Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1
Published by Quirk on June 7th 2011
Genres: Young Adult
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
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 the 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.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Ransom Rigg’s novel was a mix of several young adult books, both new and old. It mainly reminded me of The Devil’s Advocate by Jane Yolen. This was a favorite book of mine growing up and centers around a young girl (circa 1990s) who is transported to Auschwitz to gain a greater understanding of her ancestors. Mix this plot with Peter Pan and you have Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Impressions While Reading
The novel started out strong. Jacob was a unique protagonist and enjoyed his tenacity in regards to uncovering his grandfather’s past that is seen only through foggy excerpts. As the novel progresses, his story becomes clearer and the oddity of the novel takes hold, gripping its nails in and not letting go. The children or wards of Miss Peregrine are well, peculiar and makes for an entertaining ghost story. Olive, Millard, and Emma shine a light on what otherwise could have been a dark story.
As for the comparison made between Miss Peregrine and Peter Pan, that is quite obvious as the students at this unconventional school never age. Not only do they never age, but they also relive the same day, Groundhog Day style. The children cohort with the mundane, but their unusual talents make it more than bearable.
The crescendo of the novel inhibits the duel between Captain Hook and Peter, in which a hand is fed to the crocodile. Unfortunately, it was erratic, confusing and was more complicated than it needed to be. Therefore, the ending was a bit of a letdown.
I enjoyed the usage of old photos in the book to highlight certain events. I thought Ransom Riggs started off with a unique idea that was well executed in the first half. However, it all fell apart at the drop of a hat. Sadly, this left a mediocre ending and am not sure if it will leave a lasting impression once the cover is closed.