13 June 2013

Books: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011)

I came across Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children in June of 2011, a month before Borders announced they were closing down for good. There was that odd, creepy cover with the floating girl, and then those weird and freaky vintage photos inside made me want to read the book. But I didn’t buy it and by the time the stores closing sales began, other books began occupying my mind (I hid a lot of books, which was fun, because the people running the closing –and my stick-in-the-mud GM- where on the look-out for employees stashing books). The thing with me and books is the real interesting ones, the more off-beat ones, have a tendency to stay with me. And this one did. 

But Miss Peregrine’s was to stay in hardcover for two years, only to finally see a paper edition this month. So I bought it at Target, excited to see it and read it. Now that I’ve completed, I’ve got say while the book is far from original, it’s still fun. 

Jacob's grandfather likes to tell these stories about how when he was a child he was sent away from home to an orphanage on a Welsh island, he was accompanied by other "peculiar" children and supposedly kept safe from "monsters". As Jacob grows from wondrous child to petulant teen he realizes that his grandfather's tales are probably just tall tales. Then his grandfather is horrifically killed in an "accident" and Jacob heads off to Wales to visit his grandfather's old home as a form of closure. But it soon becomes apparent that his grandfather was telling the truth all this time.

While the novel is just like many other YA novels of the supernatural that have come out since the Harry Potter series –it does follow the basic color wheel of plotting –Riggs does develop the characters well and creates some really bad monsters. The use of odd vintage photos enhances the story as well. 

Plus, it has time travel, and heaven knows, I love time travel stories.

Overall, a nice start to a series; book two is scheduled for January.

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