by Ransom Riggs
This is the follow-up novel to the hugely successful MissPeregrine's Peculiar Children. You definitely need to read that one first in order to understand what’s happening in this one. It picks up immediately after the final pages of the first book.
The series introduces readers to an X-Men style cast of characters. Each one is an outcast in their world because they have some sort of special power or ability. One is lighter than air, another can make fire with her hands, another has incredible strength, and another is invisible. The children are all on the run because they are being pursued by an evil group that’s trying to destroy them.
The real twist with this series is that the book is filled with antique photographs that are worked into the story. I know that for most people, this aspect is their favorite part. I feel a bit differently. While I love the photos themselves, I struggle with the fact that the story feels too dependent on them. It felt like every time the author stumble upon a strange photo, he manipulated the plot to work it in and it felt very forced. I get that he is making up stories to go along with the photos he finds, but it often felt intrusive into the bigger picture he was trying to tell. I wanted him to focus a bit more on the characters and less on showing one more eerie photo.
I do think that this one advanced the plot in an interesting way, but I was hoping it wouldn’t feel quite as driven by photos as the first one did.
BOTTOM LINE: I enjoyed it, but I’m just not on the edge of my seat in the way I feel like I should be. The novels are so full of action and suspense and if I’m two books in and not too worried about what comes next, that’s not a good thing. I think I’ll probably skip the next book because the series has failed to really hook me so far.
*I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.