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Hollow City

by Ransom Riggs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,8122351,573 (3.92)148
Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London (circa 1940), the "peculiar" capital of the world.
  1. 00
    The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.) by Simon Winchester (Sandwich76)
  2. 00
    The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these suspenseful, atmospheric fantasy series follow teens with disturbing powers as they band together to fight against evil. Miss Peregrine includes spooky vintage photos and has a creepier tone than the fast-paced Midnighters.… (more)
  3. 34
    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (thenothing)
    thenothing: Hollow City could easy be fan fiction of His Dark Materials
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Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
Hollow City is a sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I remember reading Miss Peregrine's Home and loving the entire story.

Spoilers for book one follow below:

In book one we have our main character, Jacob Portman, going to Wales to find out about his grandfather's past and what his last words meant. Jacob finds out about his grandfather's younger days when he lived in an orphanage with other peculiar children. Jacob meets Emma who ends up taking Jacob back to a time loop (1940) and there he meets other peculiar children and Miss Peregrine, a ward that is there to protect the children from monsters called hollows.

Book two begins with Jacob, Emma, and the rest of the children escaping from their island home for safety from the hollows. They also are on a mission to return Miss Peregrine back to her human form in order for her to find another loop to hide/protect the children from the hollows and wights.

I think that having Jacob as the main character makes the most sense in these books and just like in book one it was great to read his perspective on the other children and the things that he is seeing. The whole world that Jacob has found himself embroiled in seems a little crazy and we definitely know is dangerous. We often have Jacob thinking of his family and can "see" what his being gone is doing to them. Jacob loves Emma though and does not want to leave her.

I definitely have my favorites of the peculiar children. I love the character of Emma who is seen as the de facto leader of the group when Miss Peregrine is out of pocket stuck in bird form. I also adore Horace and Brownyn. All of the children have special abilities and it seems that maybe book three is going to expound on them a lot more in this book. We do get an introduction to more characters in this book and it will be interesting to see how they are incorporated into book three.

I do wish that we could have gotten more time with some of the characters like Brownyn though. We just keep hearing how strong she is and how she can carry heavy things. I know that Mr. Riggs could not get in depth as much as he probably wanted to with book two, it just felt like due to the plot, we really didn't have a chance to get into anyone's head during this adventure besides Jacob and in some cases Emma.

Though I usually don't talk about covers and all when discussing a review, I have to say that the cover and pictures and even the way the entire book was packaged was a factor in my review rating. This was a really great book to have in paperback form. I thought that the pictures definitely added something to this book as I read (just like in book one) and it was nice to just have them to look at and daydream about while reading. I just wish that Ransom Riggs would consider doing the photos in color if possible. Sometimes the black and white photos just looked so flat when I studied them. Maybe color would really make them pop.

The writing was very good (just like in book one) though I have to say that for me what killed me was the pace was all over the pace during this book. The only reason why I mention it, is that it kept happening at really inopportune times while reading. We would have the children fleeing and escaping and then someone would cry for a story from the Tales from the Peculiar books and they would stop and tell a story. Readers find that these stories do lead to discoveries for the children. But it was a slog to get through. Other slow downs was when we would meet new characters and have to read their backstories. I get that we had to have some idea of these characters. I just wish that it had been done in a better way so that it didn't feel as if while reading I had come to a dead stop.

The setting moves from the island of the children to London. London during a time of war with many people fleeing along with journeying to other loops made the book very interesting. We get a great description of people, places, things that the children are seeing.

The ending was kind of a big eye-roll moment from me. I already knew there was a book three coming. I just shook my head at how book two ended. It was a big are you kidding me (and not in a good way) when I got to the end. It honestly made no sense to me at all. I know that it was a way to set up the events that are going to happen in book three, but based on what we found in book two we know that one character is going to be lost forevermore unless a big deus ex machina is utilized. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I just love these books. I loved the first book and love this one as well. They really are not horror books, even though they are placed there in bookstores. They are fantasy novels. I really love the addition of the pictures in this book. The story developed slowly, but that was alright. And now I'll just have to wait for the third novel to find out what happens next. ( )
  prettygoodyear | Jun 29, 2020 |
Truly a direct sequel that doesn't even let us take a breath between the last action of the first book before we're hunted by baddies, we're going crazy to fix poor Miss Peregrine, and before we solve the new mysteries of new photos.

It's a good setup and a good adventure. They obviously need a lot of help, but it's great to see how they solve their problems and avoid or defeat the baddies as they try to find others of Miss Peregrine's kind.

Suffice to say, read this for the adventure and the twists and the turns and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Me? Why didn't I give this more stars? Well, honestly, some of it didn't really hold my attention very much. When things got weird, I was right there, and they got weird regularly enough that I couldn't quite dislike the novel. On the other hand, a good deal of the novel felt like it was stalling and idling. It was just the times when it got weird that I found myself *wanting* to pay attention.

Adventure is only as good as the characters and their motivations and their stakes, after all, and like the first novel, I kind of wish that the MC wasn't such a lightweight. Everyman isn't really working for me, here. And the other kids seriously needed to have stronger personalities rather than just interesting powers. It's only some of the time, too. The times when it stalled was when the stronger personalities weren't in play or we weren't in the middle of the next reveal. Unfortunately, that happened a lot.

I'd call this a slightly flawed novel, but certainly not enough to ruin it. I had enough occasional fun to call this a win.
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I read this book almost immediately after the first one, but I had a LOT more frustrations with this one. I came in with a lot of good will towards the author. Usually that means I don't start picking stuff apart until after I've read through at least once. It's bad if I'm noticing stupid things on a first go.

