Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

December 22, 2011
By April_M. SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
April_M. SILVER, Phoenix, Arizona
6 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Fear, thrill, and wonder: three feelings that surged through me as I read Ransom Riggs’ first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. What instantaneously caught my eye about this book was the blatant disregard of the innocence robbed from my mind as I looked through the pictures that seem to be snapshots of Stephen King’s worst nightmare. I found myself turning page after page of literary gold only a few seconds after having checked out the book. As well as being on the edge of my seat, the way Riggs hooks the reader with brilliant words that spark imagery almost as much as the pictures left me speechless. “…what I found really creepy wasn’t the zombie dolls or the children’s weird haircuts or how they never, ever seem to smile…”
Jake is your ordinarily insane teen who’s childhood was filled with lunatic stories of a far away island home to a bizarre set of abandoned children told by his grandfather as a cover up for his own shattered childhood. Following his grandfather’s violent murder allegedly due to grudges held by a furiously powerful mysterious being, Jake’s spine chilling adventure unfolds as he tries to get in contact with the imaginary set of kids living in a fictional home on the other side of the planet. Only literature as intriguing as “It stared back with eyes that swam in dark liquid, furrowed trenches of carbon-black flesh loose on its hunched frame, its mouth hinged open grotesquely so that a mass of long eel-like tongues could wriggle out,” can be accompanied by such breathtakingly eccentric photographs.
The pictures bring the book to vivid life; the story tells a tale of unimaginably relatable everyday scenes. His inventive descriptions gleaming with originality such as, “After a queasy moment in which I imagined some twisted cannibal leaping from the shadows with knife in hand, I realized they were only coats rotted to rags and green with age,” is just a grain of sand on the beach of unique phrases piecing together this priceless masterpiece of a book. Without a doubt, a splash of imagination is revealed as Ransom’s creativity shines through this cleverly planned, darkly twisted tale. I would recommend this compelling novel to anyone who loves an incredible horror story, astonishing adventures, or just a good laugh.

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