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Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Paperback – Illustrated, February 24, 2015
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Enhance your purchase
• Sneak preview of the third Peculiar Children novel
• Exclusive Q&A with Ransom Riggs
• Never-before-seen peculiar photography
Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
September 3, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them—but she’s trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.
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“A worthy follow-up, and as addictive a read as the first.”—Hypable
“Hollow City mixes spooky vintage photos and action-packed storytelling to continue the story of Jacob Portman and his fellow “peculiars” as they travel through time to war-torn London.”—Dan Kois, Slate
“A perfect blend of creepiness and thoughtfulness.”—PopMatters
“A stunning achievement… Hollow City is even richer than Riggs’s imaginative debut, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”—Boston Globe
“What makes the series soar, however, is not the world-building, as intriguing as it is, but the heartfelt intensity of the emotions.”—Virginian-Pilot
“Ideal for fans of Neil Gaiman and Daniel Kraus, Hollow City blends fantasy and horror into a world that will engross readers and leave them eager for more.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers
“A tasty adventure for any reader with an appetite for the…peculiar.”—Kirkus Reviews
“New readers of the series will find this novel a treat...Fans of the first title will find this book a treasure. The only downside: waiting for the third installment to find out what happens to Jacob and his peculiar friends.”—School Library Journal
“Riggs has created a fresh and original world in these Peregrine novels, with likable, quirky characters and a very readable style.”—Library Journal Xpress Review
Praise for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“A tense, moving, and wondrously strange first novel. The photographs and text work together brilliantly to create an unforgettable story.”—John Green, New York Times best-selling author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns
“Readers searching for the next Harry Potter may want to visit Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”—CNN
“Riggs deftly moves between fantasy and reality, prose and photography to create an enchanting and at times positively terrifying story.”—Associated Press
“I read all of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books and I loved them.”—Florence of Florence + The Machine
“[A] thrilling, Tim Burton-esque tale with haunting photographs.”—USA Today Pop Candy
“With its X-Men: First Class-meets-time-travel story line, David Lynchian imagery, and rich, eerie detail, it’s no wonder Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been snapped up by Twentieth Century Fox. B+”—Entertainment Weekly
“Peculiar’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. Riggs’ chilling, wondrous novel is already headed to the movies.”—People
“You'll love it if you want a good thriller for the summer. It's a mystery, and you'll race to solve it before Jacob figures it out for himself.”—Seventeen
“This peculiar parable is pure perfection.”—Justine magazine
“One of the coolest, creepiest YA books.”—PopSugar
About the Author
- Publisher : Quirk Books; Illustrated edition (February 24, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594747350
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594747359
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Lexile measure : 850L
- Grade level : 9 - 12
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.87 x 8.17 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #38,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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This is not a horror story; this is not a pee-your-pants, bone-tingler; this is not for those who wish to shut the book in the freezer. Perhaps for this reason the books have been getting a mix of praise and abysmal reviews. Know what you are reading before you rate it in the trash bin. The book is about a group of teenagers. If you expected it to be anything but a tad bit creepy and chock full of odd, then shame on you.
The adventure continues on directly where the last book left off. This beginning is not made to just walk right into; you will need to read the first novel to understand the plight the children find themselves facing. As the story develops, we get to meet even more peculiar children and even a few peculiar animals, and the pacing for the whole plot is quite right. There is a deadline to this story, and we are certainly pushed along (while also getting to enjoy the scenery). The writing develops quite nicely in this sophomore novel as well as the plot. I can really feel this author getting his feet under him.
The book abruptly ends as with the first novel. The story itself is wrapped up nicely, but we are then presented with so many new questions. Excellent form of cliffhanger. I look forward to the third novel.
By Writergirl204 on December 9, 2020
This one ends the same way - in the middle of the action. I’m sure there isn’t a memory jog at the beginning of the next one either. Trouble is, I’m not sure Im interested enough to pick it up right this second. It’s a good book, but every series needs a break point. A nice review at the front is always helpful too.
