(Image from Barnes & Noble)
(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers from Library of Souls, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from the first two Miss Peregrine novels. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)
When Jacob Portman, a 16-year-old American, discovered a time loop in Wales that sheltered children with unusual abilities, he found some much needed entertainment. He never dreamed the kids he met would become his dearest friends. Or that he had his own ability, one so rare and valuable that it's become crucial to the survival of peculiardom. He never imagined he'd be running through time, hopping in and out of time loops in order to save his beloved Miss Peregrine. But that's exactly what he's doing. With Emma Bloom, a stubborn firestarter, and Addison McHenry, a talking dog, by his side, what could possibly go wrong? How about everything?
Tired of being chased by the merciless monsters who are kidnapping ymbrynes for their own nefarious purposes, Jacob decides to take the fight right to the wights' doorstep. Unfortunately, their fortress sits in the middle of Devil's Acre, the most desperate and dangerous slum in all of Victorian England. Reluctant to trust anyone they meet, Jacob, Emma, and Addison must figure out how to rescue their friends all on their own. Caul, the megalomaniac set on ruling peculiardom no matter what the cost, will certainly kill Miss Peregrine and his other prisoners (which include all of the Headmistress' charges), as soon as he's done with them. Can Jacob and Emma rescue their friends in time? Can they save peculiardom from enslavement by the ruthless Caul? Will Jacob's disturbing new power be the death of him? Or will he learn to harness it in time to save himself, his friends, and the whole peculiar world? If he manages to survive all that, will he return to his own land and time, even if it means losing the girl he loves? Or will he trade the modern world for a romance that can't exist outside of peculiardom?
In Library of Souls (available November 10, 2015), the final book in Ransom Riggs' enjoyable Miss Peregrine series, the story races to its exciting, adrenaline-rush of a conclusion. With the fate of the peculiar world resting on his shoulders, Jacob jumps through time in an adventure that twists and turns in a labyrinth as dizzying as Devil's Acre itself. Like its predecessors, this novel offers a blend of action, romance, humor, and horror that makes for a memorable thrill ride. The haunting vintage photographs that have marked this series as unique appear here as well, giving the tale an extra measure of eerieness. All of these elements make Library of Souls a worthy finale to a quirky, creepy series that has brought me hours of entertainment. I'm sad to see it end. At the same time, I can't wait to see what the innovative Ransom Riggs comes up with next.
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual innuendo
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Library of Souls from the generous folks at Quirk Books. Thank you!