Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What this book is about (assuming you’ve read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City, so spoilers for those two books ahead!):
Jacob, Emma and Addison the dog are left in the subway station. Their friends have all been taken by the wights and Jacob has just discovered his new ability to talk and control the hollow that tried to kill them. Now, they have to gather themselves and figure out how to save their friends. To do that, they will have to travel through many different loops and times into the heart of Devil’s Acre and face their enemies once and for all
Okay, this one was much better than the first and second book of the series! First of all, what I really enjoyed throughout this third book was that it was pretty funny. There were many hilarious lines and scenes that made my mood lighter. Humour is a powerful tool in books and while it wasn’t the funniest book ever written in the history of the universe, it was definitely light and hilarious and thus very pleasing and easy to read.
There was, in fact, a street sign to that effect – the first I’d seen in all of Devil’s Acre. Louche Lane, it read in fancy handwritten script. Piracy discouraged. “Discouraged?” I said. “Then what’s murder? Frowned upon?”
“I believe murder is ‘tolerated with reservations.'”
“Is anything illegal here?”Addison asked.
“Library late fines are stiff. Ten lashes a day, and that’s just for paperbacks.”
“There’s a library?”
“Two. Though one won’t lend because all the books are bound in human skin and quite valuable.”
While this book had slow moments, as did the first two, it was definitely more fast-paced overall and much, much more interesting than Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City. The plot was richer considering all the things Jacob, Emma and Addison went through in this book. A true adventure story. I can’t help but think how much I would have loved this book, were I 10 years younger. In Library of Souls we are, for the majority of the book, following Jacob and Emma which was a good decision for Riggs since the narration was flowing way easier and as I already mentioned, hooked me up faster than when more characters were the focus. Overall, the plot did have its flaws, like the solutions that appeared unexpectedly exactly the moments you needed them the most, but I had fun reading this book and that’s what matters most.
These strange-looking people weren’t peculiars. They were nerds. We were very much in the present.
Concerning the characters, in Hollow City something that bothered me with Jacob was his overthinking and whining over things. In Library of Souls fortunately, Jacob was much more interesting and easy to follow. Emma also had some hilarious times at the right moments. And there were many smaller characters introduced that were very interesting, funny and definitely added to the story in a positive way. I even enjoyed Caul and his grandiosity; a very well presented villain.
It had become one of the defining truths of my life that, no matter how I tried to keep them flattened, two-dimensional, jailed in paper and ink, there would always be stories that refused to stay bound inside books. It was never just a story.
Finally, the writing style of Ransom Riggs involves big sentences and lots and lots of descriptions that sometimes substitute the dialogues. I liked his writing style which he used smartly to sometimes make us, the readers, laugh and sometimes to speed through some quick scenes. Overall, I wouldn’t say the writing style was tiring, although I did find numerous editing mistakes throughout the text that just annoyed me. Was everybody in such a hurry to publish this book?
“Just because I’m a capitalist doesn’t mean I’m a black-hearted bastard”
Overall, I would suggest that even if you found the second book Hollow City kind of slow, to continue with the story. Library of Souls was definitely a step up. And if you are trying to figure out which book to buy for your teenage brother or sister, cousin, nephew or niece or whatever, I am very confident that they would really enjoy this series. I mean, the pictures are pretty awesome!
I am a BookDepository affiliate. If you want to buy a book and you go through this link, I get a small referral commission. You can find all three books of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children’s series in beautiful hardcover editions here:
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Book 1)
Hollow City (Book 2)
Library of Souls (Book 3)
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