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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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Top Customer Reviews
My particular favorite of this book was how much it built of the Peculiar world and its various “peculiarities”. The bit with the souls, how they’re stolen, and their ultimate uses especially made me shiver. They actually physically disturbed me. Seeing how this aspect of Peculiar life impacts everything else was eye opening. It determines how Peculiars live and survive now, what their various ultimate fates could be, and how they eventually die.
I also loved all the depth we get to Peculiar history and folklore. We learn all the answers for how Hollows came about and get to see into the stronghold of them and the Wights. The actual body that is the title of the book, the Library of Souls, was a very intriguing idea. What could really be called a religion for Peculiars gave the overall story such body and depth. It adds a mystical element to the story and world that I loved.
The characters were just as vibrant and real to me as in previous volumes. I loved exploring all our established characters. Getting an eye into Jacob’s powers as they grew and expanded was especially interesting. His powers play a pivotal role in the book’s ending but not in a way that one would expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. I also loved getting to explore Emma’s and Alma’s pasts more as well.
I also enjoyed meeting some new faces who would play big roles in the overall story. Bentham and his gray view of the world kept me intrigued; I loved exploring the Peculiar conflict through his eyes, siding with whomever could give him the better deal. Sharon was also a fun addition. I loved his special blend of humor and guts.
The whole book was filled with intense action, constant chases, frantic escapes, and a final showdown that blew my mind. Even when things slowed down to give some exposition or background, the tension level was still ratcheted up by overlying danger or from action sequences that bracketed those wordy sections. The finale to the book was mind-blowing. The reader never expects the alliances that are struck, the friends that betray, and the format in which everything is won.
This is truly a gem of a book, definitely being added to my best of 2015 shelf. It wraps up a world truly unique in fiction, not something that can be said every day. We say goodbye to characters both old and new, seeing them resolve all plot threads and predicaments by book’s end. The story overall is incredibly tense and suspenseful, keeping the reader flipping page and page in rapid succession. I’m sad to see the world end but satisfied as well. That’s a strange cocktail to feel and not one I feel after every read. Highly, highly recommended, not just this book but the whole series.
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?”