Welcome to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
FOR FANS OF
Percy Jackson & The Olympians
– and –
The Chronicles of Narnia
For only child Jacob Portman, life is as un-extraordinary as it can get for the heir to a pharmaceutical fortune.
Surrounded by caring (but relentlessly oblivious) parents, a douchehole ‘best friend’, and a grandfather who seems to have fallen off his rocker several decades ago, Jacob goes through the normal motions that is the life of the average American high school teenager. But when he encounters a creature unlike anything he’s ever seen—anything remotely human—in the woods one night, his life flips a complete one-eighty. The crazy war stories his grandfather has been telling him since he was just a kid suddenly don’t seem so crazy.
“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing them becomes too high.”
– Miss Peregrine
In a quick succession of unlikely circumstances, Jacob finds himself on an island in the middle of nowhere called Cairnholm where he hopes to find the mysterious children his grandfather swore were real (despite the popular opinions of every family member) and their overseer.
Insert a mysterious portal where time is different on the other side, a bird who can manipulate time, a girl with pyrokinetic abilities, and an invisible boy among myriad others and you’ve got an instant YA bestseller. Augmented with carefully selected vintage portraits from yard sales and professional collectors that Riggs put together himself, Peculiar Children is told with both words and images—sometimes haunting, sometimes fascinating, usually a curious mixture of both.
“Sometimes it’s better not to look back.”
Though it takes Riggs until the halfway mark to get to the strange characters whose arrival the reader is so desperately awaiting for the first few hundred pages, he lays a solid foundation from which to work for the sequels. And, though this reader would prefer they were introduced a bit earlier, the wait doesn’t feel so long once things get going. And while it doesn’t have any overbearing coming-of-age thematic elements, Jacob’s identity crisis is a strong one as he tries to balance fake friends with real ones, friends and family, the real world and this new one he’s just beginning to dip his toes into.
One thing is for sure: Life was never ordinary.
The ending doesn’t feel like an ending at all, which is right proper (as the Brits might say) because no story has a true ending. With at least two more books in the Peculiar Children series, Hollow City (2014) and Library of Souls (2015), Riggs is sure to go down in YA fiction history as household a name as Suzanne Collins of The Hunger Games phenomena, Stephenie Meyer of the Twilight frenzy, or even J. K. Rowling, who needs no title or introduction (other than The Queen perhaps, to which I affectionately refer to her as.)
And in proper YA bestseller fashion, the movie version of Riggs’ novel under the same name opens in theaters September 30, 2016 and stars Asa Butterfield as Jacob, Ella Purnell as Emma Bloom, and Eva Green as Miss Peregrine.
Thanks for reading 🙂