Let's see, what was bothering me...

1. Minor, but a lot of characters were shouting, screaming, or yelling when delivering their dialog. There wasn't enough mood-setting or characterization to make me believe this was due to stress and getting snappish. Stop yelling when there's no call to! Also, gods know that age alone doesn't impart wisdom and serenity, but there were some childish temper tantrums in here, and it felt very played straight.

2. Very middle book, much redundant. They meander on a journey, meeting people and doing things that will questionably ever become relevant. I say this as someone who was a-okay with Brienne of Tarth's quest.

That wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been terribly repetitive and melodramatic. Take, for instance, the childrens' difficulty getting aboard a train. ONE of those barriers was actually plot-relevant. The others were inserted just so it wouldn't be easy for them, and those obstacles were introduced by the kinds of "villains" you typically see in kids' cartoons-- you know, where the antagonist is a well-intentioned adult but the kids are too young/selfish/short-sighted to see/understand/appreciate logic. So you get antagonists that monstrously rule-abiding and mean-spirited for the sole reason of putting the screws to children, which is what the ticket-seller, conductor, and the herders of the migrant children reminded me of.

3. The last WW2-set book(s) I read were Life After Life and A God in Ruins. They were amazingly evocative of how much of a nightmare London during the Blitz would have been, especially to people in a precarious situation already. In Hollow City, there were descriptions of bombs falling, wreck and ruin...but no tension. It didn't feel like WW2 Blitz London. It didn't help that this is where the plot got picked back up, so all the descriptions and settings were in service to that.

But! Didn't I just complain about the wandering journey up 'til now?

I did, and I think that it could have been truncated, especially the aforementioned train station incidents, to place the group in London before the halfway mark, and then let the city have a shot at being its own character. Let the actual World War be a character, because it should be, and their journey should have been difficult in those ways. If you're going to ponder the difficulties of wartime train travel due to militarization of the lines or bombings, make the train trip difficult and delayed due to that! Not the stuff that made it to the book! And then don't have a character blithely ordering foie gras, or have heaps of turkey to serve-- what about war rationing? Nobody had piles of food.

4. Little things about the characters. They sure went a seemingly long time without stopping to eat, or at least complaining about feeling hungry. (Alternately, that's a symptom of the pacing.) Or Bronwyn's trunk: it's like the author would forget she had the thing until he needed her to have it. It should have an obstacle much more than it was, and maybe even drawn attention. At least mention her setting it down to come pick up again later.

Why is Horace such a little Victorian-ish fop? (Do the children come out of different times? Ah, the problem of writing by photos from outside your era-- though actually a WW1 setting would have worked really well...). If he were really fashionable, he'd know you never casually wear a tux in the daytime, since it's evening wear. Sadly, this and cowardice are his only traits. All the kids, really, only get one or two traits.

Also, hey, let's have another scene where Jacob and Emma go off from the group to talk privately. At some point, I feel the others should've been commenting more on that, especially Enoch. Plus, Emma/Jacob leadership: makes sense if they were the only teens in a group of actual children.

Had no problem with the perpetual children in the first book-- easy enough that that's some ymbryne magic, or a side-effect of bringing people into the loop, since they could start getting very unpleasant otherwise. Some things stand to reason: the children can't age, so their brains can't develop. They live the same day over and over, so they aren't getting the kinds of life experiences that propel us into maturity. But it stood out more to me this book, the ambiguous nature of 100 year old kids. Again, like Bronwyn's trunk, something that doesn't rear its head in the narrative until the author remembers to explicitly include it because it's conveniently helpful or an inconvenient hindrance. Am I supposed to think of them as children or adults? Are they supposed to be children or adults? It's far more interesting for the answer to that be "yes," but I don't think the author has actually thought through all the implications of personality and maturity.

I don't know. I was rolling my eyes all through this one, and I wasn't staying up late to finish it in almost one go. I do intend to read the third and hope this one is an anomaly, but I can't give it high stars. ( )
  elam11 | May 30, 2020 |
This is one of the weirdest, creepiest yet charming and clever books I've read. I was surprised by the twist towards the end. Honestly, I was wondering how Riggs would continue this series. But he managed to end the sequel in such a way that it holds the interest of readers until the next book comes out. ( )
  VavaViolet | Apr 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ransom Riggsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heybourne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horner, DoogieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mafi, TaherehAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGurk, John J.Production managementsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And lo! towards us coming in a boat
An old man, grizzled with the hair of eld,
Moaning: 'Woe unto you, debased souls!

Hope nevermore to look upon the heavens.
I come to lead you to the other shore;
Into eternal darkness, into fire and frost.

And thou, that yonder standest, living soul,
Withdraw from these people, who are dead!'
But he saw that I did not withdraw...

Dante's Inferno, Canto III
Dedication
FOR TAHEREH
First words
We rowed out through the harbor, past bobbing boats weeping rust from their seams, past juries of silent seabirds roosting atop the barnacled remains of sunken docks, past fishermen who lowered their nets to stare frozenly as we slipped by, uncertain whether we were real or imagined; a procession of waterborne ghosts, or ghosts soon to be.
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'I love sad stories,' said Enoch. 'Especially ones where princesses get eaten by dragons and everyone dies in the end.' (chapter four)
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Book description
Jacob Portman and his newfound friends travel to war-torn 1940 London where they use their unusual talents to find a cure for Miss Peregrine, the beloved headmistress of their orphanage who has been trapped in the body of a bird.
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