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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Living with Peculiar Children

One day not so long ago I was browsing the Kobo bookshop for a new eBook when I came across a very interesting sounding  young adult fantasy story. Well that’s what the cover suggested. And per usual I was hooked by curiosity. So I bought it and plunged in. When I came up for breath I just had to buy the two sequels.

The Peculiar Children Books

Now what was it about the cover that fascinated me? Well, only the amazing image of the so called vernacular kind. For those like me who have no idea what this means, these are photos of normal day life that can take on the appearance of an artful positioning.

Maybe you remember from your childhood, looking at photos like this. Thinking about contortionists, very posed children and stern faced adults. Observing marvellous animals. The author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the following books had collected a number of these vintage photos for himself. Then he decided to write a story around them. And what a tale it is.
Olive

Artful you say. Well what else would you call it when the young girl  on the cover appears to be hovering just off the ground. Meet the lighter than air Olive.

Actually they don’t get to the big city with large clocks until the second book but it goes to show what you can do with old photos when you use your imagination. Some young lady most certainly levitated here.

Ransom Riggs has a marvellous imagination and intertwines the yarn around these old photos with a masterful skill.

Buried Within a Time Loop

Threads of Peculiarity

The Peculiar Children books are basically noted as Young Adult Fantasy. However, as per many fantasy books there are touches of other fantasy themes threaded through them. Predominantly a dark fantasy, some urban myth shows up as the children and the peregrine have abilities that the ‘real’ word scorns to believe exists.

And I suppose if you believe peculiars are not real then some place very closely related to our earth and history runs snugly parallel, where characters can float from one to the other with relative ease.

Then there is the epic hero who fights evil and a touch of fantastic romance that ‘kisses’ the tale as it proceeds.

Amazing Events to Stir the Blood

Set in Florida, Wales and England the story follows its nose through the set of amazing events that take place in these conjoining parallel earths.

Start with a grandfather in Florida and impossible tales. Follow on to the world that doesn’t believe and leads to shrinks. Goodness me it is enough to make you not want to tell people anything outside the normal. And the shrink leads to Wales. But all is not what it seems.

Children caught in a time loop that our hero manages to time travel to. And what do you have? The basis of a riotously good adventure. And all the children are pretty peculiar. Now that allows for some pretty good tricks too!

Hollowgasts and Wights

Then there are the bad guys who want to subsume the peculiars. Strange enough to make you shiver.Hollowgasts nil humanity in your shoes. The nightmare figures once were human like you or me. But greed and the search for power changed them into Hollowgasts. And they became the bane of the peculiar children and their mistresses.

Hollowgasts are not the dead end of  the bad guys though. Some evolve into Wights. Even badder guys. Wights are smarter and they crave power.

The pot is getting crowded with all this peculiarity. We have tentacle mouthed baddies, fire throwing young ladies, ones influenced by air and the earth. And a young fellow who likes fooling around with the hearts of recently deceased beings.

What peculiarities come Next?

Not long after reading the book, the movie came out. And I went and watched it, not something I usually do when a movie comes from a book. Too many fingers stirring the plot often moves a long way from the original good story. This movie didn’t stray too far but if you haven’t seen it yet I really recommend reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children first. The changes made for the movie will certainly compound if one or two sequels are made based on the next two books. Without that original plot the following books will need more twitching and tweaking as the base facts have changed.

Oh, you could look the changes up but what is the fun in that! Both book and movie are enjoyable but I prefer the book.

And as for the basic category of fantasy being Young Adult, well you are only as young as you feel and think. So this category suited me perfectly. If you too are young at heart and like a really good read, head off to Kobo and take a look at the eBook. Or if, like me, you love actual books Booktopia has them for you.

 Buy eBook Button  Buy book Button

Each creature’s link to the Peculiar Children’s books is done through a link to Ransom Riggs. This way you can obtain each book individually, procure the boxed set or look at other peculiar books Ransom has created.

I predict you will love them and reread them many times.

 

 

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Helen

16 Comments

  1. HI Helen, great review. I must say, I saw the book in one of our local stores. I made a quick browse and boy I was fascinated. I didn’t purchase the book yet though but was amazed when it was made into a movie. I love the genre and I love the story. I think there were some slight deviations though, that’s why I realized that before the sequel hits the theaters again, I must read the trilogy to appreciate it more. Over-all, just basing on the movie, I’d love it. What more the book when I get to finally read it. I’m happy you made this review. Now I really should get the books. =)

    • JR, thanks for your comment. Fortunately the deviations weren’t too great. Sometimes the story is almost unrecognisable by the time the film makers finish with it. And generally the story has to be captivating before it is made into a film. So why change the story that first caught people’s interest.

      As I said, I did quickly get the second two books immediately after reading the first one. I must stop reading so fast! I keep running out of books.

      I would love it if you visited me again and obtained the books here.

      Ciao
      Helen

  2. Hi! This was a scintillating review of a book that I have never read, but a movie that I have indeed watched.

    I also tend to like the books better than their movie counterparts. I can have a bit of a problem if I go to see the movie first.

