Book Review: “Hollow City” by Ransom Riggs

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis (so long as you have read the first book, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children), and don’t read any other part of this review.***

The Synopsis:

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.

Characters:

Jacob Portman: the main protagonist of the story; he can see and sense hollowgast.

Emma Bloom: the love interest of Jacob; she can create fire and heat with her hands. She is a leader, the one everyone turns to for the final answer on a decision.

Bronwyn Bruntley: she’s a caregiver and is nice to nearly everyone; she is very kind. She has great strength (physical).

Enoch O’Connor: he is a pessimist and irritates everyone throughout this book for his pessimism. He can bring things back to life. He also ticked me off quite a bit in this book.

Millard Nullings: he is one of my favorite characters and he is invisible, which came in handy quite a bit throughout this book.

Olive Elephanta: she is probably one of my very favorite characters. She is adorable and sweet. She can “float” I guess you could say. She has to wear lead boots or she would literally float away.

Horace Somnusson: he is an old-time sort of boy who always wear a tux and top hat. He receives prophetic dreams.

Fiona Fraunfeld: I don’t believe she has spoken thus far. She is the love interest of Hugh (down below) and can grow plants and manipulate them.

Hugh Apiston: he is the love interest of Fiona and can sometimes be viewed as overly cautious. He can control bees, which really comes in handy throughout this book. He can a lot of times be overlooked.

Claire Densmore: she is a young girl who has a “back mouth”; she literally has a mouth on the back of her head. She’s not in the book as much as the other characters (and Fiona).

Miss Alma Peregrine: she is a ymbryne (meaning she can transform into a bird) and is in that bird form throughout the entirety of this book. She is/was the headmistress of the peculiar children.

Plot:

The book starts out with the kids on their canoes/rafts on the ocean, trying to find land. Fog occurs, which is later revealed to be a last bit of protection the island was doing for them, and a storm happens and they lose almost everything they took with them.

So they arrive at this beach and see these men in these balloon contraptions, which they soon realize are wights looking for them and they hide. (Before they run, Emma and Jacob kiss. AHHH!)

They realize they will soon be found, so they run and are chased after. They run into the woods of the mainland, get hopelessly lost (after staying the night) and they open up the book called The Tales of the Peculiar because Claire will only go to sleep after hearing one of those stories. The story talked about this giant who saved peculiar animals and ended up getting turned to stone by a witch (she was sorry, but she had to do it for the hunters) in a lake.

Emma wakes up, points out a stone that looks like the giant from the story, swims out there, jumps into its mouth and slides all of the way down. Jacob follows her and then the others do as well. They discover a loop at the bottom of the giant and when they enter the loop, they realize its the one from the story. It isn’t hard to jump to the conclusion that all of the stories are really just describing loops. They meet the peculiar animals from the story. I forgot to mention that only a ymbryne can have a stuck ymbryne be able to go back into human form. So they were searching for one.

They discovered that the ymbryne of the peculiar animals loop, Miss Wren, was the last ymbryne (other than Miss Peregrine) that wasn’t captured, meaning she was the only person who could help Miss Peregrine to phase back. So the animals tell them she went to London, England because she thought the ymbryne’s were being taken there. So they set off to England to find Miss Wren.

They go back to their loop (after leaving Fiona and Claire behind because Claire was sick and couldn’t be left alone) and are captured by gypsies before they realize they are peculiar. Then they hide them when the wights come looking for them. They become friends with the gypsies and then leave for a train the next morning.

They are captured at the train station by wights (with Bronywn’s trunk with Miss Peregrine inside left on the train) and taken to a shed (the gypsies who helped them were there as well) where they are nearly killed when Hugh rescues them (he had hid and evaded capture) by his bees who stings all of the wights to death and they take off. They meet the train at a stop and find the trunk and Miss Peregrine.

They look for Miss Peregine’s peculiar pigeons (they’re the ones who told her to go to London) who would certainly know where she was. They are looking for them when the bombing raids come and they find one of the pigeons. They follow it down to the crypt beneath Saint Paul’s Cathedral where they find two twin peculiar boys who take them to their loop.

They are nearly killed when a girl in the loop, Melina, thinks they are wights. They finally convince her, realize two hollows have found them after they used their powers (only Emma and Jacob went up the well to the loop) and they run (with the pigeon, which turned out to be Melina’s), find the others, escape from the wights and run (whilst bombs are being dropped; yikes!) and go into a house which turns out to have a young girl Sam (who later turns out to be peculiar) and her little sister, Esme.

They stay there not very long when bombs are dropped closer to the house and to make Esme feel better and stop crying, Enoch makes his soldier come back to life, which alerts the hollows to where they are. They run and bombs are being dropped and one hits the house, killing the two hollows and Sam gets impaled, but is okay. Esme is fine.

They leave and let the pigeon guide them to the loop where Miss Wren is. They enter and are in a carnival and get through that (after noticing a clown following them) and go through a freak show when one of the freaks guides them to this old building covered in inpenetrable ice.

Miss Wren  is in the crowd and takes them inside because that’s where she’s been staying. They tell her of their predicament and she says she can help turn Miss Peregrine back into human form. They leave her to it, meet all of the freaks (who turn out to be peculiar, including the following clown), and are told they should fight the wights and hollows with them.

Millard wants to hide, Hugh wants to fight, and the rest look to Emma for what they should do. She’ll do whatever Miss Peregrine says and then they ask Jacob. Emma pulls him away, tells him she thinks he should go home. After thinking for a while, he decides that is best and then he hears that Miss Wren is almost done. They watch as she turns only to realize it was her brother who is a wight named Caul.

He kills the girl who froze the building and the ice melts. They are all captured by the wights and taken to present day. Jacob and Emma manage to free themselves (the others are still captured with the wights) and get trapped in a phone booth with the dog from the peculiar animals’ loop. A hollowgast finds them and breaks the glass. Jacob somehow speaks and controls the hollowgast which saves their lives and allows them to leave.

Then the book ends.

My Theories:

I think the next book is going to pick up right where this one left off. If not, then not very long after that. I think they are going to somehow rescue the others, save Miss Peregrine and the other ymbrynes, and either kill or somehow trap the wights. This series is one of those series that is certainly hard to rpedict exactly what is going to happen next, which is one reason that I love it so much. Definitely recommend that you pick this one up!

My Thoughts:

I would give it a four point five out of five hearts just because the beginning was a bit slow for me, but it was still amazing and once I really started getting into the story and refamiliarizing myself with the world, I could not put it down. Highly recommended!

8
4.5/5 hearts

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

 

 

 

 

 

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