Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

 Katie's here to talk about the sequel to one of her creepiest favorites

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

As you may have gathered from my last book review, it took me quite some time to get around to reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Rest assured, though, I was not about to make the same mistake with the sequel Hollow City. Once I met Jacob Portman and his peculiar friends, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. In a time when I all too frequently pick up a first book in a series and promptly thereafter abandon any plans to find out what happens next, Hollow City proved to be the exception to the rule.

Picking up right where Miss Peregrine’s leaves off, we are instantly swept back into Jacob’s world of time travel, strange and unusual powers, and even stranger monsters: on a boat to mainland Wales. And while I want to tell you all the adventures this band of peculiar kids meets along the way, I’m also wary of ruining the surprises that await you as a reader.

What I will tell you is that Hollow City is perhaps one of the oddest and most wonderful road trip novels I’ve ever read. The journey from the watery edge of Wales to London is like no other--the cast of characters met along the way, the horrors of 1940s England caught up in a war set against the backdrop of an entirely different set of horrors posed by the murderous wights, and the internal struggles Jacob must face about abandoning his parents and his own time and his feelings for the fiery Emma. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, I turned the page to discover yet another surprise.

As I said about Miss Peregrine’s, I find something about these books to be on the same level as hearing a really good adaptation of one’s favorite song or tasting a delicious mac n’ cheese recipe for the first time--comfortingly familiar and yet capable of making you step back and look with new eyes (or hear with new ears or taste… meh, you get the point). One could argue that author Ransom Riggs uses the eerie black and white photograph illustrations to even greater effect in this second book. More than once, I found myself gasping in delight when I turned the page and discovered where he was taking me (i.e., never where I expected). Imagination is found on every page. 

Radio Week: "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan

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