    Would you consider it a good read even if I have seen the movie? Will it still catch my interest?

    • Michelle, I don’t think for this first movie it will lessen your enjoyment of the book. Changes will need to be made if the next two books are made into movies. And as per life each repetition tends to increase the required changes.

      I will be watching any subsequent movie but will clear my ‘book’ mind before doing so and try not to make comparisons.

  3. Hi Helen,
    I’m glad to have found your review. It really does sound peculiar. The first I’d heard of this story (didn’t know it was a book series) was when the movie came out on Netflix. I haven’t watched it yet but now, having read your take on it, I sure will. I agree that the books are most times much better than the movies but I’ve decided I’d rather watch the movie first so I won’t be disappointed. Have you read all three novels?

    • Caroline, yes I have all three books. I like the way I found these as by then all three were available. I hate having to wait for the  sequels! When these are too long coming I have to reread the previous ones. With my paperbacks, and long series, the first book looks really dilapidated, the second less so and so on and so forth.

      My issue was  that the few changes in the movie will mean more aggressive changes if they make more movies. And that means lesser authenticity. 

      But I still can’t wait to see any forthcoming movie sequel.

  4. This is quite a cool little site.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your review on Peculiar Children books and actually considering buying.
    I am very interested to keep exploring your site as it has me intrigued and looks very interesting.
    Keep up the good work!
    Have they recently made a movie out of these books? Or is that something different?

    • Andrea, thanks for you nice comment on my site. 

      I am a little slow on the posting at the moment but some good books and author reviews are in the pipeline.

      Yes a movie has been made on the first book. There are some changes in the movie. After I saw it I went back and confirmed those changes. But I must say compared to most movies based on books these weren’t too significant in this movie. However I believe any subsequent movies will deviate further to compensate for the initial changes.

      One can only hope the story isn’t damaged.

      Ciao
      Helen

  5. Hey Helen!

    I’ve been interested in the story around these books for a while now, but I never knew the whole story about them and the author and it’s awesome!

    I think I’ll get them for my wife, she loves this kind of peculiar books and I’m sure she’s going to enjoy this collection a lot.

    Thanks for sharing! 😉

    • Israel, I suspect your wife will have to fight you for the reading rights once you get the books! My partner who is a die hard sci fi fan actually loved these.

      Thanks for your comment and why don’t you get some names of the peculiar books she reads and put them here so I can go and read them.

      Ciao
      Helen

  6. Awesome review. Im a huge reader and Im always looking for different books and series to read. I had heard about the book before the movie came out, but had never read it. Now after this review I think I’ll give the series a try. I love that you have seen the movie too, it’s always a shame when the book and the movie dont match up. Thanks again 🙂

    • Jessie, fortunately the changes were not too drastic. My only thought is that once something is changed it snowballs as the story progresses. I can’t tell you what as I never appreciate someone else telling me what the whole story is about. Although I did like the movie I enjoyed the original book a bit more.

      I would love you to visit my post again if you decide to get these books. There is are links to the bookstores in it.

      Ciao
      Helen

  7. I am still thinking of how brilliant the idea is to collect old photos and weave entire storylines by studying them and giving them new life. I’m not the most creative person, but that really seems like a great way to fashion a scenario that could spark an expansive tale. Thanks for the introduction to what sounds like a great series. Also, are those roots or tentacles coming out of the mouth of that sculpture?

    • Bosa, I always loved looking at those old strange photos. With the portrait ones everyone looked so stiff and formal (dare I say unhappy and uncomfortable).

      I thought these books were a great series. I still have a couple of questions about several little things that happened in the book but didn’t conclude. You never know a fourth book might appear one day.

      That image was a conglomerate I did. Those thingies are supposed to be the tentacles. They had them in the movie if I remember correctly.

      Ciao
      Helen

  8. Looks like an intriguing fantasy that you don’t want to miss! This makes me want to take look at the movie as well, though it seems like one should first take a look at the novel as it would give a different gratification of its own as you have pointed out. Things like time travel and time loop always grab my interest so I am anxious to see the time loop scene besides all the other magical and supernatural events unfolding.

    The characters are really interesting too (especially the peculiar children) as they are so different from one another and well thought out. As a nature lover, it would be really interesting to see the sweet attraction and bond, Fiona & Hugh would share just like the bees and flowers.

    I just couldn’t stop my self not to watch the movie trailer and it was refreshing with some great CGI effects! I can still remember Asa Butterfield (Jacob the protagonist) acting in the movie “A brilliant Young Mind’ which I really liked. So Helen, I totally agree with you, I will never be old for fantasy! Thanks for your lovely review and keep producing them, all the best!

    • Hey Dishan, what an in depth comment. You have now inspired me to write some more articles. I seem to have gotten myself stuck in an infernal loop of binge reading. Now all I need to do is get it down on my site. I have taken a look at your site too and am going to keep in touch with you via comments there. Feel free to dip into my site at any time and do a random selection of posts to comment on.

      Ciao
      Helen

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