Fuelled by an interest in its notability for being a novel developed by examining a series of old photographs, Ransom Riggs' MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN became a literary sensation during the summer of 2011. The photographs were amazing and Riggs did a remarkable job of bringing those pictures together and telling an entertaining and exciting story connected by those photos. That book ended on a massive cliffhanger and it's been over two years since MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was published. Now the story continues in the recently published HOLLOW CITY.
HOLLOW CITY begins immediately after the last book left off. It follows Jacob and the other children as they arrive in England and try to find a way to turn Miss Peregrine back to her human form while being chased by horrible hollowgast monsters and evil wights disguised as soldiers and police officers. Along the way they travel through time, meet talking animals, take cover during a bombing raid, and visit a strange circus.
Don't be fooled by the name HOLLOW CITY because the book is far from hollow: it's a rich, lively, exciting, and vivid novel that surpasses the first Miss Peregrine book. Like that first volume, HOLLOW CITY is full of interesting and unique photographs. It's entertaining enough just looking at the photographs in the book. However, the plot and story in HOLLOW CITY is deeper and darker than what occurred in the first novel. The reader really gets to see that these "children" really aren't children, just ancient beings in the bodies of children. The characters in the story are more developed than they were in the first book; they seem more like real people instead of just characters in a book. For example, Jacob, the main protagonist, grows from being a modern Holden Caulfield-wannabe into a real leader and warrior. His peculiarity is still developing and is still new to him, but as he learns to use and control his talent and become more powerful, he also becomes a better person. This same development continues with most all of the children from the first novel even as the cast of characters expands.
There is a bit of frustration for the reader, however, as HOLLOW CITY ends on an even bigger cliffhanger than MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. With all the twists and turns it's unclear how this saga will conclude, but all things point to a darker and even more exciting story in the next installment.