Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (film tie-in), Quirk Books/Penguin Australia, 15 August 2016, 382pp., $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781594749025
Sixteen year old Jacob’s grandfather has always told stories of monsters coming to get him. When he dies after being attacked by a strange creature it starts a chain of events that leads Jacob to a mysterious island off the coast of Wales. Here he encounters the Peculiars, children with exceptional powers who hide inside a time loop to protect them from the soulless Hollows and frightening Wights. Jacob discovers his own power too and must decide if he will remain with the Peculiars or return to his own time where he will never really belong.
A highly imaginative and engrossing story, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a fantasy thriller with elements of the horror tale. Riggs has used real antique photographs of children performing strange feats or in unusual poses to assist in creating an eerie and surreal atmosphere. This visual dimension allows the reader to feel they are part of the time travel and the hidden ‘other world’ which is central to this text. The masterful inclusion of these photos forms the fabric which holds the story together, and is also a testament to Riggs’ background in film. His writing is very vivid with the two elements combined creating a chilling and haunting mood which complements the exciting and suspenseful story.
Now released as a film, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a fast paced, unusual but intriguing and gripping novel that is highly recommended for secondary school level readers. This film tie-in edition includes photographs from the movie, an interesting interview with Riggs, and the first chapter of the sequel. (The two sequels Hollow City and Library of Souls are already available.)
Reviewed by John Nolan