Tuesday, August 14, 2012




I had already heard great things about this novel, but when I finally started flipping through it, I had to buy it.  (And this is coming from a librarian... who usually borrows books.)  The images that I found inside... the old photoraphs... they just really seemed like works of art, and I knew right away that this was a book that I needed to have on my personal shelves.

This is the story of Jacob, who is a bit of a loner and is generally disappointed in the way his life is going.  He has grown up listening to his grandfather's fantastic tales of life in a children's home where he kept company with children who had unnatural skills.  He even gave Jacob some photographs of these peculiar children.  As he grew up, Jacob realized that the stories were just that--stories, and the photographs were obviously fabricated. 
     One day, however, Jacob receives a strange call from his grandfather.  He rushes to his house, thinking his grandfather's mind has finally slipped completely.  When he arrives, he finds the house a disaster and his grandfather, savagely attacked, in the nearby woods.  After listening to his grandfather's last words... a warning to go to the island; it was safe there; he has to find the bird... Jacob sees a glimpse of some sort of creature that he is sure killed his grandfather.
     After months of therapy, it is decided that Jacob should go to the island in Whales where his grandfather once lived to confront his fears and his past.  What Jacob finds is a whole new world, one that repeats September 3rd, 1940 over and over again.  Jacob meets the mysterious Miss Peregrine and her charges, and he must decide if he will follow is grandfather's footsteps and protect this new world, or if he should return to his "old" life, his normal life, which is no longer safe.

Ransom Riggs is one of those authors who, literally, creates a whole new world with his writing.  His names for things and the concept of the loop can be somewhat confusing, but it's also what makes the story wonderfully strange.  The images in the book are what draw you in, and Riggs ties them so perfectly to the story.  It's like a picture book for adults with all the same awe and magic remembered from childhood.  The adventures of Jacob take him into fantasy and history.  I cannot wait to see what Ransom Riggs does with the story, and from what I can tell on his blog: http://www.ransomriggs.com/, I will get to find out next year!  He also has put out a book of found photographs like those seen in Miss Peregrine's, and I can't wait to get my hands on that as well!

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