When this book was picked in our book club, I was beyond excited. It’s right up my alley–paranormal fiction and whatnot–and I’m a sucker for anything that involves pictures! Which, by the way, this book does a great job with.
This is one of those books that, from looking at the cover, I was drawn in. I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that hooplah, but toss that for a second and hear me out.
This book, from beginning to finish, is so original it makes me want to weep with joy. The concept is unlike anything I’ve ever read, and because it includes real photographs and historical elements, I was even more pulled in. We start with Jacob Portman, a sixteen year old visiting his beloved grandfather, Abraham, who is now considered senile by the family. Abraham is a Welsh man who told Jacob stories of peculiar children in a special orphanage he lived in during his youth, and although Jacob loved the stories when he was young, he’s (of course) skeptical presently. However, after seeing a strange humanoid creature with tentacles coming from his mouth after his grandfather has been gravely injured, Jacob is fearful. As Abraham is dying he tells Jacob to go to the island and find the bird, speaking of Emerson and September 3, 1940. Jacob is confused, but after seeing the creature he feels as if his grandfather was trying to tell him something.
After seeing therapist Dr. Golan, Jacob is encouraged to visit the Welsh island Abraham was speaking of to get closure. After going there and finding the ruins of the orphanage, a series of strange events leads him to be swept away by two children with special abilities; there he finds that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is, indeed, real, and that it exists in a time loop that Miss Peregrine, and Ymbyre, has designed to keep the children safe. The children’s powers range from invisibility to the ability to briefly reanimate the dead, and Jacob soon finds he himself is a peculiar in his ability to see hollowgasts, the sinister creature he saw kill his grandfather. And, by the way, his grandpa wasn’t crazy at all–he was the opposite, a hollowgast killer through and through, slaying hollowgasts and wights, an evolved form of hollowgast, for years and years. When their time loop is threatened by a hollowgast, Jacob must step into action and save all who reside in it–not only for himself, but for his grandfather’s legacy.
From the moment I spotted this book at Plains Trading Bookstore, I was in love. If you want to branch out your reading repetoire and take a peek at some good paranormal fiction, look no further. If the reading doesn’t appeal to you, the pictures surely will; each are taken from various mysterious collections, and yes, they are real. And, if you fancy the book, the movie adaptation was recently released as well! I’ll remain skeptical on that front, but please let me know how it is if you do indulge in it.
Happy trails, my fellow nerds.