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Book Review: Hollow City

Title: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Fantasy & Action ("Horror"?)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewer: Julia

Maybe this title isn't that familiar to you, but what about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? Yeah? Well, this is the action-packed, emotion-filled, much better sequel to that book, and the second book out of the trilogy. Not that Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is bad, this one's just simply better (in my opinion), but if you haven't read it yet check out my book review on it and pick it up soon.

Moving on, Hollow City is a great teen book. (Note: teen, not that teen books are less, I just don't think it compares to some amazing adult books, of course. But I did give it 5 stars, so it's still great, if that's not too confusing.) It's got a good amount of friendship, character development, and plot action to exceed expectations and nicely satisfy the reader.

Let's start with a little summary, okay? Also, spoiler alert! Don't read this if you haven't read the first book because there are hints to what have happened in my review and it will also be a bit confusing. You have been warned.

Hollow City picks up where Miss Peregrine's left off: with Jacob, Emma, and the rest of the peculiar children along with Miss P herself rowing in three little boats across the water to the mainland. When they get to the shore they have to figure out what to do next, and after a quick visit to another loop full of peculiar animals, they have one goal in mind: to save Miss Peregrine before she's lost to them forever. You see, she's trapped in her bird state and cannot transform into a human, and, bit by bit, she's losing her human self. If they can't cure her in time, she'll be forever trapped in her bird state, and the children will have lost their mother-like figure.

Tragic, I know.

The whole beginning is actually a bit of a low for the characters, as they are at a loss at what to do (this is before they visit the other loop) and scared. Tied in with self doubt and some tension between characters, this part is certainly a low, but it's all kind of beautiful, too, and dragged me into the book. Already I was seeing how much I was going to enjoy this book, from the sense of adventure to the stronger characters. And this was before I came across the plot twist at the end.

First on the list: adventure. I already knew that there was going to be a good bit of action in this book after reading the first, but this one even more so. Recall how much action was packed into the last scene of Miss Peregrine's? Well, just think of that exciting pace except for pretty much the whole book. A real page-turner, I must say, and that's always great. (No reading slumps in the middle of this book; yippee!) And if you are a fan of really exciting endings don't worry: the ending does speed up (in a reasonable way; not like some rushed or sudden ones) and slaps you in the face, which I'll get to in a bit. First I have to explain what I mean by "stronger characters".

In this second installment of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, Riggs really digs into the characters. This involves relationships (some good and some bad) between the children and how they interact with one another, individual feelings (not just Jacob, mind you), and self-growth (being chased by monsters really does that to a person). I really loved how Riggs did this, not just the fact that he did further develop the characters but in the way that he did it. It made me really see the peculiar children as people, rather than just names that I had I hard time of keeping straight. (Guilty; that was definitely me while reading the first book.)

All of this is great and kept me happily turning the pages, not to add the wonderful descriptions and pictures that have continued on in this book, but that's not all. Oh, no, it's not. Riggs just had to go and hit me with that ending.

Ah, the ending. What's so horrible (yet wonderful) about it? Well, as I said before, it was exciting and contained a plot twist, which was amazing. And then there was a bit of a cliff hanger. Ahh! How wonderful and painful they can be. The ending really was unpredictable for the most part. When I thought one thing was going to happen, no, it went in the opposite direction. It kept on turning and twisting until it stopped right in the middle of something exciting. Some people might not think of it to be a cliff hanger, and maybe it's not really one. At least for me, I did not think it would end there and was not hoping for it to end there. But alas, it did.

Overall, this book was amazing and a joy to read. Just when I thought that Riggs couldn't possibly top the wonderful thing that was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, he not only did it but he did it so beautifully.


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