First Lines: We rowed out through the harbor, past bobbing boats weeping rust from their seams, past juries of silent seabirds roosting atop the barnacled remains of sunken docks, past fishermen who lowered their nets to stare frozenly as we slipped by, uncertain whether we were real or imagined; a procession of waterborne ghosts, or ghosts soon to be.
For having been three years since I read the first book, I was impressed by how much I remembered. I guess the book was weird enough that some things just stood out. But I did want to read it, even though it had been so long. I totally ship Ransom Riggs (the author) and his wife, Tahereh Mafi (the author of Shatter Me). They are so freaking adorable on Twitter, you guys, and I just want more Ransom in my life.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
It’s 1940 and immediately after the first book ended. Jacob and his friends must get to London, after their harrowing escape from Miss Peregrine’s island. London, the peculiar capital of the world, is the only place they can get help for Miss Peregrine. Along the way, they’ll encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and surprises even darker and more dangerous than they could have ever imagined…
I don’t want to give too much away, because I think surprise is a huge element of this book. I never quite figured out what would happen next. I mean, there were a few small times where I was like, “Of course, this has to happen next,” but other than that? Didn’t have a thing.
The story slowly eases readers back into the world. I give a huge kudos to whoever decided to make a photographic character guide in the first few pages. It was absolutely necessary and so helpful. But also the story just slowly brings the characters in and their peculiarness. It was much better than just diving into things.
I wasn’t expecting this book to be so intense. The ante has certainly been raised here. There were twists and surprises all the time. Nothing was what I expected and no one could be trusted.
I appreciated how intricate the story was. I know YA gets a lot of flack for having predictable plots and being full of fluff, but this would give a lot of adult novels a run for their money. Lots of symbolism and parallel events. (The English teacher in me would find this.) So yeah. Take that adult books. This has all of that and it’s entertaining, which some “adult” books are not.
But I just had a little bit of an issue with the story. Because it’s so fantastical, I just have a real problem picturing what’s going on in the story. The pictures in the story definitely help, but it’s not always enough. I just don’t have enough to base my mental images on. It makes it hard for me to sink into the story.
Overall, it’s a very entertaining and intense read. I just struggled to understand everything that was happening.