Book Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

hollow city

Goodreads Summary:

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike.

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

I’m going to give you guys a fair warning: if you want to read this book and haven’t reread/ read the first one, DON”T. I decided that I wasn’t going to reread Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children before starting this book, and that was a bad idea. I read the first one a couple years ago when it first came out, and the second one literally picks up where the cliff-hanger left off. The sad thing? I read the first one so long ago I didn’t even remember there was a cliff-hanger.

It was honestly pretty hard to recover from a blunder like that in the beginning of a book. And, in all fairness to me, there was little to no recap, either. Let’s look at this for a second. Miss Peregrine’s was published in 2011. This was published in 2014. Hello? Three years? I NEED RECAP! I understand an author wants to spend time to write the book as perfectly as possible, but if you’re going to take three years, I need a couple passages explaining the situation. And they don’t have to be at the very beginning, either, because I understand that takes away from the hook. But these books are more like part 1 and 2 than separate entities.

That being said, after doggy-paddling to catch up, when I finally did, it was awesome. It’s a surprisingly dense book; the words are small and the margins are nonexistent. The pictures, as always, enhanced the plot and intrigued the reader as to the actual historical context of the pictures and the accuracy to the plot. There are a lot of characters, but there is a description in the front of their names, peculiarity, and importance.

The book is fast-paced without being rushed. There are different conflicts to account for in addition to the main mission of the children. Although… I thought it seems almost too hopeless. The problems with the headmistresses and the lack of peculiar people in their world was all very depressing. Plus, I wasn’t really understanding the whole time travel/ loop thing (again, recap!). I felt really bad for the children, and I definitely didn’t want to be in Jacob’s shoes with all the pressure and decisions cast onto him.

It’s well-written with very elaborate descriptions and intricate details. It’s a book that the reader will get lost in for days, and when they finally look up from the straight typed lines, they blink a couple of times to remember their actual lives instead of the fictional ones they were living with the peculiar children.

I recommend this book, yes, but I also recommend reading the first one before beginning this! It will make the reading experience way better, trust me.

4 Stars

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