Hollow City

Hollow City

Title: Hollow City

Author: Ransom Riggs

Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: February 24th 2015


Five Stars

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“You can’t feel bad every second. Laughing doesn’t make bad things worse any more than crying makes them better. It doesn’t mean you don’t care or that you’ve forgotten. It just means you’re human.”

After everything that happened to them on Cairnholm – nearly losing Miss Peregrine, losing the orphanage when the time loop didn’t reset itself, and nearly being murdered by the wrights – Jacob and his friends are forced to flee the island. Jacob has made the choice to stay in 1940 and along with the other children and Miss Peregrine, still stuck in her bird form, they start rowing to the mainland. But the wrights aren’t going to let Miss Peregrine slip through their fingers when they nearly had her. The children all know they need to get to the mainland before nightfall but it’s hard when all they have are rowboats on the open ocean.

Then, once they make it to the mainland they discover they are anything but safe now. Still chased by the wrights disguised as soldiers they are forced to flee for their lives, running until they can’t run anymore. They think they find safety inside another time loop and while the wrights can’t follow them the hollowgast already inside the loop has them in its sights.

Once they reach safety among the peculiar animals, safe in their menagerie at the top of a mountain, they receive some terrible news. If Miss Peregrine is not returned to human form within the next two/three days then it’s unlikely she will ever become human again.

“In reaching toward Emma, I’d risked everything – was risking it again, every day – but in doing so I had grasped and pulled myself into a world once unimaginable to me, where I lived among people who were more alive than anyone I’d known, did things I’d never dreamed I could do, survived things I’d never dreamed I could survive. All because I’d let myself feel something for one peculiar girl.”

With very little time left Jacob, Emma and the rest of Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children need to make their way to London to find Miss Wren, the only other ymbryne they know of who hasn’t yet been captured by the wrights. But the soldiers are still close on their tail and it becomes all they can manage to stay one step ahead of them.

When they arrive in war torn London they are faced with monumental challenge. How can they find one ymbryne in a city of millions of people when she is already hiding from the wrights, and how can they do it in the few days Miss Peregrine has left before she is stuck as a bird forever?

…The Characters

“Jacob, inspector of shadows, miraculous interpreter of squirmy gut feelings, seer and slayer of real and actual monsters.”

Jacob has accepted his peculiarity and has stayed in the 1940’s to help Emma and the other of Miss Peregrine’s children, but he seems to lack confidence in his gift. Compared to the other children he has no proper knowledge of what he can do and what his limitations are. He is also very aware that one wrong move on his part could result in them all being captured and killed by one of the hollowgast they face on their journey. Still despite his doubts every time he uses his gift he learns a little more about it, and becomes a little more able to hunt down the hollowgast.

He has a steep learning curve ahead of him, and there are times when he feels very much in his grandfather’s shadow. Abraham was a great man and a great peculiar and Jacob doubts he can live up to that legacy. However in spite of everything he gave up when he chose to stay in 1940 with Emma he doesn’t regret his decision. He still thinks of his family and what he left behind but he knows he made the right choice for himself.

“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”

We learnt a lot more about the peculiars as people in this book. In the first I felt like they were more of less defined by their powers ­– Hugh the boy with bees in his stomach or Bronwyn the girl with incredible strength – but in this book we saw more of their personalities and they become a lot more real for me. Hugh became the boy who loved his bees, saw them as friends and mourned when they died, and Bronwyn became the mother of the group, caring for and nurturing the younger peculiars. They all worked well together as a team despite moments of friction; and despite being lost and scared and alone for the first time without Miss Peregrine in human form they all made a monumental journey.

We were introduced to more peculiars in this book as well; the peculiar animals, including Addison the boxer dog with a human mind and Deidre the emu-raffe and other peculiar children who were victims of time loops already ravaged by the wrights. It felt like the world of the peculiars opened up a lot more in this book and I loved learning about it all.

…The Setting

“There was romance in the unknown, but once a place had been discovered and catalogued and mapped, it was diminished, just another dusty fact in a book, sapped of mystery. So maybe it was better to leave a few spots on the map blank. To let the world keep a little of its magic, rather than forcing it to divulge every last secret. Maybe it was better, now and then, to wonder.”

In the first book we learnt the basics of the peculiars; their history and their abilities. In Hollow City it felt like the world Ransom Riggs created for Jacob and his friends opened up so much more. We learnt more about the wrights and the hollowgast and saw a lot more of the time loops all over Wales and London which hid so many peculiars, all with their own stories to pass along. There was a lot of information about the time loops themselves in this book, Hollow City expanded wonderfully on everything we already knew from the first book. But in spite of all the peculiarities there is still the fear and devastation of the Second World War to try and cope with. The bombs which destroy streets and homes, the wreckage and the lives left in ruins seemed a shocking contrast to the wonders of the peculiar world.

I had a few issues with the plot in the first book, but in Hollow City there were no complaints I could make. The story moved forwards a lot quicker from the start; there was more tension, more action, and more of a plot to actually develop. I was on the edge of my seat for the last few chapters, and after the ending all I can say is that I’m glad I don’t have to wait for the third book to be released.

