Sunday, June 26, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch:  Jacob's grandfather has been telling him a lot of stories since he was a little guy.  Now a teen, he's weeded out which are plausible and which are not - and none of them are.  He still loves his grandfather, perhaps more than anyone else, and loves to hear his stories.  Even though they've had to lock up his gramps' guns to keep everyone safe, Jacob still makes time to visit his granddad.  Then, tragedy strikes, and when  Jacob investigates, he is catapulted into the 1940s during a lufftwafe raid on England during WWII, and a remote home full of peculiar children.  And he finds out that maybe, just maybe his grandfather wasn't so crazy after all.

Verdict:  A unique story, untold in today's fiction market.  You'll enjoy the photos (which are authentic, by the way, and largely unaltered), the nostalgia, and the creativity that Ransom Riggs brings to the page.  The first third will read rather quickly, as will the last third, with the middle being almost painfully slow and redundant with impertinent detail.  Though the prose is mainly written well, and enjoyable, it drops off in the middle, and like the pacing, picks up again in the end.  The ending leaves room for a sequel but does not guarantee one, which I liked a lot.  I don't feel like I'm left on a cliff dangling and yearning for more, but I am interested to see what might happen with Jacob and the peculiar children in the next leg of their journey.  Bottom line?  I'd recommend this based solely on it's inventiveness.  Riggs wove a story around odd photos.  I mean, time loops, ymbrynes, and children with capabilities tantamount to super powers?  So fun.  Give it a try.  It's earned it's place on the NYT Bestsellers List.

Location: mostly 1940s England
Favorite Character: Emma.  She was so fun.  And she could throw fire, which is you know, awesome.
Would Change: The pacing and plot in the middle.  Tighten it up and eliminate the fluff.
Favorite Line: Not a largely quotable novel, but "As for him, God help us if that's all our wardrobes have to look forward to."  It was hilarious in context.
Good for Monster? I'm on the fence.  He'd probably like it, but I don't know if I could convince him to give it a chance.  It's got more description than I generally like and that means it's usually a good bet for him.
People Who Will Like This: circus freaks, magicians, those who feel passed over by society, daydreamers, and those who wish they could live in the 40s.
People Who Won't Like This: hallows, smart alecks, monsters, and those who failed history
Chapters:  11.  And some of them are waaaaaay too long.  I wish it would have been more like 30 chapters.
Author's Website:
Acquire It:   Amazon    Book Depository    Changing Hands
Notes: 20th Century Fox has already snapped up the movie rights for this puppy!

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Quirk Books
Publish Date: June 7, 2011
ISBN-10: 1594744769

The It's Not What You Read It's Where You Read It Challenge: (no. it's not too late to join.)
Twist Your House / Place of Commerce / Move / Nature / You Don't Call Home / Probably Shouldn't / In Pairs

Oh, that's right.  I knocked out three categories on this sucker.  I read it in Nature for an hour on a hike at Girls Camp.  I read it at the cabin, which is a place I don't call home.  And I read it while others were reading inside my cabin for an additional hour, so woot.  How are you doing?