be released next month, I thought this would be a good time for me to share my opinion on the trilogy.
The first novel of the series–“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”–introduces the reader to Jacob Portman, a socially awkward teen living in Florida. As a child, Jacob idolized his eccentric grandfather, Abe, who told him vivid tales about strange creatures and children who possessed unique abilities. At sixteen, Jacob dismisses these stories as the nonsensical fantasies of a senile old man; however, everything changes when he discovers his grandfather’s body in his backyard, and spots a creature eerily similar to the ones he had described. Distraught and uncertain, Jacob searches for answers, and slowly uncovers his grandfather’s peculiar past (pun intended…totally cringe-worthy, but I couldn’t resist).
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this trilogy. I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre (cue Hedwig’s Theme), so the plot reeled me right in. In addition, since the YA genre is currently oversaturated with dystopian future novels, it was refreshing to read something from the perspective of a modern-day teen.
One element of the series that flowed seamlessly was character development. For me, a well-written, complex backstory transforms a good book into a great one. The relationship between Jacob and his late grandfather develops as the series goes along, so the reader has a very clear idea of how much he meant to him.
While the second book, “Hollow City”, didn’t quite match up to its predecessor, it didn’t suffer from SBS (second book syndrome) either. In case you didn’t know, second book syndrome essentially means that the middle installment of a trilogy is extremely cliché or weak. It is packed with action and suspense, and acts as a nice bridge between the first novel and the conclusion.
“Library of Souls,” the final book in the series, provides the reader with a satisfying resolution. For the sake of staying spoiler-free, I won’t delve into any details. This book is what you want for a finale.
In conclusion, I would recommend this series for fans of dark fantasy and adventure novels. The story is compelling, the characters are easy to love, and it makes for a fun read.
As always, thanks for reading.