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.

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.

The Perfect Girl

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan

This book is the second book by the author Gilly Macmillan and while it is the first one that I have read, I will try her other book soon.

This book follows Zoe upon her release and chance to being again with her “Second Chance Life” with her mom, new step-dad, Chris, step-brother, Lucas, and new sister, Grace.

Zoe was convicted of killing three of her high school classmates after events at a party turned drastically wrong and her trial didn’t go as well as planned. But, all that aside, Zoe is ready to begin a new life in what her mother has dubbed her “Second Chance Life.” They have moved and started anew. They have to appear perfect.

On the night of her revival, Zoe and Lucas hold a piano performance. Both are piano prodigies. Before the performance has truly begun, Thomas Barlow has burst through the doors and caused a scene, leaving Zoe running for the doors and everyone else aghast. This begins a long night of secrets being revealed, secrets that Zoe and her mother kept hidden from Chris and Lucas to preserve Zoe and allow her to fully move on with a new life. By the end of the night, Zoe’s mother is dead. She is found in the shed and the police cycle starts over again.

All is not as it seems as each person is interviewed the following morning and everyone has secrets to hide. This book is told from multiple viewpoints including Zoe, Lucas, Tessa (Zoe’s aunt), Sam (Zoe’s lawyer from before and the man Tessa is cheating on her husband with), and Richard (Tessa’s self-hating, alcoholic husband).

When I first started reading and each character was introduced in his or her own section it sounded very much like a diary entry because of the groundwork that was working so hard at being laid. The descriptions of oneself and others sounded to contrite and awkward because it isn’t how we talk about ourselves. It sounded like the speaker was speaking straight to the reader,even though that isn’t the way the book was set up. It was set up to tell the story from the various viewpoints so that you saw the entire picture.

The story doesn’t end when you find out who didn’t because at that point there are still other loose ends of the other story versions that need to be tied up. It only gets confusing if you do not pay attention to the name at the top of the page of each new section. It is never the same character twice in a row, but it does pick up the story right where the last one left off, so nothing is missed.

Overall the story was an interesting one and I look forward to reading her other book.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer

The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

It has happened again. A book that I could not put down. I had to squeeze in time where ever I could to read this book, and I did between work and other commitments in a matter of 2 days. It was amazing. I love how cohesively these two are able to work together on this project of Under Suspicion novels. They have done an outstanding job.

We find ourselves with Laurie, again looking for another case for her new TV series. She now no longer has Alex as her host as he is diving back into his career. Instead she is left with Ryan as the new host. There are many problems that come with Ryan, mainly that she fears he is a favorite from Brett, without much consideration of her input for her new host. But, is he really that bad? You might learn to hate him, then again you might learn to love him, but don’t let Laurie completely jade your opinion of him from the get-go.

In this new book, Laurie takes on the case of “Crazy Casey” the woman convicted of being the “Sleeping Beauty” killer and killing her fiance, but not remembering a bit of what happened. She already served her time, but wants to use Laurie and her show to help clear her name. We have many important characters including Casey, Angela (her cousin), Paula (her mother), Charlotte (who we know from the last installment), and many people from Hunter’s family (Casey’s fiance that she was convicted of killing). All these people have different perspectives on what happened and why. Everyone has secrets to hide. When do they not? While reading, I had a hunch as to who did it early on, and my hunch was well-rewarded. I was correct, but I will leave it at that. All the clues are there. Read and tread carefully. There are also a lot of red herrings thrown throughout the book, that though they are important bits of information, if you look too much into them, it will throw you onto the wrong track. Alex is no longer involved in the case as he normally is when he worked on the show, but he is still involved. Oh, is he involved, but not how you think. By the end of the book, justice is served, as always.

In this book, since it is one of getting a new sense of justice for a client it takes a different spin than the previous ones where they are trying to prove someone else’s guilt and get the limelight off the innocent. There is a lot of character jumping, but this book wouldn’t be half of what it is if it were not for all those character jumps. It helps the reader to see the bigger picture and truly understand what is going on. No character jumps just happen, everything happens with some type of break.

One more side note on Alex, yes he isn’t “involved” in the case like he usually is, but he is involved. And, without giving too much away, by the end of the book, I despise his character, to the core.

Oh, and there will definitely be another installment with how the book ended, but Alex, justice better be served…

A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark

Clark is at it again! I cannot get enough of her books. She is an amazing author and does a spectacular job at creating a suspenseful environment! In this novel, Jenny MacPartland is a single mom of two young children, whose father does not care much for them. The father, rather than providing for his kids and helping with expenses, comes to Jenny to ask for help with his own expenses, even when he knows she has very little. Jenny’s open heart makes her gullible to this as she feels unfair to not help out her children’s father. Knowing this about Jenny is important to understanding her reasoning and why she acts the way that she does.

Jenny works at an art gallery in NYC when the famous painter Erich Krueger, a landscape and portrait painter, holds an exhibit. She immediately falls in love with him. He seems perfect, and longs her for in the same way. It is a whirlwind romance, and before she knows it she is married and whisked away from her city life, to life with him in the country. Erich hides himself away in his cabin to work on his paintings in solitude to be able to work without interruption. Jenny accepts this, as he has accepted her children as his own and even got her ex to give over his parental rights. Erich is very peculiar about certain rooms in the house, rooms that may not be entered or touch because they are as they were when his mother left him forever. Jenny looks identical to his mother, adding to this odd attraction as everyone on the farm is astounded by this notion. As the days continue, Jenny is sending her further into solitude and soon, she has been disconnected from her own children as well at the hands of Erich. With lonely days streaming ahead of her, and hints of Erich’s mother’s ghost roaming the halls and property at night, Jenny sets out on her own adventure to uncover the truth about his past. When tragic events collapse upon each other, Jenny discovers a horrifying truth that threatens to forever change her future.

This was a captivating read and a true page-turner. Clark leaves clues throughout the story so that you can uncover the truth yourself, but there are parts that you do not see coming that will chill you to the bone. This novel does begin with a cut scene from further in the book, but it truly sets the stage for the novel and makes you begin to question everything that happens and if you really can trust what you hear and see. Falling in love can be tragically beautiful, or tragically dreadful for all involved.