Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Pub. year: 2011
Pages: 352
Editor: Quirk Books

Summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Rumors, rumors... one said that Tim Burton was thinking of making a movie out of this book, and that was enough to make me want to read it. Another said that it was awesome, and it was enough to get me started... what a surprise I had! Not only was this book very far from what I expected, it was probably even better, and I would never have guessed that a bunch of old black and white pictures would make such a tremendous effect on me, nor that it would make this book so exceptionnal I had to tell you about it.

Maybe it isn't something special (to be honest that's my first time so I wouldn't know if that is common or not), but using real vintage pictures to build a story (and leave them inside, of course) is such a wonderful idea that I regret not having it myself in the first place. And the pictures are just the icing on the cake : Jacob story, albeit quite long and slow at the beginning (I personnally enjoyed this slow enfolding of the mystery but I know that some would find it a bit too much), is a wonderful mix between adventure, horror and mystery, with undead kids, superpowers, invisible villains and a dark gloomy village on a dark gloomy island where it all happens.

I have never been very fond of horror novels because firstly, I'm a coward (let's face it), and secondly because characters are usually quite shallow there, I can never really relate to them. Here it's not the case, fortunately—maybe because it's also a children book and it makes it a bit more magical than usual. Anyway, I am very glad I found the time to read it, and I would be very glad if you find it too, because this author deserves the fame he's getting, and he deserves even more to make him write the second book as fast as he can. We're waiting impatiently!

Love old houses? Yeah, I know, awesome, right?

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