Tales of the Peculiar 

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

This short book contains an assortment of short stories referenced multiple times in the series, “The Tales.”

Millard Nullings has taken his favorite stories and compiled them into a book with a few of his owm footnotes and annotations. This book gives a new glimpse into the world of the Peculiar and all the legends that surround them. These stories have to do with their beginnings as well as why certain things are the way they are, in the world of the Peculiar as well as in the lives of normals.

The stories were all really short and quick reads. They are perfect for reading when you are waiting on something because of how the stories are broken up.

I enjoyed being able to learn about the history of the Peculiars and Millard’s notes made them all the better. Each story begins with a sketch depicting a character or something important from the legend. While these aren’t the photographs that are customary in the series, the sketches are outstanding and give a good focal break between the stories.

The style of writing in the legends is similar to that of the series, and that consistency makes it easy to read these stories and be able to understand things better.

I enjoyed reading this book as a way to wrap up my reading from the series, even though you could read it at any time during the series.

Library of Souls

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

This is the last and final book in the Peculiar Children series. In this book, we follow Emma and Jacob on a mission to save not only Miss Peregrine and the other children, but all of Peculiardom together. We follow the two to the darkest depths of the Peculiar world, in the corners and crevices where the evil resides and the good have been drained and turned into something that doesn’t even qualify as fully human, Devil’s Acre. Emotions drained, memories drained, and the valued elixir brings everything to higher stakes. Jacob and Emma befriend the unlikeliest of characters, unsavory and intimidating, but see that appearances are not always the clearest reality of what lies beneath the surface.

In this book, Jacob learns to control his power even more and other extents of his power that he didn’t know existed previously. Together, with the help of Emma, he does what he can for this new world that he has just entered into, but will he do it in time to save all the others from aging forward and before another mass experiment is completed. And, what about his parents?

The pacing in the book was good. Some parts were a little slower than others, but when the action was happening, the pace picked up and balanced it out. I enjoyed the insight into the new characters as well as further into some known characters. The pictures included in this book were like the other pictures in the other two books in the sequel. They were exquisite and added to the story in a way that makes it all more believable.

The ending left me satisfied. It tied everything up in neat package that answered most of the unanswered questions and gave a way to let the characters continue on with their lives, without having the need for the story to continue.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the entire series.

Hollow City

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

In this book, we continue the adventure of Jacob and the rest of the peculiars. As Miss Peregrine is incapacitated in her current state, the group has to do their best to save her before her time runs out. Running through various time loops and using their one remaining book the “Tales,” the group does their best to find Miss Wren. Led by Jacob, decided by Emma, and gently nudged by Miss Peregrine, the group finds their way through London, the place that peculiars thrive (so to speak). What starts out as a saddened journey quickly turns to one of small hopes that they might make it in time. But when they finally get to the end of their rope to save Miss Peregrine, the group wonders if they did enough and Jacob is left contemplating his future. The ending is one that, though I saw coming, I didn’t see all of it coming.

This book is written in the same manner as the first. The language used and the structure of the writing is amazing. The story keeps you captivated from the first page to the last and the pictures help add to the story in a way you never thought possible. If you liked the first, you will love the second. I can only imagine what the third book holds.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book, already made popular by the movie, is astonishing. I have to say that with this book, I saw the movie first, only because it was on TV and I hadn’t gotten the books yet. It is one of those instances when I am coming into the movie blind and don’t have any literature to compare it too. I will saw that the movie did the book justice and I will leave it at that.

The book, if you read it, read it in it’s true format: paperback or hardback. There are pictures in the book that I find hard to believe that any e-reader, tablet, Kindle, Nook, etc., will be able to do it justice. The pictures come in the story exactly where they are referenced to and this makes it easy to see what the characters are looking at and discussing.

The main character in this book is Jacob and all of the peculiars in Miss Peregrine’s care. Each child has his or her own peculiar abilities, and while Jacob doesn’t believe he has any type of peculiar abilities, he soon finds out that he does. He also finds out that he is very similar to his thought to be crazy grandfather. He sets out to help his new friends, even though his father still thinks he is crazy, as does the rest of his family. The more Jacob helps the peculiars, the more he realizes that the world is not all that it seems. He notices that the people he can truly trust are far and few between and that maybe, just maybe, his timeline needs to change to be of the best help to all involved.

