I just reviewed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last time but I found myself a copy of the book’s graphic novel adaptation the same week at a used bookstore and so I decided to read it and put my thoughts about it.
Just a brief summary of what the book is, it follows 16-year old Jacob Portman as he try to discover the truth behind the brutal killing of his grandfather, Abe, by a monster that no one else believes. Growing up, his grandfather always spoke of monsters and told stories of an orphanage where he lived during the war. His grandpa showed him pictures of children with peculiar abilities who lives there. He believed them when he’s still young but growing he was able to convince himself that the pictures are fake.
On his birthday after her grandpa dies, he received a gift that his grandpa was supposed to give him. In it was a letter from a certain Headmistress Alma LeFay Peregrine. He then began to think about what he grandpa said and he began searching for answers. With the letter and enthralled by his grandpa’s last words, “Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave”, Jacob, with his unknowing father, set on a journey to a remote island off the coast of Wales – the island where her grandpa Abraham Portman grew up, Cairnholm island.
While his father was busy is busy observing and taking pictures of the birds, Jacob travels around the island and at the other part of it he sees the old orphanage which is now in ruins. Then he notices some strange children looking at him, he chases them and he ended up stuck in a loop where it’s always September 3, 1940, the day before the air raid hit the orphanage.
In there he meet the children in the pictures that his grandpa showed him before. Different children with different peculiar abilities that ranges from fire control, invisibility,shape shifting to controlling the bees. It felt so surreal for Jacob at first but he realized that the loop is a hideout for the children for they are being hunted down. If they leave the loop they are endangered of being killed like what happened to his grandpa aside from them getting ageing rapidly. Jacob was left with a decision to stay or to go back to his normal life. It’s not an easy decision since Jacob is also a peculiar with an ability that is so unique and of great importance to the survival of the peculiars.
Same as with other books that were translated to the graphic novel format, the graphic novel condensed the story and it moved at a faster pace which I liked. The fillers on the book were removed, focusing more on the core plot and scenes of the book. It still includes the vintage photographs incorporated in the book which added more creepiness to it. I like how the artwork and the real photographs blended well. It’s so cool seeing the interpretation of the artist with the characters as to how they look like making it easier for me now to visualize each when I reach the second and third book in the series.
The love story between Jacob and one of the peculiar children, Emma,creeps me out little bit. Emma is Jacob’s grandpa’s love before he left the loop. I kind of buy the love story when I was reading the novel but seeing it in a graphic form with their actions seems kind of off for me. I believe that Emma is only in love with Jacob because Jacob reminds Emma of Abe. I hope they don’t push with the love story on the second book. How she conveyed the actions and body languages of the characters made my reading experience even more exciting.
The illustrator, Cassandra Jean, I can say, made a wonderful job with the details of the artwork. I have to be honest that I was not a fan of it at first but as I read and get used to it, I became a fan. It was well executed. I like the gradual addition of colors as the story progresses and the different shift in the tones and hues depending on the scenes and emotions wanting to be conveyed. The monochromatic pages illustrates Jacob’s life in the “real world” and the colored pages illustrates Jacob’s world in Miss Peregrine’s.
Here are some snapshots of the art inside the book:
Overall, I enjoyed it same as with the book. Physically, the book is so so gorgeous hardback with a very nice slip cover. The spine is also pretty and I like how it’s the same with the other books. It’s also printed on a good quality glossy paper. he book satisfied my expectations considering that the book relied on the imagination of its readers to work and this graphic novel delivered.
5 stars out of 5.
Author: Ransom Riggs (Author), Cassandra Jean (Illustrator)
Part of a Series: Yes (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series)
Release Year: October 2013
Publisher: Yen Press
No. of Pages: 272 pages
About the Author
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I’m really excited about it — it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It’s called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for “mental floss talking pictures” (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page: youtube.com/ransriggs.
Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I’m working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I’m *really* looking forward to. (About the Author text courtesy of Goodreads)