Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

Tales of the Peculiar
Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, 0.5
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I've mentioned on more than a few occasions how invested I am in the world of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children so it should come as no shock that I preordered this new addition to the series forever ago.

Tales of the Peculiar is to the Miss Peregrine's universe what Grimms' Fairy Tales are to this one. The ten stories are a collection of folklore featuring peculiars, and they're all told a little bit differently -- a clear fairytale, a life lesson, a hidden message.

I didn't know a short, standalone story collection like this was something I wanted or needed until I read this but now that I have, I can't believe I lived without one for so long.

The writing is absolutely phenomenal. Each story has its own tone, but there is an overarching style that makes the book feel cohesive and not just like a few stories thrown together. It flowed super well and there was a cadence to the writing that made even the macabre parts of the stories seem compelling rather than shocking.

The stories themselves were captivating and I loved that Ransom Riggs took this opportunity to go somewhere new. In the series, he is bound by the rules of his own plot, but here, there are no rules. These are short, standalone stories. One of my favorite aspects of the series itself actually is just the concept of the peculiars and the writing of the books so combining both these things into a book that doesn't need to follow a plot or the rules of one was super exciting for me. There was a story about a princess and about a ghost (side note: I love ghosts (also princesses)) and about the origin of ymbrynes and they took place all over the world so it was a really cool experience reading all the stories. The book is really short too -- the ten stories take up 160 pages total and it's easy to read in one short sitting.

Als, the book is narrated by Millard Nullings (who you'll recognize if you've read the series) and his character offers annotations in the form of footnotes throughout the stories. I thought this was a really nice touch and added to the reading experience.

If you're a fan of the series already, I think you should definitely read this book. It has all the elegant writing of Miss Peregrine's but with fun, new one-off stories that I don't see how anyone could dislike. If you haven't read the series, I personally would read it before reading Tales of the Peculiar, if only for a little background info (also I just like reading things in order), but if you don't have that kinda time or inclination, you can definitely still read it on its own without feeling confused!

Basically, I love it and you should all read it. On an end note, the physical book itself is beautiful and whether you buy it or not, please go admire a copy right now. It's green with a gold leaf print embossed onto the hardcover (rather than a book jacket) and it's got beautiful pages and inside print and I just love everything about this book. If I wasn't on my computer I'd put several crying emojis here.

- Noor

What's your favorite fairytale/folktale?
Let us know in the comments!

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