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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Saturday, November 07, 2015

Library of Souls A Haunting, Harrowing Conclusion to an Immensely Enjoyable Series

(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. 


Grade:


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!

Quirky, Creepy Adventure Continues in Second Miss Peregrine Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

"'Strange,' I thought, 'how you could be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time'" (144).

Jacob Portman, a 16-year-old from Florida, never thought of himself as special or peculiar in any way.  That is, until he discovered a latent talent for seeing hollowgast—horrifying monsters from a different world that are visible only to peculiars with Jacob's extremely rare ability.  His skill has made him indispensable to a group of children with unusual talents (invisibility, seeing the future through dreams, making fire with bare hands, etc.) who live in a time loop under the protection of their headmistress, Alma Peregrine.  As an ymbryne, their guardian has special powers, including the ability to change into a bird.  Trouble is, she's stuck in that form—and at the worst possible time.  With their home in ruins, their leader unable to communicate in anything but squawks, and wights hot on their tail, it's up to the children to save their beloved headmistress.  The question is: how?  Without Miss Peregrine to instruct them, they'll have to rely on their own wits to outsmart the monsters and return their protector to human form before the problem becomes irreversible.    

Rumor has it that one ymbryne—Miss Wren—remains free, safely hidden in London, circa 1940.  The war-torn city holds dangers of every kind, but Jacob & Co. have to risk it in order to save Miss Peregrine.  Along the way, they'll encounter friends, foes, and everything in between.  In the midst of all the excitement, Jacob has to confront his growing attachment to Emma Bloom, the irrepressible firestarter who's stolen his heart.  He's also worried about his parents, who are surely frantic with worry over his disappearance in the present.  If Jacob survives this escapade, he'll have to make the toughest decision of all—stay with Emma in a time loop that will forever preserve their youth or return to his own time, where he can be with his family, but not the girl he loves.  It's an impossible choice, one he can't bear to think about, especially when he needs to focus on saving Miss Peregrine, her charges, and the entire peculiar world.

Like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children before it, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, offers a compelling, action-packed story peppered with humor, romance, and suspense.  Eerie vintage photographs make the tale especially memorable, even if Riggs sometimes has to stretch a little to make the pictures fit the story.  Still, Hollow City remains every bit as enjoyable as its predecessor.  If you like quirky, creepy adventure tales, you're going to love this series.  I do.

(Readalikes:  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Library of Souls, both by Ransom Riggs)

Grade:


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 Hollow City from the generous folks at Quirk Books.  Thank you!
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