Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I enjoyed the first half of this book. The plot was intriguing and the flow of the story lead me along, building my curiosity. The ideas were fresh and new to this reader, and I found myself enjoying the experience. Overall, the writing was clever, humorous, and, at times, both lovely and poetic. These aspects of the book were very enjoyable and perhaps this would change my mind about reading a second book.
However, somewhere in the middle of the book I discovered that I was not connecting with any of the characters with the exception of the grandfather. I found myself, much like his former headmistress and lost love, pining for Abe long after he had left.
The use of vintage, photographic images was, at first, fun and interesting. But after a time, I found the photo references to be forced. It was akin to jamming a square peg into a round hole. Having a peg does not justify filling holes for the sake of filling holes. This forced use of photos made me aware of the writer, something I prefer not to be aware of when I read fantasy.
The main character, (I finished the book yesterday and find myself stretching to remember his name...not a good sign. Ah, Jacob!) I felt that Jacob was mostly unlikable and not all that deep of a human being. His final decision left me questioning his moral character. I also took issue with his lack of questions upon his initial meeting with the islander friends of his grandfather's youth.
The main female lead, Emma (?) was at first, coarse and aggressive which segued into flirtatious and sexually aggressive. I did not find myself enjoying nor relating to either set of qualities and, given her age (both outward and inward), I found these qualities to be even more confusing.
The book ends abruptly with many loose ends, leading the reader into a second, and possibly third, book. This reader isn't all that interested in continuing on the new journey. Especially not a journey that sets out to find a lost character that only arrives towards the end of this first book. Sadly, I just don't care enough to find out what happens to the lost character or anyone else.
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