Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Hollow City draws readers into a richly imagined world of telepathy and time loops, of sideshows and shape-shifters – a world populated with adult “peculiars,” murderous wights, and a bizarre menagerie of uncanny animals. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.”
Review: I hadn’t really planned on giving the second book in the Peculiar Children series a chance. While I thought Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children had an excellent, unique mode of storytelling, the story itself didn’t captivate me. However, after reading the graphic novel version of the first book, I decided to give Hollow City a try. Once again, however, I found myself disappointed. I think it’s safe to say that I like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children better than Hollow City. Whereas the vintage photos in the first book felt like evidence for the story (as in the story itself had existed and the pictures were just proof), the photos in Hollow City felt much more disjointed. It seemed like, in this second book, certain events and characters in the story were added as an afterthought, completely inspired by the pictures themselves. It’s hard to explain, but ultimately I felt like Hollow City told a less authentic story and the pictures were not used as convincingly as they had been in the first book. Storytelling means aside, I also found myself getting tired of the characters, particularly grumpy, pessimistic Enoch. Within the first few chapters, everyone’s roles were established. Emma was the leader, Bronwyn was the peacekeeper, Enoch was the pessimist, Jacob was the confused sidekick, Millard was the intelligent but naive historian, and so on. And no one changed from those initial characterizations the entirety of the book! No one showed any real character development or did anything remotely out of character/surprising. I also felt like the plot was constantly high energy, and could have benefited from some “breaks” in between the life-or-death scenarios. All of that being said, I am looking forward to reading the graphic novel version of Hollow City and I’ll probably finish the series, if only to see how everything ties together in the end.