Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Trilogy, by Ransom Riggs
[Image courtesy of Goodreads.com]
I read the first two books a couple of years back, but when the third book finally came out in 2015, I didn’t get a copy immediately, even though I had enjoyed the first two very much. I think it had to do with the fact that while I could remember the overall story line and most of the characters, I couldn’t remember the details, and I was sure it would affect my experience with the third book. Yet, if I were to reread the first two books first, they would probably not be as interesting because I could remember the key events and the “mysteries” that made me turn the pages were no longer mysteries. I wasn’t sure I would have the stamina to get to the third book. This is exactly why I dislike reading series that have not been completed.
Well, the good thing here is that this series has only three books, and over the new year holidays, I decided I had forgotten enough of the first two books’ details to make them an interesting read again. And so here I am. Finally. And as a result, my thoughts here deal with the series as a whole, instead of just the third book.
First, I think Riggs has created an interesting premise. The peculiar children not only had unique “skills”, but also distinct characters that helped to make them three-dimensional and believable. And through the protagonist’s first-person narration, Riggs has also tried to describe moral dilemmas that added shades of grey to the situations encountered by the children, unlike the clear black and white lines between good and evil sometimes used in young adult fiction.
Second, sometimes I felt like I was reading the Narnia Chronicles and His Dark Materials at the same time, with something extra thrown in. I think it was because the story had heroes (and heroines) who were children, and yet was interesting enough to engage adults too. And I guess the British way the children acted also helped. Plus, the way Riggs was able to subtly use British and American English in the dialogues probably helped to shape how I imagined the characters.
Third, I don’t know how Riggs managed to fit the photos in, but they were all so apt! I would certainly like to know whether he looked for the right photos to fit in with his story, or whether he used the photos as inspiration for his characters and story.
And finally, the ending was hilarious.
VERDICT: This is probably one of the best young adult fantasy series I’ve read so far, besides the classics (think His Dark Materials) that I love. Go try it!