Monday, January 2, 2012
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
It's hard to resist the creepy vintage photographs in this novel. I assumed at first that the photos were modern products of Photoshop, but they are old, and were found by people who like to look through piles of unknown old photographs. Riggs borrowed the pictures and built a story around them, which I think is really neat.
Jacob is an utterly ordinary teenager in an ordinary suburb, but when his grandfather dies mysteriously, he starts to have problems. Grandpa used to tell him stories about his amazing friends on a magic island, and how he fought monsters--was he lying to a little kid, or could he have been telling the truth? Jacob ends up looking for the real story on a tiny Welsh island, and gets more than he expected.
The writing was good, the story is engaging and creepy, and there's something original about the whole thing that is more satisfying than I would have expected from a well-used storyline. Riggs could easily set this up for a trilogy, but I got the feeling that he didn't intend to do that--though I wouldn't be too surprised to see it happen, given the book's enormous popularity. It's already being made into a movie.