Blog Archives

Library of Lost Souls By: Ransom Riggs (Review)

51jx3zbrjul-_sx320_bo1204203200_(This is a review for the third book in a series so there are minor spoilers for the previous two books.)

Library of Lost Souls is the final book in the Miss Peregrine’s series. I am always worried about final books. I worry that questions won’t get answered or something will be resolved but not in the fashion that I think works for the story. I am glad that this final book was not any of those things. This was a good way to end this series. The loose ends were wrapped up and the story came to a satisfying conclusion. I was not left wondering anything or upset at not knowing what had become of a character.

This final book finds Emma and Jacob having to travel through a dark time loop called Devil’s Acres in order to save their friends. They have to team up with some unsavory characters and make tough decision to save those they care about. They go on a fast-paced adventure to save their world.

Throughout this series Jacob was my favorite character. He started off the series as a naive kid. After his grandfather’s death he is told by his parents and doctors that he has gone crazy. For a short time he believes them, thinking his grandfather’s death has driven him out of his mind. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to find out the secret his grandfather left behind. He finds Miss Peregrine and the peculiar world and his life changes.

This last book was the wrap up of Jacob’s character transformation. In this book he keeps talking about two separate Jacobs. There was the “then,” Jacob and there is the “now,” Jacob. “Then,” Jacob lived in a straight forward world. People did not fly, no one was invisible and there were no monsters. Nothing extraordinary ever happened to him. “Then,” Jacob went to school, hung out with his one friend and spent time with his parents. His life was simple and normal.

“Now,” Jacob lives in a brand new world. All the things he thought were impossible are now possible. The word impossible doesn’t even have a true meaning to him anymore. This new world is one the requires him to be brave and couragous. He can’t rely on anyone else. He needs to make quick decisions and trust himself. He no longer can just sit around and wait for something to happen in life. In this last book it is up to him and Emma to save their friends. He had to grow up fast.

I liked this book because Jacob had to find a balance between the two sides of himself. He couldn’t let his old life intrude too much because then fear would take over. He wouldn’t be able to find his friends and fight to save not only their lives, but their world. He had to find a tougher side of himself.

On the other side though, he couldn’t let “now,” Jacob have full control. He had to remember how to have sympathy and how to be cautious. He couldn’t always act, sometime he had to let others take over. It was nice to see a character that did not go through a total trasnformation. Jacob retains parts of who he used to be and integrates them into this new version of himself.

Most of this book takes place in Devil’s Acres. This is a time loop where those who have been banished or ostracized from the peculiar world live. It is a dark and horrible place. I thought it was a proper place to end this series. This was a series that got darker as it went on and to end here felt right. I liked that this series showed the darker side of the world as well as the light. No matter the world there is always some dark aspect and in the end the dark and light create a balance. I liked this setting, it was interesting and I thought created the right mood for this final story.

I loved almost every aspect of this series. The characters were all unique and interesting. The inclusion of the photographs helped create an eerie and interesting atmosphere. I thought it was paced well, balancing the exposition with action. The only issue I had was the relationship between Emma and Jacob.

I did not think that Emma and Jacob needed to be romantic interests for each other. I felt like their relationship was forced in order to have some romance in the story. I did not feel any real connection between the two of them. I wish they had just become a very close friends.

I think sometimes people forget how powerful a close friendship can be. Romance is not the only way to show a deep connection between two people. And not every girl and boy who meet each other need to fall for one another. Sometime I wish that some of these characters would just become best friends. It would create a new dynamic and I think would have felt more natural for these two.

Despite my issue with that relationship I loved the rest of the series. It is a unique story, one full of adventure. I loved the world. The addition of the photographs gives it a unique feel. If you are looking for a bit dark, yet fun series I would highly recommend this one.

Hollow City – Review – (Minor Spoilers)

images-3(This being a review of a sequel there are some minor spoilers for the first book in the series).

I am not one of those people who can read the first book in a series then a month or two later read the next one. If I start a series, enjoy it and the rest of the books are available, than I will finish it. I loved the first Miss Peregrine’s book, which meant I had to go out and get the rest of the series. The second book, Hollow City, was a good sequel. It expanded on the series; grew the world as well as gave us a deeper look into the peculiar children.

Hollow City takes place right where the first book left off. The children have all left the island and are on a mission to rescue Miss Peregrine. They are in the middle of the ocean and realize very quickly that this mission is going to be a rough one. This is the first time many of them have left their loop since they made it their home. On their adventure they learn more about each other and also learn more about their peculiar world. We meet peculiar animals and find out how desperate the whole situation truly is.

I liked that this book gave us a better idea of the vast nature of the peculiar world. There are many different loops, all populated by a number of different type of peculiars. I loved the idea that there are peculiar animals. Addison became one of my new favorite characters. To me this book helped integrate this peculiar world into the rest of the world. Both live side by side, sometimes not even realizing how they work with one another.

What I loved most about this book was how the focus went from Jacob to the rest of the peculiar children. We still get the story from Jaco’s POV but the story focuses more on the other peculiar children; who they are and what they can do. I liked becoming more familiar with everyone, it helped flesh out the story.

The peculiar children are in an interesting position. They are in children’s bodies but they are all almost a hundred years old. They have this interesting mix of adult ideals and thought but also the innocence of children. They grew up very sheltered in the loop. Miss Peregrine made sure to do everything for them. She watched over them and provide for them. They did not have to do much for themselves. So once they decided to leave they were thrown into this whole new world. They can think like adults but they also tend to see the world as a child does.

There is an interesting scene about 2/3 of the way through the book. In their quest to find Miss Peregrine and keep their world from being taken over by wights and hollowghasts, they encounter two sisters. The sisters are hiding from the bombs that are falling on London. They learn that the older sisters is peculiar. They ask her to join them but she is weary of them.

In the aftermath of the bombing the group is debating whether to steal a ambulance in order to get out of the area faster. The older sister is horrified at the idea. The group shows a callousness for others, mostly because they know where they are is the past. They see it all has having been done and gone. Nothing will ultimately change anything significantly. What the older sister sees is people who care about no one but themselves.

At the end of the chapter Jacob has a few lines of thought that are interesting. “I don’t know why it was so important for her [Emma] to prove to a stranger that we were good-hearted, when we knew ourselves to be – but the suggestion that we were anything less than angels walking the earth, that our natures were made complexly shaded, seemed to bother her. ‘They don’t understand,’ she kept saying.
“Then again, I thought, maybe they did.”

Jacob grew up in the world that the reader knows.We know that the world is one of blurred lines. Nothing is ever as black and white as we want it to be. People are a mix of light and dark and that is what makes us human. Jacob understands the tough decisions they are facing.  He knows they aren’t mosnters, they don’t want to hurt anyone. He is not that bothered by the exchange. The two sisters are unfamiliar with what they are trying to do. They don’t understand how difficult their lives are at the moment. He knows some decisions are tough and the choices made are not always the best ones.

Emma on the other hand has grown up seeing herself and her people as somewhat like heroes. They are good at heart. They do not harm others (though she is unfamiliar with what the children used to do in the village when they got bored). She does not want to admit that they may not all be good people. She does not want to see the dark that exists in peculiardom as it does in the rest of the world. They are not separate, they are just like us. I think that idea scared her.

I like this sequel because I felt a better connection to the characters throughout the story. I like characters were moral grey lines. I also like to watch them learn who they are and how they belong in the world. I am eager to finish the last book and see how everything wraps up.

%d bloggers like this: