Review: Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

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4 out of 5 unusual stars

I hate to say it, but these books tend to put me in a slump. I don’t know why. It even took me several days to write this review. They are good but there is something about them…. It’s weird. Each book took me like 4-5 days to read, and that is twice what a normal book of this size would take. Also – this is the third book in the Miss Peregrine’s series, so unless you’ve read the first two books, this will spoilerate you. Both reviews can be found right before this one.

At the end of the last book, our intrepid heroes seemed defeated. The bird they thought had been guiding them all along was not Miss Peregrine – but her evil brother in disguise. This should be impossible, as only women have the ability to shapeshift into bird form. We were once again left on a huge cliffhanger, with a hollowgast about to attack our trapped peculiars in a train station. Riggs solved the “too many characters” problem in this one – most of our crew has been captured by the wights. We just follow Jacob, Emma and Addison, the talking dog, who is vital in finding the trail of the other peculiars.

In this one we spend most of the time in a loop called the Devil’s Acre, which was a real slum in Victorian England. The peculiars here are mostly exiles and thieves. Our group is in immediate danger, as the wights have been telling everyone to be on the lookout for them, and this place is not exactly rife with peculiar loyalty. They run across a man who wears a hood and offers to take them across the river named Sharon. (If you remember, Charon is the ferryman who takes people across the river Styx). He’s a questionable character, obviously driven by money and looking out for himself first, amongst all the poverty and danger in this world. You don’t know if he’s going to really help, or sell our friends out. Things are really, really bleak in the Acre. For the normals caught in the loop, who don’t know they are experiencing the same day, every day, there is the never-ending poverty, but things are little better for the peculiars. We see the ugly underbelly of peculiardom.

We know from the previous books there were tourist loops, where people would go and watch famous events happen. At first, I thought that was what this would be – but this is more like a red light district, where peculiars would come and do illegal or frowned-upon things. Now the wights have taken over, and things are really bad. Miss Peregrine and the other children are being kept in a prison on the other side of a chasm. So Emma and Jacob have to find a way to get over there and free them.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, but there are twists and turns, and untrustworthy folks, and we find out lots of things are not how they seem. Lots of secrets come spilling out and there’s lots of action/adventure. The photographs this time around were a lot less intrusive than the last one. They were more landscape and creepy than character based this time. At first, I was unhappy with the ending but then… well, I don’t want to ruin it, but my mind changed. It was a rollicking finale and I’m glad I read this series.

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