Published by Quirk Books on January 14, 2014
Read synopsis on Goodreads
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When I was little, I had this recurring dream that involved a hollowed out tree trunk that transported me to a magical world where real-time stopped. While I’m aware that I’ve likely attributed more details to the dream than actually happened, I remember it vividly. It’s precisely because of this memory that I loved Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Random Riggs, which has a similar time-loop effect, albeit much more interesting and sinister than my own make-believe world. I adored the book so much (despite the fact that it’s YA) and was thrilled when Jennifer at Bookaclious Mama sent me her copy of the sequel.
To start, let me say that the book is heavy. I don’t mean heavy as in difficult to read or overly long, but that it is physically heavy. This beautiful book is ornate and filled with real antique photographs that add a dimension of authenticity to the book. Picking up where Miss Peregrine’s leaves off, Hollow City hits the ground running and keeps up the fact pace for the length of the novel. As the children race against the clock to save someone they love, they bounce from loop to loop in search of safety. Much of the book is fairly dark (one of the loops is set during WWII), which makes it a more mature read than its predecessor, but Riggs blends history with this magical world seamlessly.
“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.” – Jacob Portman
One thing I loved about this book was the advanced character development. Although I loved the characters in the first installment, I absolutely adored them by the end of the second; Hollow City is less about each child’s abilities and more about their personalities. Rather than explaining each child’s peculiar-ness and their personal history, this book is about how the ability is simply a part of their daily lives. In addition, there is more emphasis on the interactions and relationships between the children, which adds to the book a component that wasn’t as important to the story line in Miss P.
I encourage adults and teens to pick up this book for two reasons. First, it’s fantastic, although I recommend reading Miss P. first. Second, even if you don’t read the book, the pictures are incredible. If you’re an adult who snubs YA (as I often do), I still recommend giving this one a try. It’s not your usual YA book and is actually pretty heavy for the genre. Plus, the story behind how the book came to be is fascinating in its own right – it was supposed to be a children’s picture book but the editors at Quirk Books convinced Riggs to turn it into a story.