- Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Quirk Books; 1 edition (September 22, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159474758X
- ISBN-13: 978-1594747588
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,188 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Hardcover – September 22, 2015
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From the Publisher
An Amazon Best Book of September 2015: When we last saw Jacob and his peculiar companions in Hollow City they were in the kind of danger that left me chewing my fingernails waiting for the next book to see if they make it out alive. The Library of Souls did indeed pull me off the previous cliff, but if you know Ransom Riggs and the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, you know there is more where that came from. As we’ve come to expect, the third book in the series has an abundance of strange and absorbing black and white photographs that came from all sorts of places yet look as though they were created just for this particular piece of the puzzle—at this point, the photos provide an undercurrent as critical to the overall flow of the story as the words themselves. I don't want to spoil the read so I won't tell you (as much as I'd like to...) about reversals and time loops, evil doers and acts of heroism that make up this tantalizing novel, but let me just say that I found the whole thing, from beginning to end, to be every bit as mysterious, surprising, and gratifying as I’d hoped it would be. --Seira Wilson
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—A thrilling and satisfying installment in Riggs's "Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children" series. The book picks up where Hollow City (Quirk, 2014) left off without missing a beat, catapulting the children on a dark chase through London and various time loops in a final confrontation against the evil wights and the monstrous hollowgasts. In Hollow City, the children were trying to save Miss Peregrine. In Library of Souls, the fate of all Peculiardom is at stake. As in the previous books, the characters, their relationships, and their special abilities help to inform the world-building, and the detailed descriptions set the tone, which covers the spectrum from humorous to suspenseful to downright terrifying. An old adage states that a picture is worth a thousand words, and, as in the previous books, found photographs continue to illustrate the unique cast of characters and fantastical settings. The photos collected by Riggs are a highlight, adding a believable confirmation to the spectacular narrative. Readers new to the series should start with the first book, and interest in the titles will only grow, as Tim Burton's film adaptation is scheduled for March 2016. VERDICT This YA series has strong crossover appeal; this latest volume is a must-purchase where fans have embraced the first two.—Billy Parrott, New York Public Library
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The “cliff” from which we were left hanging at the end of Hollow City was in a station of the London “tube” at the present time (Jacob, Emma, et al, having been forced through a time loop into this moment) amidst the smoke and rubble of a fierce battle fought with the wights. The survivors of the fight were facing a Hollowgast (a monster created when a Peculiar acts against his/her nature) who was intent on devouring them. The resolution of that moment was shocking and seemed overly contrived but was fitting for the story arc. The next 48-72 hours were relentless for Jacob and his crew as they searched for their missing companions and mentors.
As they searched London the side streets and familiar sights were welcoming while holding the potential for danger. Eventually, Jacob and his crew meet Sharon, a peculiar Peculiar who would take them through a loop to The Devil’s Acre, “the most retched slum of Victorian England,” where their friends were taken. This is the location of many addicted, conniving, thieving, untrustworthy Peculiar who could not “fit in” anywhere else. Its topography is the stuff of nightmares, its mysteries dark and plentiful and its intent is deception – all-in-all the perfect location for the final show down of “good” and “evil.” In that final confrontation the young Jacob learns the power of wounds and the reality that some hurts will not heal because the one harmed chooses to hold onto the injury.
The last twenty-two pages may be the best writing of the series. The story is brought full-circle finding Jacob back where he started. The dangers he now faces, in many ways, are the most perilous of all. His definitions of “trust,” “love,” “protection” are challenged beyond comfortable limits by those who had the responsibility to teach him those concepts and protect him by their use. The book ends with “closure” but that doesn’t stop Mr. Riggs from leaving some questions unanswered.
This is a Young Adult series and therefore has no explicit sex (what desire that is displayed is¬ reflective of the furtive steps of teenagers experiencing their first romance), harsh language (there is some “colorful” language, however) but some of the details of the violence & its aftermath are quite graphic. As with the previous novels, this novel is illustrated with antique photographs collected from yard sales and flea markets; there seems to be fewer in this volume, but the ones present bring depth to the story, lending it a “sepia” hue.
