Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I would give this three and a half stars, leaning more to the three. The novel started slow, but picked up as the story progressed. Backstory bogged down the first chapter. Most of the narrative in Chapter One could have been woven into the remainder of the novel. There was a lot of narrative and little dialogue throughout the entire book, and the pacing seemed off at times. This is a story that screams for action sequences, fast paced and full of dialogue. The settings are shown to the reader in wonderful detail, artfully written, but the characters reactions in action sequences sometimes read choppy and forced.
This story concept has potential that was wasted. It's a relatively short book, and I can't help but wonder if some of the long passages of Jacob's inner thoughts were added to fluff the word count. I enjoyed the pictures. They added a unique twist to the novel.
As far as plot and characterization, I think the novel suffered from lack of credibility. Not of the situation, but of the characters actions and reactions. If I found myself in such a circumstance, I don't think I'd react as calmly as Jacob. This would be a harrowing situation for anyone, let alone someone of Jacob's seemingly weak character and immaturity. I expect stronger reactions to nightmares come to life.
I would have liked to get a better idea of the inner conflicts Emma might have felt. Her character is important to the story, but so little of her personality was shown to the reader. As was the case with all of the peculiar children. They are written more as caricatures of carnival freaks than humans with real emotions. Their personalities were one-dimentional at best.
Would I recommend this book? Maybe. If you don't have something more compelling waiting.
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