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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

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Author: Ransom Riggs / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 13 August 2013 / Genre: Horror / Subcategory: Horror & Ghost Stories General / Publisher: Quirk Books / Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children / ISBN 13: 9781594746031 / ISBN 10: 1594746031 / Alternative EAN: 9781594744761

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      07.06.2012 22:59
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      A sixteen year old follows in the footsteps of his grandfather and discovers a forgotten secret....

      Miss Peregrine's Home For Perculiar Children is a curious book and one that might be compared, in places, to the equally strange and mysterious House Of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. But where Leaves left the reader with as many questions as it did answers, Miss Peregrine instead sets us up for what one assumes is going to be an ongoing series based around a series of antiquarian photographic oddities rescued from obscurity by dedicated hoarders and collectors of such flim-flam.

      The way in which the author weaves his story around these photographs is both intriguing and enthralling ( I shy away from using the word clever because at times this book does feel a little bit like a third grade english writing project ~ many of mine, I recall, consisting of being told to write a story based around a paticular photograph or picture) and actually works quite well. But unfortunately two-thirds of the way through, this book does begin to lose some of its momentum and it begs the question of exactly how well a sequel to this oddity might perform. As a one-off this book is quite charming, fresh and original but unless Ransom Riggs, its author, can come up with a new gimmick for its inevitable sequel then I fear that much of what makes this first novel so unique could well be lost in translation in further volumes....

      Somebody on Amazon described this as Harry Potter meets The X-Men and indeed that comes close, though the analogy is a bit of a derogatory one.

      In essence, this story is centred around a journey; that of our narrator, Jacob, who travels to a remote Welsh Island where his immigrant grandfather spent his childhood during the war and about which he spun several fabulous stories long before his mysterious death in the woods behind his home. Jacob has long dismissed his grandfathers stories as fairytales and the photographs that accompanied them as shambolic fakes but events have lead him to question his faith in reality and caused him to ponder the real truth behind these tales....

      And so Jacob and his father travel to Cairnholm where long forgotten secrets and lies are just waiting to be rediscovered.....

      At the beginning of this review, I compared Miss Peregrine to House Of Leaves. That was erronous. In fact, it is in many ways more like Justin Cronin's The Passage in that it promises much but delivers something a little bit less. In fact, finishing this I felt similar feelings to those I felt when I finished The Passage. Nominally...disappointment!

      It is not that this is an awful book, it simply fails to deliver on a few levels that end up working to its dettriment. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this but it was more quirky than truly thrilling and is better aimed at the teenage/ young adult market than at the older reader. Though I hate making too many comnparisons, another series this could be compared to was James Patterson's Maximum Ride series.

      Overall this was okay and the photos do make this an original and entertaining read. Just don't expect too much out of what ends up being an only a little bit better than average book!

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