Monday, April 7, 2014

Review; Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads):   The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.


And here's what I thought:  I thought this was a great second book, and was really engaging, even though it had many dark moments.  The fact that these children are caught in a time loop in London during WWII is very frightening.  And the author doesn't shy away from these dark and scary things at all --- I was pretty worried at times during the book.  But, I like that -- I'd rather be worried about characters than not care about them at all.

I like how in the very first part, we are given the photos and names of the Peculiar children (which is helpful to reacquaint oneself).  The author also gives a bit of information about what happened at the end of the first book -- which was great, since it had been a while since I had read that first book.  I was able to pick up and just go, without needing to re-read the first book.

The author has a wonderful writing style, with a really visual element to the prose, so it's easy to imagine the settings and the children.    The fact that the settings are very real (most of them, anyway) make the tension in the book very palpable - it's easy to imagine these children in the dangerous situations they find themselves in.

And of course --- there is a cliffhanger ending.  Next book, please!

First lines:  We rowed out through the harbor, past bobbing boats weeping rust from their seams, past juries of silent seabirds roosting atop the barnacled remains of sunken docks, past fishermen who lowered their nets to stare frozenly as we slipped by, uncertain whether we were real or imagined; a procession of waterborne ghosts, or ghosts soon to be.  We were ten children and one bird in three small and unsteady boats, rowing with quiet intensity straight out to sea, the only safe harbor for miles receding quickly behind us, craggy and magical in the blue-gold light of dawn.  Our goal, the rutted coast of mainland Wales, was somewhere before us but only dimply visible, an inky smudge squatting along the far horizon.

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