I will miss the Peculiar Children who were watched over by Ms. Peregrine. Actually, I will be more alert for the company of Peculiars in my present world. If I gleaned anything from this fictional series it is that being “peculiar” means ones power is unique. Such a realization raises the question of, “Just how peculiar am I?”
While there were more photos, more doesn't mean better; while Book Three had more action, I wasn't expecting the adventure to be so centered around Emma and Jacob; and I wasn't expecting the oh so neat and tidy finish with the solution to aging forward explained by a way was figured out.
I wonder if one book would have been the better way to go.
Once again, the vintage photos that inspired the story are scattered throughout the book. They are an integral part of the experience and a wonderful tool in helping readers visualize the settings, the people, and the quirks. Riggs' imagination is incredible and it's such a gift that he found an original way to share the inspirations behind the series as part of the books.
For those of you who haven't read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (1) and Hollow City (2) I suggest you start at the beginning. You'll need to know the full story to fully appreciate the different layers of the plot in book 3.
To help you out in the meantime, here's a brief outline of the main concepts and character types as listed in the front of the book. I don't believe this information would be classed as a spoiler. It's more of a reference tool for budding peculiars :)
PECULIARS | The hidden branch of any species, human or animal, that is blessed—and cursed—with supernormal traits. Respected in ancient times, feared and persecuted more recently, peculiars are outcasts who live in the shadows.
LOOP | A limited area in which a single day is repeated endlessly. Created and maintained by ymbrynes to shelter their peculiar wards from danger, loops delay indefinitely the aging of their inhabitants. But loop dwellers are by no means immortal: each day they “skip” is a debt that’s banked away, to be repaid in gruesome rapid aging should they linger too long outside their loop.
YMBRYNES | The shape-shifting matriarchs of peculiardom. They can change into birds at will, manipulate time, and are charged with the protection of peculiar children. In the Old Peculiar language, the word ymbryne (pronounced imm-brinn) means “revolution” or “circuit.”
HOLLOWGAST | Monstrous ex-peculiars who hunger for the souls of their former brethren. Corpselike and withered except for their muscular jaws, within which they harbor powerful, tentacle-like tongues. Especially dangerous because they’re invisible to all but a few peculiars, of whom Jacob Portman is the only one known alive. (His late grandfather was another.) Until a recent innovation enhanced their abilities, hollows could not enter loops, which is why loops have been the preferred home of peculiars.
WIGHTS A hollowgast that consumes enough peculiar souls becomes a wight, which are visible to all and resemble normals in every way but one: their pupil-less, perfectly white eyes. Brilliant, manipulative, and skilled at blending in, wights have spent years infiltrating both normal and peculiar society. They could be anyone: your grocer, your bus driver, your psychiatrist. They’ve waged a long campaign of murder, fear, and kidnapping against peculiars, using hollowgast as their monstrous assassins. Their ultimate goal is to exact revenge upon, and take control of, peculiardom.
The book is quite long (over 460 pages) and the plot moves through many varied settings and challenges. Action crops up frequently, the characters have great depth, and the complexities of time-travel and loops are backed-up with a logical and conceivable explanation. The end of this series was quite satisfying. I felt that story lines were resolved well, all my questions were answered, and readers were given a comforting glimpse of how the characters would fare in their future.
My favorite quote:
"Sometimes it seemed like Emma had whole conversations with me inside her head—ones I wasn’t privy to—and then she’d get frustrated that I was confused when she finally let me in on them."
In A Nutshell
The final book in the Miss Peregrine series didn't disappoint, and is filled with the same magic, action and quirkiness I enjoyed in books 1 and 2. It's another of those times when I have to accept that the series is over. Recommended for fans of original fantasy, quirk and vivid settings.
PS - Fun fact I found out today - Ransom Riggs is writing a new peculiar trilogy set in America. YAY!