Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

‘What a beautiful day to go to Hell.’

This is the third book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs, and I was keen to see what happened next after the cliff hanger ending of ‘Hollow City’.

‘Library of Souls’ opens exactly where ‘Hollow City’ finished.  Jacob, Emma and Addison (the Peculiar dog) are in the present day, trapped by a Hollow.  Jacob is the only one who can see the Hollow.  Right at the last moment before being eaten, Jacob discovers that he can (sometimes at least) speak their language and control them.  Jacob is a very special Peculiar; can he protect other Peculiars?

Jacob, Emma and Addison were part of a group of Peculiars, but the rest of their group have been taken.  They try, using Addison’s keen sense of smell, to find where their friends have been taken.  Thus begins their descent into a Peculiar form of Hell, courtesy of Sharon (no, not Charon) the Peculiar Ferryman.  And that is where I’ll stop describing the story: interested readers will surely want to take this trip for themselves.  Some questions will be answered, new questions will be raised, and Jacob will have ample opportunity to use his Peculiar skills.

I’ve also just seen the movie of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ I believe that ‘Library of Souls’ is the finale of the series, but ‘Tales of the Peculiar’ has now been published, which has more information about the Peculiar world.  For those of us who want or need more.  While I’m glad I read this instalment, it didn’t hold my attention in quite the same way as the earlier books. Some parts were Monty Pythonesque (which is not a bad thing, but may have had me laughing inappropriately at critical moments).

The things I like most about this series is the way that Mr Riggs has constructed his stories around old photographs.  He has imagined possibilities and constructed a world (or two) to contain them.  The execution doesn’t always work for me, but so what?  In fiction, anything is possible.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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