Thursday, January 3, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 7th 2011 by Quirk

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious 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 the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive..." (From Goodreads)
 I did read this book a few months back, but it is certainly worthy of a review. One thing that also bears mentioning is how challenging it was to find this title in South Africa initially. I really should explore purchasing my books online, but it takes away the whole experience of bookstores. The smell! I love the smell!

Back to the novel. I was pleasantly surprised by Rigg's writing style. The man has a way with words and this alone is worth reading Miss Peregrine for. I didn't feel that it suited the voice of the character, however. A teenaged boy is not going to word his thoughts so eloquently.

For those who are not aware, the novel is smattered with odd photographs that play a part in the story. I liked the concept, but felt some of the references were a little forced. The pictures are disturbing though and add an interesting element to the reading experience.

And the plot... well, sadly, this is where this novel falls short. What is a book without a plot?

Oh, the story started out well enough. I was thoroughly engrossed in Jacob's search for his grandfather's past and the hints that are dropped of the macabre. And... then something just fell very flat for me. What should have been a  whirlwind creepfest became a silly, mundane love story.

I was so disappointed that this one did not live up to the hype surrounding it. It was a brilliant concept that didn't meet the promise it offered.

It is worth a read though, but don't expect too much and you should be fine.

Rating; 5/10

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