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Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is Ransom Riggs' debut novel.  After reading the book in its entirety I can only say that what started out with such promise, ended in a blaze of mixed feelings.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  The ending leaves several issues unresolved and is more of a beginning than an ending.  While the jacket blurb makes no mention of this being the first book in a potential series, the ending makes it clear that there must be at least one planned sequel.

Jacob's grandfather told him fantastical stories about the children he grew up with in an orphanage on a remote island off the coast of Wales.  There was the girl who could create fire with her bare hands, the boy who was filled bees, and the levitating girl among others.  When Jacob stopped believing the stories, his grandfather stopped telling them.  Years later when Jacob's 15, his grandfather dies suddenly and with his last words he sends Jacob on a journey to discover the secrets of his beloved grandfather's past.  Of the stories his grandfather told, which were true and which were merely embellishments?  Jacob's about to find out when he travels with his father to the remote island where his grandfather fled as war darkened the European continent.  What Jacob finds on the island is tragic and stretches far beyond the limits of imagination.

The more Jacob learns about the strange world from which his grandfather came, the more he realizes the special talents they had in common.  However, strange talents bring strange dangers, and the longer the home hides its secrets from Jacob, the less prepared he'll be when those strange dangers finally rear their ugly heads.  And by then it might be too late to save the strange sanctuary where his grandfather grew up.

The book starts out as a historical/family history mystery story before veering toward the fantastical, science fiction genre about a hundred pages in.  This is one of those books for which one must reserve judgment until the final page.  As such I can't say I recommend this book--but if you like strange, fantastical stories, you just might enjoy this one.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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