My Thoughts About Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs (Book Review #79)

“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”
― Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

Explosive. Totally explosive. Mind-blowing. Totally mind-blowing. Unnerving. Totally unnerving. When you thought the book couldn’t get any better. But yes, it did. 🙂

Don’t worry, this is a spoiler free review. 😉 Enjoy!

16-year old Jacob came to the island of Cairnholm with his father in search for answers for his grandfather’s death. He found himself in a time loop where she meet Miss Peregrine who helped him discover his peculiar ability. And in there he also met other peculiar children. There’s someone who can make fire with her hands, one who is invisible, one who is a very strong girl, a girl who floats, one who can see the future thru his dreams, one who can animate the dead and one who can control the plants. Everything went well, Until the loop was taken over by wights and hollows who wants to kill them.

Partly horror, science fiction, historical fiction, teen romance and a coming of age story, the book follows immediately where Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children left off. We follow the peculiar children as they set off to London after their home in Cairnholm, the place that protects and shields them from outside world, was raided by the fearful hollowgasts and cruel wights. We follow as each children learn the ropes of living outside their time loop. We follow their adventures from the wide sea, to the mountains and to the war torn London where they meet fellow peculiars, weird creatures and normal people and their struggle in fighting the evolving wights and hollowgasts. It became a game of hide and seek as the children tries to evade the monsters who are hunting them. Tiresome chases, nail-biting captures, edge-of-your-seat escapes and deafening bombings. Aside from London, the author also takes the readers to the England countryside and to a sort of time travel.

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In contrast with the first book where they are stationary in Cairnholm, this time they are always on the run from one location to another as they try to seek help from other time loops and ymbyrnes which hasn’t been captured yet that can help Miss Peregrine be back to her human form fast before she’s stuck to being a bird forever. The world expanded and the author did a very good job in world building. It’s very detailed.

The writing got me really hooked and never got me bored. His writing has this flow that makes readers want to know more about the story. And same as the first book, Hollow City also incorporates in its pages bizarre and queer vintage photos that added excitement to my reading experience. The photos perfectly connected with the story. It’s a visual treat as it gave me better appreciation of the story. The photos helped shape the story of the book by enhancing it.

Character development is also on point. In this book, we get to know the characters more. Unlike in the first where we’re only given sketches of the characters, in this book the character where given spotlights for the readers to know them more and feel more connected to them. We get to know their flaws. We get to know how their pasts affected their personalities and the promise of their powers even getting stronger. The character was able to make Jacob develop from being a happy-go-lucky teenager to someone who knows his responsibility and is sensitive to others. I was also treated as to how the peculiars develop their powers with every adversity that they faced. Emma also established her character as a confident young lady well suited to become the leader. It’s also nice to be introduced to other loops in different locations with their inhabitants and their own powers.

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Emma and Jacob’s relationship is still off for me though. That’s the only part of this book that I didn’t enjoy reading. It feels forced for me. I feel like the book can carry it’s own without the love aspect. For me, it’s unnecessary in this series.

The author’s writing is really commendable. The second book perfectly ironed out questions from the book 1 and laid out the path for what to expect in the next book. He balanced out drama, romance, action, romance and horror making it more engaging. The book is made fast-paced with a lot of unexpected twists and turns that really put me on the edge of my seat. The author is a master of foreshadowing and when you reach the ending you’ll have tell yourself that you didn’t see them coming. But despite that, he made his way of writing very detailed that I can feel the atmosphere, feeling like I was there. It’s much more deeper as it has more emotionally provoking scenes. Ransom Riggs has really done it again.

This book has more depth as it gave the readers time to realize what it means to be a peculiar children. It’s not just about the powers that they possess but how they have to live differently and how they became outcasts to their family and to the society where they belong to who should be the one understanding and accepting them. That alone made me more understand why they do care a lot about Miss Peregrine and they are willing to sacrifice their lives for her. She was the one showed them compassion by keeping them and she was the one who helped them understand and accept their peculiarities. That for me is the highlight of this book.

“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”
― Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

This book discusses the topic of accepting one’s identity. Living with your identity means accepting who you are and who other’s are. We live in this world to coexist and to question the existence of each other. We were created as one and there shouldn’t be any classification that distinguishes us from others. Living in this world is not all about appearances but should be about the character that each of us have. Coexistence comes with understanding.

The ending made me really excited for the third book. I wanted to know and see more of the characters an the roles that they will be playing in the third book, Library of Souls. This book totally delivered and I’m satisfied. Looking forward for the third and, sadly, last book! 🙂

“Some truths are expressed best in the form of myth.”
― Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

4 stars out of 5.

BOOK SPECIFICATIONS:

Author: Ransom Riggs
Format: Trade Paperback
Part of a Series: Series Yes (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)
Release Year: February 2015
Publisher: Quirk Books
No. of Pages: 416 pages

ransom-riggsI grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for mentalfloss.com, and make short films.

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)

Have you read this book? Share to me your thoughts. 🙂

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