Wednesday, November 4, 2015

REVIEW: Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls
by Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Quirk Books
Page Count: 458
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover

How got: personal library; pre-ordered from Amazon

First attention getter: I'm an avid follower of the series already

Synopsis:

From GoodReads:

The adventures that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued with Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.

As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.

Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography.

My Thoughts:
Star Rating - 5

Well this volume was a truly satisfying conclusion to the Peculiar trilogy, if a sad send off. I want more of this world, dang it! LOL It ties up all plot threads, adds more to the mythology of the Peculiar world, gives explanations where needed, and gives us a rousing, nail-biting conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat.

My particular favorite of this book was how much it built of the Peculiar world and its various “peculiarities”. The bit with the souls, how they’re stolen, and their ultimate uses especially made me shiver. They actually physically disturbed me. Seeing how this aspect of Peculiar life impacts everything else was eye opening. It determines how Peculiars live and survive now, what their various ultimate fates could be, and how they eventually die.

I also loved all the depth we get to Peculiar history and folklore. We learn all the answers for how Hollows came about and get to see into the stronghold of them and the Wights. The actual body that is the title of the book, the Library of Souls, was a very intriguing idea. What could really be called a religion for Peculiars gave the overall story such body and depth. It adds a mystical element to the story and world that I loved.

The characters were just as vibrant and real to me as in previous volumes. I loved exploring all our established characters. Getting an eye into Jacob’s powers as they grew and expanded was especially interesting. His powers play a pivotal role in the book’s ending but not in a way that one would expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. I also loved getting to explore Emma’s and Alma’s pasts more as well.

I also enjoyed meeting some new faces who would play big roles in the overall story. Bentham and his gray view of the world kept me intrigued; I loved exploring the Peculiar conflict through his eyes, siding with whomever could give him the better deal. Sharon was also a fun addition. I loved his special blend of humor and guts.

The whole book was filled with intense action, constant chases, frantic escapes, and a final showdown that blew my mind. Even when things slowed down to give some exposition or background, the tension level was still ratcheted up by overlying danger or from action sequences that bracketed those wordy sections. The finale to the book was mind-blowing. The reader never expects the alliances that are struck, the friends that betray, and the format in which everything is won.

This is truly a gem of a book, definitely being added to my best of 2015 shelf. It wraps up a world truly unique in fiction, not something that can be said every day. We say goodbye to characters both old and new, seeing them resolve all plot threads and predicaments by book’s end. The story overall is incredibly tense and suspenseful, keeping the reader flipping page and page in rapid succession. I’m sad to see the world end but satisfied as well. That’s a strange cocktail to feel and not one I feel after every read. Highly, highly recommended, not just this book but the whole series.

2 comments:

  1. So the Miss Peregrine series comes to a stellar end! I read the first one and I was captivated. I thought it was an entertaining mix of history, fantasy, mystery, and the macabre. Still, the followup novels got lost in the shuffle of romantic reads. I'm in the supernatural mood again; perhaps I'll look up those peculiar children once more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a great series to pick up if you're in the supernatural mood. Might want to browse a wiki somewhere or re-read book one, though. Book two picks up RIGHT where book one ends; same with book three in relationship to book two. If you've been away from the world for awhile, you might want a refresher.

      But the series is fantastic enough, don't think it'll be time spent wrongly. :)

      Delete