This book picks up exactly where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left off. Which is a good thing. You are left wondering what happened to them and did they succeed in helping Miss Peregrine. Well, you stop wondering in this one. You get so many more answers than you had questions, but in a good way.
I liked this one so much I am reading Library of Souls as soon as I can. Seriously.
Then I will watch the film.
If you haven't read this series, make sure to start on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. You will get kinda lost if you start on Hollow City. But be sure to read it soon. Probably the most original series I have ever read, and I even have the hubby reading it too.
One of a kind reading you can't miss out on!
Top reviews from other countries
The charm of the novel is still in the integration of Rigg's fascinating photographs. These really do add a lot to the tale and allow him to develop his plot in new and exciting ways. While the novel doesn't really contain many twists and turns (unlike the first book), it does help to develop the Perculiar world through the introduction of things like Perculiar animals and the myths and faerie stories of their kind.
Yet, this was not enough to save the novel for me. The pacing of the novel was slow and did lose my interest on a couple of occasions. Jacob's first person still seems a bit unnatural, overly descriptive and purple for an American teenager, and his internal monologues could get repetitive. I was also struck this time by how American a lot of the Perculiar children sounded, despite the fact that the were all supposed to be from the British Isles, though perhaps you could argue that this was just down to the fact that the narrator was American.
The twist of the novel, as you may imagine from my review, was also frustrating. It left the novel on a bitter note, rendering everything that the children had done a little pointless and not really resolving anything. It left me feeling as though this entire novel had been a bit of a waste of time, as well as making me feel annoyingly obliged to read on just to find out how things will conclude.
Yet, the saving grace of Hollow City were the characters. While I was frustrated that this book quickly left behind two of the female characters, leaving a predominantly male team, I did love how unique each Perculiar was. This went beyond their powers, as everyone spoke with a remarkably different voice and was given different ways to develop over the course of the novel.
Naturally, most of this develop was saved for Jacob and Emma, whose relationship evolved in a very organic way over the course of the story. While I would have liked to have seen a bit more of this (Emma's sudden rejection of him towards the climax was a bit jarring), it was nice to see the two of them bonding more and it felt as though everything was happening at a very natural pace.
So, in all, I was left a bit disappointed. The characters make me want to read on, but this novel was slow-burning and stuffed with unnecessary filler. Hopefully, things will get back on track in the next instalment.
Does it matter that there is a soldier carrying a hand-held radio in 1940, or that the inscription on a tomb in St. Pauls is described in a book as being in English rather than the actual Latin? To some perhaps, but it's a work of fiction so shouldn't really have to be factually correct. The author would be well within his rights to simply say this is a world only similar to ours, and be done with it, problem solved.
Also, talking animals. Yes, it's a bit silly and definitely far less believable than people that can turn themselves into birds, children who don't age and have special powers and let's not forget the large monsters with tentacles that only certain people can see.
Other reviewers are entitled to these opinions, which may have been sufficient to spoil their reading. For me, it just didn't. I enjoyed the book immensely and can't wait to see how the next one turns out.
"September 3, 1940.
The peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters.
And only one person can help them -- but she's trapped in the body of a bird..."
Hollow City proves to be a worthwhile sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, continuing its fresh trend of mixing vintage photographs with a supernaturally charged story. In a lot of areas I have to eat the criticisms I made in my review for the previous entry, but, sadly, new ones crop up in this adventure.
We have an enjoyable experience marred by some infuriating plot holes. Part of me doesn't think they're that big, but as they're holes that pepper the world's mechanics, it's sometimes hard to bridge the leaps in logic.
I might have to chew on my words again after I read the final novel, but part of me feels trying to fill these gaps might lead to further trouble...
Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)
Trapped in 1940 during World War Two, Jacob Portman is living his best dream and most horrific nightmare.
Just as he finds a place he feels a part of, he and the other peculiar children are on the run from an army of monsters.
But they're not without a plan.
Intent on finding hope, they turn to Miss Peregrine, their powerful guardian.
Only, Miss Peregrine is trapped in her bird form, unable to do more than watch as her wards inch closer and closer to death...
