If you’re a fan of the recent film version, Riggs’ debut novel is a must-read. His engaging writing transports you into his gothic and fantastical world, combining imagery and expression to make it difficult to put down. The voice of the protagonist, 16-year-old Jacob Portman, is full of personality and is relatable to anyone who has struggled finding a place to belong. It’s one of those books that you can read over and over, and always find some part of the puzzle you hadn’t noticed before. Riggs brilliantly entwines mystery, horror and thriller into one, making the readers’ heartbeats almost as fast as Jacob’s, while the slower-paced scenes allow time to catch your breath and gather your thoughts.
As a warning, this book it not for the faint-hearted; the imagery is quite graphic and grotesque at times, so if horror isn’t your thing, I would avoid reading this book. However, it makes a wonderful coming-of-age story, and Riggs makes a point of showing what young people are capable of in a world where adults can’t always be depended on.
The book is given an added charm by the inclusion of the macabre antique photos that inspired Riggs; they give the book an enticingly haunting atmosphere and add to the believability of the story. The fact that the photos really exist gives a certain gravity to the characters, placing them in the real world.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an inspiring and exhilarating read that deals with the protagonist’s experience with grief, and it’s also a wake-up call to the things children must come to terms with to grow up. Amongst the suspense and horror there are some truly heart-wrenching scenes that really make you feel for the characters and make you root for their success. It’s a fantastic beginning to a series that will continuously leave you wanting more. If you enjoy books with a darker side and some truly peculiar characters, and if you don’t mind a few nightmares, this is the perfect book for you.
The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs is available for sale here!