The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.
They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
*May Contain Spoilers*
An absolutely brilliant end to Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs is a work of written art. His poetic prose and descriptive nature paints a world in the minds of readers. A world they can't see because they aren't peculiar, but a world that lives along side ours, just the same.
Jacob Portman had just been briefly introduced to a new detail of his peculiar ability in Hollow City: he can speak in Hollowspeak, which is the language of Hollogasts, evil invisible monsters with superior strength. In the opening of this third book, Jacob realizes that he can use the language to control the monsters. Throughout the novel, his knowledge of the language, how to use it, and how to make it work evolve. This seemingly small accomplishment is the key to the survival of the peculiar children. With this talent, Jacob becomes the heroic figure of this epic tale. He describes himself as the new Jacob. A young man who is brave, courageous, loyal, and a leader. Readers will undoubtedly feel connected to Jacob as they've traversed the peculiar world with him through the previous two books. The horrors and betrayals that he has faced, and overcome, will allow readers to believe in future success. However, the odds are not in Jacob's favor without ymbryne help or any other peculiar children. Jacob and Emma must push to find their loved ones while fighting for survival and battling wights and Hollogasts. The reality is that they most likely will fail and this fact has readers hoping beyond hope that a miracle will happen. After all, we haven't committed to the series to watch our heroes die in battle.
The plot is a complicated twist of loops, successes, and failures. It begins at the same moment Hollow City ended, with Jacob and Emma trying to escape from a Hollogast. They end up in present day London during a Comic-Con where they are able to hide in the crowds and escape the wights. Addison, the daring dog, tracks the scented trail of their peculiar friends and they are all introduced to Sharon, a man who looks like a grim reaper. Sharon agrees to take them to Devil's Acre where they believe Caul to be hiding. Things get tricky as they are met with Ambrosia users --- a drug that enhances peculiar abilities before robbing the body of it's own peculiarity. During all of this adventuring, readers will be pulled even tighter into the story as they witness how persistent and focused Emma and Jacob are. They know that there's a chance they'll never leave Devil's Acre, a chance that no one will, but they continue forward because they're wonderfully loyal friends with hearts full of love for their fellow peculiars. The battle eventually begins and Caul's plans are fully revealed: he wants to visit the Library of Souls so he can consume another peculiar soul and become the King of Peculiardom. The Library of Souls itself is a believed myth among peculiars, but the place does exist and houses thousands of old souls. And Jacob is the key to Caul's success.
I don't want to give away the ending, because it's been a long time coming for readers of Ransom Riggs. I do want to say that this ending does not disappoint, no matter how sad it is that the series is at it's official end. Library of Souls was everything I wanted it to be: satisfying, fantastical, and full of peculiarities. The photos that Riggs chose to accompany his work were perfection. I have always been mystified with the strangeness of the old pictures that exist out there in the world (though Riggs does admit a few were altered).
For all of you who have read Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, I'm glad we've all reached this point together. I can't wait to reread them all, one day soon, and relive the wonderfulness of peculiarity. And for those of you who have yet to read them: do it as soon as you can. You won't be disappointed. The world that Riggs created is amazing and astounding, full of love, friendship, family, good and evil, wars, history, supernatural aspects, and more.
Here's looking forward to whatever Ransom Riggs comes up with next.
Rating: 4.5/5 Cups
Miss out on the first two book reviews? Check them out below: