The conclusion of Ransom Riggs’ trilogy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Recently, I have reviewed the first two installments, the titular first novel, and its predecessor Hollow City. With the release of the Miss Peregrine’s movie in September also came a collection of short stories, Tales of the Peculiar, and the announcement of a new trilogy in the world of Peculiardom.
Released in 2015, Library of Souls continues the dark fantasy, young adult fiction series. As with the first two books, the conclusion includes a collection of vernacular photographs that theme the books. The nature of talking about a sequel in a continuing series like this adds to the difficulty of avoiding spoiler comments, continue at your own risk.
Picking up directly after the disastrous finish in Hollow City, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are left in a drastic situation. With Jake learning more about, and harnessing his own powers, the couple are joined by Addison the talking, glasses wearing dog. In a panicked chase to find their friends, their enemies are heavily on the lookout ffor the strange trio. With the assistance of some not-so-friendly Peculiars, Jake and Emma discover the central base of operations where their friends and many more are being held. If they hope to help them Jake will need to master his abilities while facing his worst fears head on. But, a dark history in the world of the Peculiars threatens to end everything the Ymbrynes have built.
The climactic finish to this trilogy is definitely not what would be expected. This dark underworld has grown immensely from the creepy abandoned boarding house in the original. Where the action and pace lacked in the first two books, Library of Souls makes up for. With high pace suspension, and the eminent danger involved, this book takes a new approach. A rich history becomes clear that has only been touched on previously, and the thrilling conclusion raises the stakes, having an effect on the entire world.
The strength of author, Ransom Riggs has been honed throughout this trilogy. Weak points of his premiere novel have been smoothed out, and Library of Souls is his strongest work yet. Where the photographs are included specifically, you can see less of a struggle to bring the images into the plot. Mr. Riggs also does a fantastic job of bringing point-of-view character Jacob full circle, a difficult challenge with a player divided by two worlds. Unfortunately, after the thrilling climax, wrapping the story up took too many words, after the pace takes a major slow down, it is difficult to finish the final pages, which feel to drone on.
An effective third installment, Library of Souls does its job in wrapping up all the loose ends, while raising the intensity. 3.5/5, for the novel and for the series. A dark tale overall, that brings you into another world. A beautiful theme of being proud of your individualisms, and that finding yourself is a personal journey. I would recommend the Miss Peregrine’s trilogy for any fans of YA fiction, and lovers of the dark and fantastic.
Thanks booknerds, happy Halloween.