Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1
Published by Quirk on June 7th 2011
Number of Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
This sounded good, and since my friends have been raving about it, and the movie based on it is coming out this month I decided to finally read it. And it was good, but it also wasn’t…
Let me explain. You know those first-in-a-series books that spend so much of the book setting up the story that it doesn’t really feel like an actual story? Yeah. That was this book. Some parts of it were interesting. Some parts dragged like crazy.
Almost the entire first half of the book is about Jacob and growing up on his grandfather’s stories. And how after his grandfather dies, he thinks he’s crazy and is sent to a shrink. After close to the half-way mark, he finally sets out for the island his grandfather grew up on. And we finally start seeing some of the things promised in the synopsis.
But even then, it’s in tiny bits and pieces. The book just dragged on and on for me. And then all of a sudden, after all the plodding along the book does, towards the end it suddenly picks up speed and you’re thrown into a spurt of action! Which then dies again for the last handful of pages as it continues to set up for the 2nd book.
The pictures were neat. A few of them were slightly creepy, but not overmuch. The book itself? Not creepy at all. Jacob was kind of boring actually. He only had one friend, and that one he said more than once was because he was helping the guy not fail English, in exchange for the other kid keeping the bullies away from him. And normally I would wonder exactly why Jacob didn’t have friends, and expect him to end up with lots of them once he found the Peculiar Children. But I just couldn’t care enough about Jacob as a character to wonder or care.
If not for the fact it’s Tim Burton making the movie, I don’t think I’d bother going to see it either. Your mileage may vary, but I won’t be reading the next book in the series.