Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Hollow City - Ransom Riggs

Hollow City 
Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #2
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Hauntingly Brilliant
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Right from the very first line, I knew this was a book after my heart. And by "after my heart," I mean that if you have read the first book, don't let the title mislead you into thinking it's referencing a city full of hollowgasts or anything. No, it's actually referring to the giant, city-sized hole clawed out from my heart because of how much love I needed to make room for to accommodate for this book. Seriously. That girl on the cover is me.

I've had quite a long wait between books and it's safe to say that it's been worth it. The very first thing that pulled me in was the beautiful narration. The first line reads:

"We rowed out through the harbor, past bobbing boats weeping rust from their seams, past juries of silent seabirds roosting atop the barnacled remains of sunken docks, past fishermen who lowered their nets to stare frozenly as we slipped by, uncertain whether we were real or imagined; a procession of waterborne ghosts, or ghosts soon to be."

I thought that was such a wonderful way to open up the story, not quite picking up where we left off, not quite starting off with a new beginning, just throwing us in the middle of some beautifully written not-quite action. Those lines had a way of making me feel tattered and worn out, as if I was emerging from -- or embarking on -- some harrowing journey, and it was just the first few words. It takes quite a bit of skill to do that and Ransom Riggs definitely has a way with words that is enrapturing and definitely pulled me along on this peculiar adventure.

As I opened the book, I found myself wondering what fate would befall the cast of characters previously introduced in the last book. While I won't give anything away, I will say that it was definitely a rewarding wait and I absolutely loved what they discovered upon their journey to London. While the first book was centered around Jacob's visit to one particular loop, this time they've got a whole lot more to explore.

I loved the direction the novel took and the way story elements we've already explored came together with things newly discovered in this books to create a new and exciting experience. I found this book to move a lot faster than the previous one, which definitely has to do with less background establishing and more plot advancing. I can appreciate both in their own regard and I found that both were necessary in their own situations and suited to each book so you can't really compare the two, but I do like the fast-pacing as a personal preference.

We also see a great deal of character development come out in Hollow City. I really grew to like Emma's character more and more, but that's to be expected considering she's Jacob's right hand woman. What really tickled my fancy, so to speak, was how great the other cast of peculiars was written. They all came alive off the page and were way more than side characters, especially the ones we see from the beginning, like Bronwyn and Olive and Hugh. I even enjoyed reading about the people they encountered for brief moments in the book, because they were so fleshed out, it was a wonderful reading experience. The more eerie parts of the book were the ones I felt were my favorite, because coupled with the narration, they really felt like an unexplainable experience entirely.

And of course, I can't forget the photographs. They added such a surreal and unearthly feel to the book and it honestly tied the whole thing together. The pictures were artfully placed so they weren't distracting and it was clear that a lot of thought was put into placement and positioning. In addition, the content of the photos was stunning and they were all quality images and beautifully taken. I loved that they were genuine vintage photographs and how it all gave the book a haunting effect.

I've just spend paragraph gushing about how much I loved Hollow City and honestly, the whole feel of the book was just so my style that I couldn't help but fall head over heels in love with it. It was one of those books that just sucks you in and never really spits you back out exactly the same way and to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.

- Noor

What books chill you to the bone?
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