So last year I was blown away by Ransom Riggs’ amazing book: Miss Peregerine’s Home For Peculiar Children but I have only just found the time to sit down and read Hollow City, the second book in the trilogy. I am ashamed of overlooking this book for so long. But in a way, I suppose I was worried I might be disappointed in it – I loved the first book so much that I didn’t want a weak second book to take away the magic for me.
But it turns out that I have been missing out on a lot! Hollow City undoubtedly meets (if not exceeds) the standards of the first book and (although it’s a bit of a cliché) I genuinely could not bring myself to put this book down at times.
It picks up immediately from where the first book ended and tells the story of what happened to the peculiar children after they are attacked by the wights. Miss Peregrine’s ability of being able to transfigure into a bird has been jeopardised and she is trapped in the body of a bird and the children are in a race against time to get her to another ymbryne – the only creature with the ability to heal her.
The children decide that London is the most likely destination of the ymbrynes, but it isn’t as simple as that, because there is a war on and there are hollows after them, so it isn’t just a matter of getting to London – it’s also a matter of surviving the journey there and Jacob (the main character in this book) has to use his peculiarity to the upmost maximum to be able to help protect his friends from both the hollows and the wights.
The other characters are just as amazing as ever, too, but also they are progressing along the way. I loved how Emma Bloom mellowed from her feisty, reckless self into a more emotional and sensitive character. We also meet some amazing new ‘peculiars’ along the way – including peculiar animals (love it!) These include a ’emu-raffe’ (combination of donkey and giraffe), a talking dog and hens that lay lethal exploding eggs! The dialogue between the characters is excellent; so full of humour! I especially like Enoch (the boy who can animate the dead for brief lengths of time) – he has got such a funny dry sense of humour and I loved reading his ‘take’ on situations!
The story is very strong and full of new surprises. Ransom Riggs’ ability to create tension and write good dialogue is outstanding, and I think this is what carries the book so well. Not to mention the photographs which are just as creepy and eerie as ever!
The peculiar children embark on a wild, exciting and dangerous quest and discover lots of amazing aspects of ‘peculiardom’ that until now, they were unaware of. I just loved reading about the new relationships that were formed between the peculiar children and other people along the way – including the animals in the menagerie, some gypsies that the children initially thought to be enemies, but turned out to be great friends, and some circus folk from a ‘freak show’ (yep, I thought that was a bit harsh, too) – all delightful to read about.
This book ended on such a cliff-hanger that I was turning over the page hoping for another chapter. I am desperate to know what happens next – I can’t wait to read Library of Souls, the third and final book in this great trilogy.
I just love these books – there is no other way of putting it. They are so quirky and the characters are so well-portrayed. The writing is also clever and there is no other series like it, in my opinion. Five out of five stars for originality and because it exceeded the standards of the first book, in my opinion.