Fighting the hollows and wights gives Jacob a purpose that he didn’t have before, much like his grandfather and he is able to protect, or help protect his new friends in this way. But, when it comes down to it, can he leave his family that he has been living with for years to be with a new family that he has only met a few weeks ago and change his entire life’s direction.

This story is beautifully and hauntingly written, pictures or not. The rhetoric used is powerful and only adds to the powerful story that is being told. I would highly recommend this book. It will keep you entertained for hours.

All By Myself, Alone

All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

This is Clark’s newest book, and it does not disappoint. This book comes with a slew of characters, all of varying degrees of importance. This book tells the story of the maiden voyage of a brand-new ship, being compared to the Titanic. But, like with the Titanic, tragedy is bound to strike. When someone dies, an investigation is underway, as well as the search for the Man with 1000 Faces who is rumored to be on the ship in search of the priceless emerald necklace. What first starts as a trip of a lifetime,  turns into a trip of disaster, begging the question, “Will you survive?”

This book has many characters that are introduced one after the other and at first it takes a little time to remember who is who. But once the book gets started, it is easy to follow. With each chapter, the viewpoint of the story shifts, allowing all sides of the story to be told. 

If you pay attention to the clues it is easy to decipher who committed the crimes, but it was a quick and easy read. I couldn’t wait to finish the book and can’t wait for her next one to be released!

Once Upon A Winter’s Night

Once Upon A Winter’s Night by Dennis McKiernan

I have started reading a series by Dennis McKiernan. This series evolves around the world of Faery. It has adventure, magic, retelling of old fairy tales in a fairly modern manner. In this book, Once Upon a Winter’s Night, we follow the tale of Camille and her beloved Alain. Camille lives with her sister, brother, and parents in a run-down shack. They are poor beyond belief and one day a bear comes to their home with a note that she must marry an unknown prince and if she does, her family will have riches beyond belief and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Camille sees no debate to the issue, while her family does, but soon it is decided that she go with the bear, into the land of Faery, where time does not exist as it does in the mortal realm. She soon perceives that she never sees her prince in the morn, but rather only the bear and the prince comes out at night, under the guise of a mask. What all is hidden under the mask, she does not know, nor is she allowed to know. Only that she may never see the prince, Alain, without his mask. One night, she tires of not seeing the true prince underneath the mask and she sets up a ruse to see him without his mask. No sooner than she sees him as such, then a mighty wind rushes through the castle and everyone vanishes and the castle is under attack. What then begins for Camille is a quest to find her beloved, and along the way she learns more about herself and the world of Faery in which she lives. She helps to solve riddles that are years old and helps lost ones find their true selves again. She only has her small sparrow with her for companionship and along the way she encounters help from means she never would have imagined. In the end, does she complete her quest in time, or does she lose Alain forever to the passage of time, never to hold her beloved again?
Camille learns various lessons on her journey and transforms from the naïve girl she is at the beginning; into the grown woman she is becoming at the end.

Overall the story is beautifully written. The descriptions are exquisite and always leaves you wanting more. You can truly picture yourself there and the characters, though there are many, are easy to keep separate because each one is so vastly different from the other, even ones that are of the same race. I can’t wait to get started on the second book in the series!

The Body Reader

The Body Reader by Anne Fraiser

This book was an easy read and kept me fairly well-entertained. There were a few spots I had to go back and reread because I lost track or somethings didn’t make sense, but overall it was a good read.

This book follows Detective Jude Fontaine, a woman that was kidnapped and tortured before finally escaping from her captor. When she enters the real-world again she is in for a lot of surprises. Does she go back to work and is she strong enough to face the brutal world that she now knows so much more about? She works with a Detective Uriah Ashby, and even he doesn’t trust her sanity. At various times people are considering her a threat to the workforce and the way things are run. But when a killer is on the loose, there is no time to waste and everyone needs to try and work together. But will they catch the killer in time? Or will he get away? Fontaine gets caught in the crossfire in more than ways than just one and is starting to be a liability, a liability that potentially will lead to destruction of at least one person.

This book was okay, until closer to the end where it seemed to jump back and forth between a couple of possibilities before finally deciding upon a killer. Overall it was interesting and showed various points of view throughout the story. Sometimes following Jude, or Uriah, or even a random person that you don’t know the identify of until later.

Overall it was a decent read.