Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs

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I covet books with a unique identity both visually and in form, therefore after a brief rifle through its silky pages laden with strange and wonderful images, Ransom Riggs’ #1 New York Times Bestseller was a very delicious prospect indeed…

We learn almost immediately that Jacob is a confused teenager with a therapist (I know, hold on). But unlike many (MANY) of his literary contemporaries, he is not troubled by any of those clichéd, pubescent issues; he is instead struggling to figure out who his Grandfather is; a liar, a cheat or a wholly misunderstood and perhaps magical man?

…..

Writing the above paragraph, I became aware that my description of the plot was not awfully tactful for those who may want to read the book; it is perhaps a little transparent to what lies in store for Jacob. However, I have not revealed anything that is not revealed in the book’s opening pages and therein lies my reservations towards it. If you would indulge me a metaphor for just a mo…You approach a creepy old ghost train, the steam pumping out the colour of slime and parts hanging off in all the right places, you fear for your life as you stumble up its cracked steps but as you set off, you soon start to predict when it’s going to take a wrong turn or hit a piece of broken track. You sink back in your chair, and doze off. I am not well-read in ‘ghost’ stories but I was eagerly waiting to be hurled from the train by my well-meaning companion…

Despite this slight transparency, MPHFPC has a great redeeming feature; the pictures are a delight. It gave me a real chill when at the end Riggs revealed that they were all real photographs found by committed enthusiasts of obscure photography. As I’m sure anyone who has undertaken picture research can attest to, it must have been a painstaking process to find the images to match so keenly with his story; however I suppose it is also possible that the images and text may have evolved together as they do so heavily rely upon one another.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a solid ‘ghost’ story with plenty of action and much for fans of the paranormal, but unfortunately I just wasn’t wowed in the way I so hoped I would be.

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