The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
from Quirk Books:
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
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
RANSOM RIGGS is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
He is a graduate of the University of Southern California film school
and is a writer for mentalfloss.com. He lives in Los Angeles.
Admittedly, thematically, these two books are not discussing the same things, but the setting is similar, and I think they would work as a reading pair for a lovely compare/contrast.
Both books focus on a group of children abandon on an island.
In Lord of the Flies, they are shipwrecked and left to their own devices... in which the societal structure they create degrades rapidly.
In Battle Royale, the children are forced onto the island to play a terrible game of kill or be killed... a game run by their government to keep the masses in check.
I think it would be interesting to look at the differences and similarities between these two books... to question why the boys in Lord of the Flies and the kids in Battle Royale ended up in similarly murderous situations. What was William Golding saying about his society? What was Koushun Takami saying about his?
An oppressed, carefully controlled society in which truths are hidden and fear is the weapon used to keep the masses in check... the fact that that could be describing either of these books, I think, would make for an interesting compare/contrast. Or maybe I'm just hooked on slipping zombie novels into this week's top ten since it's coming up on October -_-
Both of these deal with societies where everything about the people living in them is controlled, where everyone is being lied to... and in which there is one person who retains all the knowledge of the past, uncensored.
Or The Iliad, or the Odyssey... really, I just want to pair Riordan's Percy Jackson series with all the stories of the mythological characters that show up in them. I LOVE books that make kids want to learn, and Riordan's series has sparked an interest in the old Greek and Roman mythologies... so I think it would be a fantastic way to introduce kids to the original stories.
Ok, this is a pair that most likely won't happen... because the dream discussion on these two would be about varying opinions on religion, and various takes on belief, and what those beliefs might actually represent... but boy would it be fun to discuss what each of these authors was saying about religion.
If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life, don’t cheat…what would it be?
Hrrrrm.... this is a tough one. Really... reallyreallyreally tough. My first instinct is to name a Harry Potter book, namely, The Prisoner of Azkaban... but if I really, really, really thought about it, I think I'd want something with more to it... something that was a complete story, so that I didn't find myself longing for the other books in the series...
So my choice has to be:
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
It's filled with elements I love, it's long and beautifully written,
it's complicated and layered and it's a complete story... Something I feel I could read over and over if it were the only thing I could ever read again.
1. CooRoo from The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea:
CooRoo is the children's guide through the mysterious world of fey,
and I love him to death.
2. Puddeneen from The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea:
Puddeneen is a bewildered frog who is put to work by The Morrigan.
3. The Nac Mac Feegle from Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching Series:
There have never been secondary characters that make me laugh so danged much.
Now, you might argue that they're the main characters as well... but really,
these books are about Tiffany, and she is THE main character... so I'm counting the Feegle as supporting cast, HILARIOUS supporting cast.
4. Belen and The Monkeys from Maria V. Snyder's Healer Series:
Ok, time to fess up... it's safe to say that when reading these guilty pleasures (aka, any book written by Maria V. Snyder)... I always seem to like the secondary characters more than the main ones... so I put a few of my favs on this list... but it really counts for every book she writes, LOL.
5. Dog from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett:
Really... the whole concept is just too funny.
6. Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien:
There, I said it, I loved Tom Bombadil...
was I sad they left him out of the movies?
He would have been a bit too wacky for the mood Jackson was setting,
I think, but I still love his character.
7. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What can I say, I love the quirky oddballs :)
8. Mouse from The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher:
Harry's pet Foo Dog... Mouse is just about the coolest dog EVER.
9. Beth from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
She was just such a tragic sweetheart, and my favorite sister.
10. Nico di Angelo from The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan:
Recently I got an email from Quirk's Social Media and Marketing Manager
asking if I'd be willing to review the newly released paperback copy of
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011:
As a kid, Jacob formed a special bond with his grandfather over his
bizarre tales and photos of levitating girls and invisible boys. Now at
16, he is reeling from the old man's unexpected death. Then Jacob is
given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote
Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children
from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion
that all were killed decades ago. As Jacob begins to unravel more about
his grandfather’s childhood, he suspects he is being trailed by a
monster only he can see. A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut
author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing,
and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an
unforgettable whole. Interspersed with photos throughout, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a truly atmospheric novel with plot twists, turns, and surprises that will delight readers of any age.
