Book Review Books

Book Review: The Desolations of Devil’s Acre

“How many people would spend their lives among shades and ghosts, were they able? Every parent who’d lost a child, every lover who’d lost a mate: If they had the choice, wouldn’t most do the same? We’re all riddled with holes, and there were days when I would’ve done anything to patch mine, if just for a while. I was glad I didn’t have a choice. Gladder still that I didn’t have the powers of an ymbryne. The temptation to misuse them would’ve been overwhelming.”

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre: final part of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It all comes down to the final battle between the biggest evil Caul and the peculiar children in this sixth and final instalment of the series. There is no need for me to say that I had been waiting with eager excitement for this book to release.

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre starts where The Conference of the Birds ended; with the world going black for Jacob and Noor. They both find themselves in the backyard of Jacob’s grandfather’s house and from there on another struggle to survive begins.

Caul is back and more powerful and dangerous than before. He has a vendetta against his sister, Elma or Miss Peregrine as she is widely known and wants to enslave all peculiar children to do his bidding. What ensues now is a struggle to survive and defeat Caul before he destroys everything the ymbrynes have been working hard to build and protect.

The novel is full of action and there is never a dull moment. Where The Conference of the Birds may have been a little slow in the beginning, this one starts with a fight with a wight (eyeless men who kill without remorse) and continue with one adventure after another. Time travelling right into the middle of 2nd World War is also aptly written. Ransom Riggs has done justice to the setting of the War and to the whole fantasy genre as a whole. And the photographs he uses add to the joy of reading this book. It renders a surreal quality to the story and the author’s idea of using the photos has been great.

My one complain: all the original peculiar children should have been part of more action. I guess I am a bit biased towards them but once you start a series with particular characters, they sort of grow on you and you want them everywhere. Other than that, I think it was perfect.

The fact that this was the last part of an amazing book series made me want to read the book as fast as I could and yet not want to ever end the series. I had read the 1st part back in 2016 and I am so glad I picked up Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to read. I know for sure that soon enough I will be re-reading the series from the beginning.

My rating: 4.9/5

Book Review Books

Book Review: The Conference of the Birds

A prophecy, a girl who needs to be saved from an unknown danger and lots of action, the fifth book in the Peculiar Children Series, The Conference of the Birds is another riveting book.

Starting from where we left off in A Map of Days, we follow Jacob as he rescues Noor and takes her to Devil’s Acre with him. Finding herself for the first time in a place full of peculiars, she is overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. She meets the wards of Miss Peregrine and they accept her as one of their own.

What follows is a brainstorming session to find and understand the meaning of the prophecy which makes Noor so important for survival of the peculiars and how to get her to safety. At the same time, Jacob is sucked into the dissent between the peculiar clans of America even as the Ymbrynes try to sort it all and bring peace in Peculiar America.

Ransom Riggs creates another masterpiece and does justice to every character of his book. Jacob and Noor may have been in the spotlight but he ensures that every one of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children get their share of storyline. Also, Ransom Riggs gives a lot of focus on importance of friends and family. Even though Jacob acted impulsively and left Devil’s Acre to find Noor alone, his friends followed him to help, giving him a lesson that family always stands for one another even when they are angry at them. They also accept Noor as one on their own without any questions because she is Jacob’s friend.

The story is full of action and where A Map of Days had seemed a little slow to me, The Conference of the Birds moves ahead full throttle. Jacob, the only hollow-hunter left to help the peculiars, is again set on the task of finding a hollow and wights after they escape from their prison in Devil’s Acre. The discovery of a new Loop of what I would call “Dead People Walking” is wonderful and eerie. There is also the budding romance between Jacob and Noor as they find themselves coming closer amidst all the chaos.

The ending paves way for another sequel and I’m sure with the return of the ever powerful and super evil villain, Caul, the next book too will be full of action and adventure.

My rating: 4.9/5

Book Review Books

Book Review: A Map of Days

The fourth part of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs does not disappoint. Having finished the first three parts back in early 2017, I came to know of this fourth instalment only last year. Since then, I have been meaning to read this but never actually managing to squeeze this in my never ending TBR pile. But this July, I finally managed to read the book and enjoyed it.

A Map of Days starts where Library of Souls left, the Peculiar Children appearing at Jacob’s door to save him from his parents who were about to commit him to asylum. The Peculiar Children are now ageing at a normal pace, just like normals and they wish to use this advantage to blend in with the others in today’s world.

What starts for Jacob with a commitment to help the children and the ymbrynes soon transforms into his desire to be a hollow – hunter like his grandfather. He now undertakes a mission to help another peculiar with some of his friends.

A Map of Days, like it’s previous three books is very interesting and full of unexpected twists. Ransom Riggs has continued the story in the same engrossing way and the pictures he uses add perfect surrealism to the story.

Transition between years as the children and Jacob move from one time zone to another is seamless and attention to details of a particular era is commendable. Emma & Jacob’s relationship is also worth mentioning. Though Jacob had loved his grandfather, Abe, ghost of dead grandfather as Emma’s lover is still haunting him & Emma as deep down Emma is still not over Abe.

Personally, I think the book could have moved at a faster pace. The attention to details is important here specially when you are “loop” travelling but it also slowed down the plot a little. A little more action would certainly have given the readers some more fun. But, other than that, I can find no fault in A Map of Days. It is a must read series for all.

Two of my favourite quotes from the book:

“All my life, normal people had mostly baffled me-the ridiculous ways they strove to impress one another, the mediocre goals that seemed to drive them, the banality of their dreams. The way people rejected anything that didn’t fit their narrow paradigm of acceptability, as if those who thought or acted or dressed or dreamed differently from them were a threat to their very existence.”

“it’s a lot of cheese.” “It’s the pinnacle of human achievement,” he declared seriously. “I thought Britain was an empire. But this—this—is world domination!”

My rating: 4.8/5