The first novel that I have completed of my 2016 reading challenge is Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, which is the second novel in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. I chose this novel for the category ‘A YA Bestseller’. I actually had purchased Hollow City back when it first came out in 2014, but as I have previously mentioned, at some point I fell out of reading books and so the novel just got added to a pile of books on my bookshelf, just waiting to be read.
I read the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a few years ago right after it first came out and I remember becoming immediately immersed into the story. Hollow City has the same affect on a reader, drawing you in immediately and taking you on a ride filled with twists and turns and never letting you go. If you have not yet read the first novel, I highly recommend it and if you have and have not yet read Hollow City, do it now! Don’t wait like I did.
Hollow City jumps right into the story right after Miss Peregrine’s ended, with the group of peculiar children, (Jacob, Emma, Enoch, Olive, Claire, Brownyn, Hugh, Horace, Millard, and Fiona), all escaping their loop with Miss Peregrine, who has become stuck in bird form, from the wights and hollows that are after them. The novel is divided into two parts, and Part One centers around the children getting as far away from the wights as possible, which eventually leads them into another loop, where they meet a group of peculiars even more peculiar then they could have imagined. There they find what they need to do to save Miss Peregrine and they leave the some-what safety of that loop to go on a journey to save the woman who has become a mother to them all. Part Two of the novel, we mostly find ourselves in 1940 era London, during World War II, as the group fights their way through a city being destroyed by bombs and war, all so that they can find another ymbryne to save Miss Peregrine.
This was just one of those novels that I never wanted to put down. From the moment the book starts, you’re immediately drawn into the drama of the situation that is occurring and the fight to live and to save their ymbryne never ends. Things constantly happen and go wrong and the peculiar children find themselves faced with many dilemmas throughout the entire novel. Once again Riggs does an amazing job not only with writing, but also with tying in these beautiful vintage photographs that really just help send the book over the edge.
I, personally fell in love with Part Two of the novel, when we get into war-torn London during World War II. I’m a bit of a history nerd, especially of the World War II era, and I love how harrowing Riggs describes the scene. I especially love the pictures that were chosen for that portion of the story and how beautifully and seamlessly he tied the photos in to the description he had created. At one point the children find themselves with a dilemma, and it actually leads to one of my favorite quotes.
“It wouldn’t have made the least bit of difference,” Millard said. “Their deaths had been written into history. Even if we’d saved their lives today, something else would’ve taken them tomorrow. Another bomb. A bus crash. They were of the past, and the past always mends itself, no matter how we interfere.” (279)
I’m not quite sure what it is about this quote that I love, but it speaks to me on such a level that I will go so far as to say it is probably my favorite quote of the entire novel. At this point we see just how helpless these incredibly strong and powerful children really are, out in the real world, even if it’s not technically the real world anymore.
The novel continues from there and it just seems like our poor peculiar children can never catch a break as more challenges continue to arise which leads up to the cliffhanger ending, when the children get separated and Jacob finds out a secret about himself that makes him more powerful then he ever knew.
I honestly can’t rave enough about this book. I definitely have to give it a 5/5 and now I need to go buy the third installment of the series Library of Souls, so I can discover what happens next!