The story follows Jacob, a young American boy, on his journey to not only find out more about his Grandpa, but more importantly, his own sanity. As it turns out, the two go hand-in-hand.
Middle Grade or Young Adult?
Based on the way the action paces itself, and how long children linger on terrible events, I'd actually classify this as more of a bridge book between Middle Grade and Young Adult, rather than a flat out YA novel. In other words, I think this book would appeal to both younger and older children... and I think it would be an excellent "read aloud" bedtime story book. (Er... for the children who aren't easily scared.... because while this book isn't a horror story, there is some very creepy imagery going on in it)
The storyline is adventurous, mysterious and fraught with perils, not to mention laced with history.
I always appreciate a book that can tie in real world history in a way that makes children more curious about the past... and if listening to Grandpa's stories, or the scene with Adam and the bomb doesn't do that, then I would think the Bog Boy at least would spark children's interest and imagination. Plus, the series promises to deliver quite a lot more in terms of historical referencing with the upcoming sequel.
The love story:
There are several love stories that unravel through the book, which for me was the more "YA" aspect of this story... but even though Jacob's own love story happened rather quickly, I found it entirely believable. For once, there was a YA love story with a good, solid reason as to why the girl would fall in love so quickly. All too often I read YA novels where the characters seemingly hate each other, and then three sentences later, they're in love. In Rigg's book, Jacob's "love" story is, as one would expect from a teenage boy, really something that began more with lust (as in, he thought she was really hot... and then all the "Oh, and she's pretty cool too" stuff came later). Maybe that is because this novel is written by a man, who actually had the benefit of experiencing life as a teenaged boy? I don't know, I just know when I read YA love stories, more often than not, I'm very aware that the teenaged boy in the story is acting NOT like an ACTUAL teenaged boy, butlike a sappy, boring page from some starry-eyed teenaged girl's fantasy.
This book is fantasy fiction... and it uses the fantasy aspects to propel the story in compelling ways. Often times I read YA novels that have fantastical aspects and feel like I've read the same story I've read a million times over, except this time it was a Mermaid instead of a Vampire. The "Fantasy" is just a gimmick to draw kids in, but could easily be replaced with a million other things.
In Riggs' book, I felt that the fantasy was an integral part of the storyline. It wasn't thrown in casually, it was the mechanism that made this story run. Riggs was able to take moments in history and make them even more real to the reader by not only giving us characters who had been there and lived through it, but by using the magic in this world to allow the main character to experience it as well. The same magic will also allow the main character to delve into the past even farther, and that's something that I'm rather excited about.
I'm not going to say too much, that would be a bit of a spoiler... but I will say I really loved the villains of this story. Their whole reason behind doing what they do is perfect, and reflects a kind of child-like mentality.
I really enjoyed Ransom Riggs writing style. It's fast paced, with page after page of action to pull the reader along. He also does a great job of creating an eerie atmosphere. The book reminded me of one of the haunting stories from A.S. Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories... the forest is filled with monsters, BEWARE!
READ THIS BOOK! Read this book aloud to children!!! Everything about this story was a pleasant surprise, and I can't wait to read the next one.
An alternate history of the world where the Egyptian gods have defeated
all others and have carved up the planet between themselves. Only a band
of Freedom Fighters and their enigmatic leader can free the Earth from
their divine tyranny.
So, first off... tell me what you think when you look at that cover... no, really, stop and think about it?
What do I think? Kurt Russell, James Spader... Stargate... yes. There I said it. Stargate.
That aside, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Due to my own confusion over how to feel, I went out and read several other reviews... some of which loved the book, and some of which hated it... and here's what it boils down to for me: I agree more with the folks who didn't exactly enjoy it.
I think this review by Nathan Brazil over at The SF Site really sums it up... the book just did not reach its full potential. Any veteran Science Fiction reader should have been able to see the plot twists coming from a mile away... and the things I *hoped* would happen to add variety and originality to said twists did not... instead they followed a very cookie-cutter path.