What did you think of Hollow City? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

43 thoughts on “Hollow City

  1. I’m soooo happy to see that you enjoyed this one even more! 😀 I think Hollow City is my favourite out of the whole trilogy! I just loved the direction the plot went and there was always something happening – which kept me on my toes and made me want to read the book even more. You’re lucky that you don’t have to wait for the third book! I had to (though the wait was only three or so months for me) and it was killing me.
    Amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hollow City is actually my favourite of the trilogy as well (which I can say for sure now having read all three books!)
      It seemed like everything that was built up in the first book came around in the second and there was a fast paced plot alongside the character and world development.
      God I couldn’t have imagine waiting for the last book! Luckily I didn’t have to but I am waiting for more than a few series so I guess it’s swings and roundabouts!
      Thanks Anna! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series! It’s one of my all time favorites, and why Ransom Riggs is officially one of my auto-buy authors. Hollow City in particular was my favorite in this series – mainly because, like you said, it opens up so much more than the first book and you get to really dive into the peculiar’s world. I felt like it was faster in pace and had just the right amount of suspense.

    I also read your review on the first book and agree about the pacing. It took me forever to finish the first book because of that but I was ultimately glad I did. Great review as always! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s become one of my favourite series as well, I’m currently about halfway through the third book and I’m really enjoying it, there’s so much going on I don’t know what I love the best.
      A few people have said Hollow City is their favourite as well. I’m really enjoying Library of Souls but I can see what you mean about Hollow City, there’s so much we’re introduced to it makes it feel like the world is opening up more, the third book has gone back to being more about the story again.
      It didn’t take me ages to get into the first book but I did wonder what all the hype was about when I finished it, it wasn’t really until Hollow City that I started to get into the series. I’m glad I carried on with it. Thanks Melissa! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! ♥

        I’m glad you’re liking Library of Souls so far. I can’t wait to see your review for it!

        Yep! I think the thing I ended up loving the most about the books is how Ransom really wove in the book of tales that was in the book into the actual story and how it becomes a guide of sorts for the characters. Which is why I’m really excited for the fact that he is publishing that book as a book. It’s going to be interesting to read. 😊

        It was the same for me – not really getting into the series until Hollow City.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m just over halfway through so it’s getting interesting, the plot is moving quicker and there’s a lot at stake at the moment!
        Yes, I love reading about the world-building and the setting of a lot of fantasy books and it’s something Ransom has done really well with this series. Yeah I saw that was being released as well, I’ve added it to my to-read list already!
        I think Hollow City was the book that really got the plot going you know, the first book felt more like an introduction to the world and the characters! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He really has! I feel like he put so much into really making the world in the series so unique, interesting, and unforgettable. And I really can’t wait to see how it translates to the big screen!

        I feel like that’s first book in a fantasy series syndrome. There’s always so much more world building/introduction in the first book that it can sometimes take away from the plot or make it move really slow. Which is something that some don’t like but a lot of the times if you can move past it the books usually turn out to be incredible. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh neither can I, but if the trailers are anything to go by its going to look amazing! I’m kind of a little excited to see the second and third films (if they make them and all) just because there’s so much more development of the world in those two!
        Sometimes it works in spite of that. V.E. Schwab’s books tend to start a little slowly just because of all the world building and character development that goes into them. I won’t say the first book of this series was great, but it allowed the second and third books to really take off. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Me too! Hopefully the first one does well so we get the second and third one. 😃

        I’ve heard that, about V.E. Schwab’s books (which I need to get with it and read one already lol). But I agree! It wasn’t great but it was the perfect launching pad for the rest of the series. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!
        Ohh yes you definitely DEFINITELY need to get around to V.E. Schwab’s books. I recommend her to literally everyone!
        Yep, books two and three seemed to really move forwards with the story arc. They were a lot better!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I was actually talking about ADSOM with someone recently and I think as soon as I’m able to I’m going to order it. *adds to the binge read fest*

        I’m filling up my TBR for the next few months apparently. 🙈 (In between whatever else I decide to randomly pick up lol)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re the second person that’s said that so now I’m a little worried my expectations for Library of Souls are too high! 🙂
      But I definitely agree with you on the more action point, it was one of the main things I thought was missing in the first book so I was glad there was more in the second! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I guess this series isn’t for everyone, and at least you gave it a try so you can always say that! 🙂
      I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first but if you didn’t enjoy the first I won’t recommend it to you. There are probably loads more books you have on your to-read list that you know you’re going to love! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Since I haven’t read the first, I had to skim. I hate skimming. So I’m sorry. 😕
    But I’m glad you liked it, and if you did…then you know what that means! I’m so glad I picked it up at a garage sale: it was like, $.25!
    Love your blog like always! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No that’s all right, if you haven’t read the first then do not read this review because there will be spoilers, and I don’t want to ruin anything for you if you do pick this series up at some point.
      I did love this book, and I have a feeling I’ll love the third book just as much 🙂
      Wow, that is an amazing bargin for these books! I hope you enjoy them and thanks so much as well! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I’ve only got the first one…been meaning to read it for years! Totally thought it was an adult book for the longest time so didn’t read it (not that I’m against adult books, but sometimes in this genre they tend to be weirder).
        I def want to read it before the movie though! I hope you like Library of Souls! (Found the name for the third one)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh, OK, well that’s still great value for the first book in the series then!
        Hopefully you’ll be able to get around to it soon, but no it’s definitely young adult more than adult. I read more YA than any other genre as well. I think you’ll enjoy it, the whole series has been good so far and the movie looks amazing! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I’d love to see the movie! It looks like there are a lot of good books lately that could be awesome movies. What sucks is when an author sells her book to a movie company, and then they never make it. It happens more than people know, and that’s why sometimes something that’s been out awhile never gets made.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh yeah that is shame. There were a few books I remember being optioned that I was really excited about because they were favourites of mine but then nothing ever happened! Still I’m excited for this movie, and the Fantastic Beasts one as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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