Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was my reaction when I found out this was the final novel of the Miss Peregrine series.
This was my reaction when I opened the book and found it intensely action-packed with all of zero breathing room:
And this was my reaction when I got to the end:
Along the way, Ransom Riggs more than outdid himself. He's taken Jacob, Emma, Addison, and us readers further back in time than we've seen before - to the slums of Victorian London. He's introduced the other brother of Miss Peregrine's - Mr. Bentham, whose motives and actions are mysterious and questionable at all times. We finally learn some truths about why Caul and Bentham betrayed the peculiars - and these truths are downright complicated, to say the least. And we're introduced to an unusual little creation called the Panloopticon - which is oddly similar to the Terminal in my own Red Rain series, but I think Riggs has done a much better job of fleshing out his multiverse than I.
Even when the adventure comes to an end, there's still about fifty pages to go - and most of those fifty pages are absolute hell for all involved. The full ramifications of Jacob's trip into peculiardom come to light, with nasty real-world results. No wonder Riggs declared Kami Garcia's gut-wrenching Unmarked a better book than the original - he himself was dabbling in giving his next book Seriously Increased Feels Syndrome just in the extended epilogue alone.
But it doesn't stay downbeat forever - the last ten pages or so are a massive explosion of hope, largely thanks to the Panloopticon, among other things. The future of peculiardom is so bright, we gotta wear shades. B) Seriously, we could have more peculiar adventures in this 'verse - a companion series would be just what the doctor ordered. Or, even better, something for which Riggs could collaborate with Tahereh Mafi (we've all been waiting for that to happen, we fans, have we not?) The awesomeness levels of such a project would be incredible.
I can't see any other book coming out this year to top this one - it's my favorite book of 2015, undeniably. I hate to see the adventures end, but end they must. With that, ave atque vale, Miss Peregrine and all her peculiars! Next year, our heroes on the big screen - I seriously can't wait! Come Christmas 2016, we'll all #StayPeculiar.
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