Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hollow City: Miss Peregrin's Peculiar Children #2

Number 1 of 50

Hollow City: Miss Peregrin's Peculiar Children #2
By Ransom Riggs

A passage I loved: It got quiet. I slowly uncovered my head. The bees were gone. So were the soldiers. Then, from outside, a chorus of panicked screams. I jumped up and rushed to the shattered window, where a knot of Gypsies and peculiars were already gathered, peering out.

I read the first one on the recommendation of a friend and found the execution within the genre very compelling. To be sure, it is a very classic coming of age bildungsroman. Kid discovers he has magical powers, finds others like him, finds a mentor, joins forces with other young people, confronts and battles a physical and spiritual evil. And I will admit that I was initially annoyed when I figured out that we were going to be using scenes from World War II. It's obviously a compelling time but it feels like millions of stories at this point have tried to make themselves seem relevant by tacking on a "and also we are fighting Nazis" premise.

However, the novel immediately distinguishes itself by the author's use of vintage photography. After collecting odd photos, the author used those photos to inspire the fascinating characters and they totally deliver. In the second book, the children are sent out in the world to face a terrible enemy and the bombed out London makes a perfect background for their panic and despair.

I'm planning to read the third and am excited to see what Tim Burton does with the movie!

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