Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (2015)
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Mystery
Reading Time: 17/09/16 – 24/09/16
*This review will contain spoilers about Miss Peregrine and her most peculiar children*
Hollow City is the second instalment in Ransom Rigg’s fantastic creation of a world. We join the characters where they left off in book one and are thrown right into the action. They are desperately trying to escape the Wights and Hollows that caused them trouble at the end of the first book. The aim of the game is to restore their guardian Miss Peregrine to her former state as a Ymbryne, not a bird (the form she is currently trapped in). The peculiars go on what seems to be a very back and forth journey to try and achieve their goals.
This novel introduces us to new peculiars and new loops, which were both interesting and bizarre. The structure of this book, entwining vintage photographs to accompany the narrative, makes for a visual reading experience. When these new characters are introduced we know we will be able to study a truly weird photograph of them and see them exactly as Riggs intended. Arguably, this is both a good and a bad thing – whilst it is a different and entertaining experience to see these photos, it does take away the creativity of the reader to some extent. I found myself disagreeing with how the characters were meant to look, Bronwyn for example, despite the photographs, was a character I imagined to be older and taller than depicted. She is the mother figure (along with Emma) in my eyes, she protects the younger children and just doesn’t fit the image of the girl in the photo. Overall though, before this book became a big deal because of the movie, I picked it up because of the photos and this was a feature I enjoyed throughout reading.
As far as sequels go, this one is pretty darn good! I love these novels because of how action packed and fast paced they are. You get so much adventure in these pages, making it very hard to put down! Being introduced to new characters outside of the loop we have known from the first book is really awesome to read about. We feel the isolation the peculiars are feeling as they try and escape the Wights and wonder how alone they really are. The discovery of more of their kind make both the characters and the reader grab onto this hope.
Riggs is fantastic at his endings in my opinion – not only did we get the massive bombshell that the bird the kids had been carrying around with them and trying to save was not in fact Miss Peregrine, but her evil bother, but we also get left on yet another cliff hanger! I am glad I am reading these books when the full trilogy has been released, otherwise I don’t think I would be able to wait very easily for the next instalment! As a side note, Hollow City is accompanied beautifully by Tales of the Peculiar, the compilation of peculiar fairy tales released in 2016. This book is presented with the perfect elegance that you would expect from the tales that accompany the children throughout Hollow City. It’s so cool to see yet another aspect of Rigg’s world brought to life even more for the reader.
Let me know what you thought of this book, I can’t wait to read the next one in the series, keep your eyes peeled for my review on it! For my review on the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children click here.