Ransom Riggs final book to his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children trilogy, Library of Souls, provides a rather exhaustive collusion to this peculiar adventure story.
[The following will contain some spoilers.]
I have been reading the paperback editions of the Miss Peregrine trilogy as they’ve been released over the course of the past few years and I couldn’t wait for the paperback of Library of Souls to be released. I have just finished it moments ago and I’ve yet to discover the correct word to describe the conclusion provided in this trilogy.
Let’s begin with the premise.
The Miss Peregrine’s trilogy is the story about a boy, Jacob Portman, who begins a quest to learn the secrets of his grandfathers past. This quest unravels into an adventure as Jacob learns that he isn’t exactly ‘normal’ and has within himself some abilities that set him apart from other people – and allows him to enter into a world that is only accessible to people like him.
In this alternate world that Jacob enters, he encounters other people similar to him. People that his grandfather once spent a lot of time with. These people are known as Peculiars – and they all have certain abilities that make them unique. These abilities however, have made them the targets of creatures that have gone evil. When Jacob enters this world, these evil creatures are just beginning a new attack on the Peculiars which is what the trilogy is essentially about.
It is interesting to note that the Peculiar trilogy takes place over the course of only a few weeks. This I found a bit irritating at times.
One of the major aspects of this trilogy is how Riggs uses photo’s to propel the story forward. In the first book, the idea felt unique – in the second book, the photo’s seemed to flow quite well with the story but by the third book this aspect of the book seemed quite forced and just seemed like a way for Riggs to add to the word count.
Anyway, it’s time to focus on Library of Souls.
Library of Souls begins exactly where Hollow City ends – there is no elapsed time between the books. Jacob and Emma, along with the peculiar dog Addison are being pursued by some evil creatures – the same creatures that had kidnapped many of their fellow Peculiar friends. These creatures want Jacob for reasons that Jacob isn’t even aware of yet.
Without giving away too much of the plot of Library of Souls, I need to discuss the part of the book that I found annoying and distracting – how contrived the use of the photo’s were in this book in comparison to the previous books. It felt like whenever Riggs had trouble trying to effectively tell the story, he’d grab a random photo out of hat and haphazardly try to work whatever was in the photo into the story. Way too many times in this book this was done very clumsily and I just wanted to stop reading.
I can’t recall how many times I wanted to DNF (“did not finish”) this book. It felt like Riggs had purposely dragged out this story 150 pages or so way too long. I felt at times like I was just pleading with the author to just make it all end. After awhile, every “twist” in the book began to feel like a punishment from the author. “Here, let me take 50 pages and 10 photo’s to explain this wonderful twist I came up with that I could have left out entirely.”
Needless to say I spent a lot of time flipping through the pages trying to figure out how many more pages I must endure before the chapter ended. The worst part about this is that I went into the book all excited, but half way through I really no longer had the ability to care how the story ended. Was the ending favorable? Disappointing? All I know is that I was just happy that it was done.
Although I didn’t review the first two books on this blog, I’ll provide the ratings I gave them below.
★★★★½ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
★★★★ Hollow City
★★½ Library of Souls
The low rating is due to how quickly the book caused me to lose interest half way through it. I remember the excitement I had for the first two, and the excitement I had when I began Library of Souls – but all the side stories that were haphazardly worked into the final book caused me to lose interest.