Title: Holly City
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
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.
When I finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, I hadn’t wanted to read the sequel. In fact, I didn’t feel that the book really required a sequel. In my opinion, the first book could have been structured to be a standalone, but it wasn’t. OH WELL.
Anyway, I still hadn’t intended to buy this second book, but then saw it at Costco. Where I still didn’t buy it. I figured I’d get it from the library just to get it read. Then I flipped through it a bit, put it back, went home. THEN I saw that Jenni (previously of Alluring Reads, now of Xpresso Reads) had gotten a copy and was talking about how she was looking forward to reading it. AGAIN I hummed and hawed and before I knew it I was purchasing a copy online and when it arrived at my door, I tore open the package and started reading it immediately.
Peer pressure, folks. It’s how it’s done.
While this book doesn’t hold as much mystery as the first book, it was still a really great read. When I say “mystery” I mean that the first book was just so, well … peculiar. We didn’t know about the island, we didn’t know about the mysterious kids there. All we knew was Jacob, who was so human. So when these creepy pictures started popping up, as a reader I wondered what was going on. Who were these mysterious children? But now in this book we already know about them and their peculiarities. So there’s that certain air of mystery that’s lacking. We do meet some new peculiars, but since we already know that they exist it’s not as big of an event.
This story isn’t the first story. In this story, the kids are heading to London to try and fix their beloved Miss Peregrine. There are plenty of weird things that pop up in the story, and more than enough weird characters. I thought I might not know who each character from the first book was in this book, but was happy to see a bit of a photo album in the front of the book, with a little blurb about each character that we had met in the previous story. I referred to it here and there, but found that it was easy enough to slip back into this intriguing world that Ransom Riggs had created. It’s a dark world, mysterious, and downright creepy at times.
And the photography! The entire time I was reading this story I kept wondering how Ransom created such a story. Did he find all these pictures and line them up in a story timeframe and then start writing? Or did he write and then scour for photographs? For me, that was the true mystery that remains for this series. The books are definitely intriguing and they’ve pulled me in and kept me hooked and I still wonder how they were made! It’s one thing to have someone illustrate stories, but these books are created AROUND photographs that the author had curated. It’s just fascinating to me.
I’ve heard there will be a third book in the series and I do think it will be interesting. We are left at the end of this book with a bit of a cliffhanger, not enough of a resolution as I had hoped, but enough to get me to put the next book on my wishlist. And I’ve even heard that Ransom won’t wait three years to release it, which will be great. And I can already say that I’ll be purchasing a copy. These books are true gems on my shelf. They don’t look like all the other books and have a certain special quality about them that makes them stand out.
If you read and enjoyed the first book in this series, I’m betting you’ll love this one. Full of mystery and intrigue — the perfect read for a dark and stormy evening.