Plot - 3/5 Stars
Hollow City starts off strong, picking up where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children left us. As our cast makes their way to London, Riggs creates some vibrant events that excite and exhilarate. In some ways it feels rather forced together, almost random, but there's no denying that the plot is fun. The pictures throughout bolster the adrenaline-fueled race across a country torn apart by war, and, magically, a thrilling balance of eerie and hopeful is created.
The setting - Britain during World War Two - is an apt parallel to Riggs's plot: Terrifying forces hunting and killing those that are different. It's also a horrifying look at history. I always get this strange feeling whenever I read about real-life tragedies in fiction; it's like a hole inside that I'll never truly understand.
The first half of the novel is stellar, and while it might not move the overall plot forward much, it does a nice job of keeping the reader interested in what happens next. It's when we reach the latter half that those pesky plot holes begin to eat away at the reader's mind. They war with the fantastic action and twists that we're offered as the book closes.
These holes are tied to the series' mechanics, and they impact the fun. It's entirely possible they could be explained in the third book, Library of Souls, but, honestly, that doesn't help them here. Most infuriating is the story's lack of awareness of them, giving us no hint that an answer will be forthcoming.
Well, I hear you say, what are they?
First up are the mechanics concerning the series' time loops, days in history spelled to repeat themselves over and over. The hole comes in when the cast enters one of said loops at St. Paul's Cathedral. They stumble upon corpses of peculiars who have 'aged forward', and by that I mean they've left their loops and, away from the safety, have aged all the years the loop protected them from. The problem is, how? The plot makes a point of telling the reader that only when a peculiar has entered the present, not another loop, for a few days, will they age. The corpses our characters find are in a loop, therefore protected, so how did they age?
It's a small part of the story that punches the reader hard. It calls into question the defining aspects of loops and the impact they have on peculiars. I feel we need more concrete explanations here, because our cast is running around several different loops like there's no tomorrow.
The second mechanic put to the test is in the form of Caul, the twist near the end of the novel. He is a wight, one of the enemies of the story, and as we've been told, wights do not have abilities. And yet, Caul, a wight, can transform himself into a bird. Again, this might be covered in the next entry, but the characters and the plot don't acknowledge the sudden break of rules they've put down.
In ways, it's just too convenient; a way to move everything forward in a certain direction.
Pace - 4/5 Stars
Riggs creates a stellar structure: With a mix of action and exposition, he weaves a solid progression, ensuring a steady flow and an interesting adventure.
Characters - 4/5 Stars
It's with the cast that Riggs shines. In the previous instalment characters are a bit bland, and our main, Jacob, is downright frustrating. Well, Hollow City does a grand job of building the returning players while also introducing some colourful newcomers.
Jacob becomes more of a reluctant hero, shedding his former persona of a whiny rich kid. The other peculiars also step forward and become more solid, giving the reader a more distinctive feel for their personalities. The adventure is better for all of it, giving the reader a potent, and more emotive, journey.
New characters are a mixed bunch, which I was afraid of. There are so many cast members coming from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children that some new faces are overshadowed.
Writing - 4/5 Stars
Ransom writes a vivid world and story, and that's without the photographs; with them, there's a realistic pulse that throws the reader not only back in time, but also into a world full of magic and potential.
Overall - 3.5/5 Stars
A fine middle novel that bridges the gap between beginning and end.
- I found Riggs’ writing style quite heavy and difficult to read at first but as I got used to it again it was fine.
- Not sure how I feel about the section focused on the peculiar animals. I know that this is a book about time travel and children with superpowes but it just felt a bit too silly for my liking.
- Also the parts with the Rromani people were just bad. Full of slurs and really offensive stereotypes even if they were a bit better in their second appearance.
- The plot twist was… yeah. Wtf. I am not okay with this.
- And they ending. Wow.
- Definitely want to read the next one but did not enjoy this as much as the first.
Recommend? If you enjoyed the first one and can get past some slightly silly elements as some rather unfortunate portrayals of Rromani people I say go for it but don’t feel bad for dnf-ing or just not reading it.