REVIEW: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)

hollow cityTitle: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs 
Pages: 396
Published by: Quirk Books
Publication date: 14th January 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Amazon UK – Waterstones

Synopsis:

September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them – but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine.  But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

My review:

These books are amazing! This book takes the photography to a whole new level. In the first book they were used to introduce characters and build the world they live in so I was super curious to see how they would be used in the second book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are mainly used for setting and the places where the children journey to. Riggs would give a detailed description of the place they are in and then on the next page there would be a photograph of what he was describing. His descriptions were incredibly accurate and I was in awe with how well he described it. I could already picture the place before I saw the photograph. He did a great job!

I was also curious to see if he would bring anything new to this book. I wasn’t expecting too many new characters because we had a bulk of main characters already. I was delighted to see that he introduces freaking peculiar animals! And to make it better, two of them talk! It was so funny looking at the photograph and then seeing how Riggs had created a whole personality for them.  One of them came across as such a snob it was hilarious but I was quite fond of him. I loved seeing how everyone reacted to them and whether they just accepted it as normal because they themselves are peculiar. We got to learn about a whole history of peculiar animals and discovered they are treated much the same as peculiar humans. They didn’t play that big of a part and were just in one particular loop but at the end one of the animals comes to the aid of the children. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in the last book and seeing what role he plays in it.

Another aspect I loved was getting to know our main characters more. Towards the end of the book they all open up and reveal bits of their past to Jacob which I really loved because I felt that we didn’t really get to know much about their life before Miss Peregrine. We got to find out more about Emma too and it was so sad reading about the life she had lived but I was happy that she found Miss Peregrine. It was so touching to see how dedicated they all were to Miss Peregrine and how they all banded together to save her even though it meant rushing into an unknown world full of danger and monsters. I really liked all of the characters, especially Hugh. About halfway through the book there was a really action-packed scene with Hugh and his bees. I was literally glued to the book the entire scene it was amazing.

I loved how we got to see Jacob discovering his new found peculiarity and watching it grow and develop throughout the book was so good. He doesn’t really know how to use his power and is really unsure of it at first but the more he has to use it, the stronger it gets and the more he understands it. Each time he uses it, he notices something different that wasn’t there before and it helps him keep all the children safe. At the start of the book he is slow to use his peculiarity but the more he uses it, the quicker and easier it becomes for him. The last page of the book was so agonising because it ended so well with Jacob using his power but on such a massive cliffhanger. But luckily for me I have the third book and will be starting it immediately.

It was amazing that the book was set in 1940 because we got to see a world at war. They had to survive bombs and air raids and the amount of detail and attention Riggs put into this, I loved it so much. It wasn’t at all rushed and really captured what life was like during the war whilst also still focusing on the children and their rush to save Miss Peregrine. I thought his descriptions of the war were fascinating and it really captured my attention. It really added an interesting twist to the book and showed how scary life was during the war. It was another threat they had to survive and really tested how strong they were individually and together as a group.

The plot twist at the end was insane! Part of me was expecting something like that to happen but at the same time it caught me off guard. I was so shocked and was just like woah, what? What just happened? I was holding the book so tightly and could not stop turning page after page, eager for more. I’m so incredibly excited to read the last book but sad that it will be the end! I love these books so much, the first two have been so action-packed and full of awesome characters. They are really gripping and I definitely recommend them.

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