Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Fantasy Island
review by Maryom

As a small child, Jacob was fascinated by his grandfather's tales of the children's home where he was brought up on a remote Welsh island, of the weird and wonderful children he shared it with and of the hideous monsters hunting them down. As he grows older, Jacob dismisses them as mere stories until after his grandfather's gruesome death, he discovers a box of old photographs which show these strange children - and Jacob finds himself driven to investigate the place where all these things occurred and to lay the past hopefully to rest.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a book that may well appeal to lovers of the quirky and weird but didn't really grab me. I thought it started really well - with Jacob's dismissal of his grandfather's tales as make-believe and then his dawning realisation that there may have been some truth behind them. It was when the story moved to Wales that it tailed off a bit. I found my thoughts snagging and tripping over irrelevancies - the island and its inhabitants felt Scottish rather than Welsh, the age of the photographs didn't match the supposed date they were taken. The characters suffered in the same way - the American ones - Jacob and family, his best mate, even the staff at the shop - were better drawn than the 'peculiar children' or the other islanders.

Having said that, I read it under the misconception that it was adult fiction. I think as teen fantasy it probably works better.

Maryom's review - 3.5 stars
Publisher - Quirk Books

Genre - teen, fantasy

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