There’s only one word I wouldn’t use to describe Ranson Riggs‘ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: peculiar. And what a shame, because this is a really cool idea for a book.
Don’t get me wrong, the characters are plenty peculiar in the sense that they’re different. But “magical” or “unusual” may be better words for what these children are.
Also, the description tends to be a bit misleading. It comes off as though the protagonist, Jacob, travels oversees to a remote island to find out more about his grandfather’s past and meets “peculiar” children who turn out to be dangerous. Most of this is on point; he does travel to a remote island following the strange (“peculiar” might be a good fit here), tragic and untimely death of his grandfather. Jacob swears up and down that he saw what killed his grandpa Abe—monsters. Unfortunately, the only other person who was there didn’t see a thing and aids everyone else in the belief that Jacob has lost his non-peculiar marbles.
So, after some sleuthing to decipher the meaning behind Abe’s last words (which can also be classified as peculiar), he finds out the name of the island that Abe had told many fantastical stories about while Jacob was growing up. So he heads out with his father to find Abe’s old home, the home for peculiar children.
The characters are fairly well thought out, but none of them seemed especially unique. They were mainly cartoonish incarnations of other sci-fi characters we’ve all likely come across. Especially the villain, which had a mustache-twirling air about him.
The best part of the book was the extremely strange and often creepy vintage photographs that served as illustrations of the characters and some of the plot points.
Bitch Rating: 1.5 out of 4 bitches — A little boring, but still a satisfying read.
Author: Ranson Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Length: 352 pages (hardcover)