rating: 4 out of 5 chocolates
A horrifying tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob off on a journey to a mysterious island. There he finds a decrepit, long abandoned orphanage, which used to be home to his grandfather. As Jacob explores the ruins, he realizes that the strange stories that his grandfather used to tell him about the children at the orphanage could very well be real – and that these peculiar children could, somehow, still exist.
Not normally one for horror stories, I was hesitant to purchase this book online. However, the cover intrigued me, and being a photography enthusiast, the idea of weaving vintage photographs into a story piqued my curiosity. It was a risk worth taking. Ransom Riggs’ debut novel had me hooked from start to finish.
A few pages in and the eerie photos had the hairs on the back of my neck up on end. Being quite the scaredy-cat (I had to sleep with the light on for a week after watching The 6th Sense when I was 12), it says a lot for Riggs’ writing style that I kept reading. The creepy black and white photographs certainly add an extra chill factor. The book starts off explosively, then plateaus a little and then slowly rolls toward a jam-packed, busy end.
Hard-core horror fans may be disappointed though. The further you read on, the book leans more towards the fantasy and (dips a little into) science fiction genres. Also, some may roll their eyes, as a large part of the story is reminiscent of a certain comic book series that heavily features mutants. Another point of contention I have is the totally unnecessary and highly inappropriate love story – which I cannot go into detail without giving anything away.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is a fantastic first novel, not to mention aesthetically pleasing, and has been left wide open for the possibility of a sequel. Much to my delight, Riggs has announced in his blog that there will definitely be one.