There was so much potential in the character of David Westwynter, and how he could have interacted with not only other main characters, but with the gods themselves... but it just felt like none of that was really explored. When he did interact with the gods, it left me wanting more... a lot more, and a lot more explanation as well... and when he interacted with the other human characters... well... it left a lot to be desired. Other than knowing that he's a "Generally good guy who doesn't like deep emotions"... well, David didn't strike me as much of anything special. By the time we reached the end of the book, I barely cared what happened to the humans in the story anymore.
The gods were a lot more interesting to me, but mostly because I enjoy reading the tales of different mythologies... and this was no exception when it came to filling you in on a bit of the Egyptian Gods history with one another. I was disappointed though, by who the "Big Bad" turned out to be. This is probably a bit of a spoiler (this next sentence)... but yeah, if you know anything about Egyptian Mythology... and who their prime betrayer often is... well... it's not much of a shocker. It's kind of like any story about Norse Mythology... you can pretty much expect Loki to be in there, causing major trouble somehow.
The most interesting part of the book to me, sadly, was the very end when there is a meeting between a human and a god (unknown to the human)... but by that point, I found I just didn't care that much anymore... plus, as far as I can tell, "The Age of" god series that Lovegrove has going is just filled with one-offs that are bound together by theme only... so why should I care about the end of the book or what happens to the character? I don't... and it's sad.
I'm still going to read the second book, and hope for something better, since I've heard good things about Lovegrove... because I'm not going to lie, I really want to get to the third book in the series (The Age of Odin)... and I hate reading things out of order... even if it's just the order they were written in.
I don't think I'd recommend this book... perhaps if the second book is excellent, I'll still recommend the series and just tell people to skip the first book... but I just felt like I learned very little about the characters. Their motivations all felt superficial, or totally dictated by their nature... and when it comes to "The Ancient Gods have returned" type books, I've read better.
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Have I been hearing anything other than rave reviews about this book?
Nope. I want it, I want it now!
2. The Long War by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
I'm always up for some Pratchett, and with Baxter's tendency to blow up the world,
this could prove to be an interesting book.
3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I received this one as a request to review... so it's next on my list. :)
The funny thing... even though I was contacted to read this... I'd always wanted to read it anyways.
4.The Age of Zeus by James Lovegrove
So, I read The Age of Ra... and honestly, I'm still not sure exactly how much I did, or didn't, like it... so I figure I'll at least try to make it through two or three in the series before making any final decisions... the story was amusing, but of course, the gods were entirely predictable.
5. Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey
I just read the first in the Sandman Slim series... so, yeah... all the Kadrey books on this list are part of Sandman Slim's book series. I loved the first one, it's a GREAT summer read. I devoured book one in a matter of hours.
6. Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey
7. Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey
8. Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
9. The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I LOVE Leviathan, Goliath and Behemoth... soo, so, so much, so I figured I'd give another Westerfeld book a try and see if I love his writing style as much as I love those books.
10. We, THE DROWNED by Carsten Jensen
I'm going to be honest... I don't know a thing about this book. I saw it on the shelf... and lately I've just not been feelin' the YA genre, so I've been branching off and grabbing adult fiction (Sandman Slim, The Age of Ra? Yeah...) and this just happens to be one of them.
To join in the Book Blogger Hop, click the image above!
This week's question:
What is your favorite series that you've finished all the books (more than 3 books) to?
Well, I'm sure the obvious answer is going to be Harry Potter... and I admit I'm on that bandwagon too :)but there are a few more I'd like to share as well, so here's a list:
1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
2. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
3. Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
4. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
5. Discworld by Terry Pratchett
6. Sandman by Neil Gaiman
7. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
8. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
9. The Nicholas Flamel Alchemyst Series by Michael Scott
Now, I'm reading quite a few other series that are more than three books that I love, but they're not finished yet, so technically, I haven't finished all of the books XD I didn't include those. The stories above are strictly finished series... welllll.... except Discworld... but man... I *HAD* to include Pratchett. I'm not even sure it counts as a series... but I've been reading them in chronological order, so I'm counting them that way. :)
To join in the Feature and Follow hop, click the image above.
This week's question: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.
I'm going to be honest, I've never really thought about it.
Meeting new people in general gives me a mini panic attack.
I'm not saying I'm a shut in, I get out, I socialize... but all with people I've met in person first. For some reason, I have real anxiety about meeting people I've only talked to online.
It's not a safety thing, it's a "Man, what if I totally disappoint them?" thing.
Crazy, I know.
Also, please check out my review, HERE, for the upcoming release,
This ARC was provided by the publisher at my request.
Leo never imagined that time travel might really be possible, or that
the objects in H. G. Wells’ science fiction novels might actually exist.
And when a miniature time machine appears in Leo’s bedroom, he has no
idea who the tiny, beautiful girl is riding it. But in the few moments
before it vanishes, returning to wherever—and whenever—it came from, he
recognizes the other tiny rider: himself!
His search for the
time machine, the girl, and his fate leads him to the New-York
Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out
objects instead of books. Hidden away in the Repository basement is the
Wells Bequest, a secret collection of powerful objects straight out of
classic science fiction novels: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink
ray—and one very famous time machine. And when Leo’s adventure of a
lifetime suddenly turns deadly, he must attempt a journey to 1895 to
warn real-life scientist Nikola Tesla about a dangerous invention. A
race for time is on!
In this grand time-travel adventure full of
paradoxes and humor, Polly Shulman gives readers a taste of how
fascinating science can be, deftly blending classic science fiction
elements with the contemporary fantasy world readers fell in love with
in The Grimm Legacy.
Leo:The main character, Leo is pretty level-headed for a teenaged boy. He's sweet and swooning over the girl he likes, and smart to boot. He comes from a family of incredibly intelligent people where he's a bit of an outcast, not because he isn't smart, but because his brain works in different ways. However, when he's visited by his future self, his life becomes a tad bit more interesting as he learns about a library that will change his life. He's a likeable kid, cautious and respectful of things like Time Machines and Death Rays... you can't help but admire those qualities.
Jaya:Headstrong and defiant and the girl that Leo is swooning over, Jaya is a character from The Grimm Legacy, the companion book to The Wells Bequest. At first I was worried I wouldn't like her, since headstrong girls are often obnoxiously portrayed in books... but I found Jaya completely likeable.
Simon:Simon is the villian of the story, but one could more aptly call him "The Teenaged Boy of the story" and be totally accurate in their description. He's actions are ruled totally by hormones, unfortunately, he just so happens to be a bit more connected than your average teenaged boy, so he can cause a bit more trouble.
For me, this book cleared up the issues I had with The Grimm Legacy, I didn't read this one thinking, "Wow, they just solved that HUGE problem really easily..." I felt like a little more time was taken in this one to really craft each encounter that the characters had. This story was cute, the adventures were well paced and I truly enjoyed their historical and present-time interactions.
All around, a lot of fun, and I can't wait for more in this series from Polly Shulman!
After reading this book, I've also decided I need to figure out a new rating rank that is around 4 Squeeds, but instead of saying (but probably wouldn't read again) it needs to say (and will absolutely read this to my children). :)
This is a book I highly recommend to not only friends, but also to the teachers I know. The combination of classic literature along with historical figures will entice any kid to want to learn more about these topics. Much like The Alchemyst series by Michael Scott, this is the kind of book that is going to make kids sit up and take interest in the past.
The best-selling author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
now trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. What
happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the
million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness
persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a
place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach
brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and
historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all
trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She
begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and
ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists
have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body
near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium
school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and
visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the
consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking
philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North
Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the
last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive.
I have to admit, this one was slow going for me. There were bits and bobs along the way that were fascinating (and I flew through those chapters), but I think the fact that Roach seemed to think this was all hokum herself made this book dull when compared to books like Stiff.
There seemed to be a lot more by way of techno-babble, I'm not sure if this was due to the lack of legitimate scientific findings in the realm of there being an afterlife (other than the resounding "No, there doesn't seem to be one" that usually was what the evidence pointed to)... or if it was because Roach herself is a skeptic, so chose to focus on things that gave more substantial output than peoples feelings and experiences.
I'm not saying this book isn't worth reading, it still has quite a few interesting ideas to present the reader with, but it was definitely a slower read for me than Stiff.