If you haven’t read the first two books, you’re going to want to go do that now. When you’re done with that, you should read my book reviews for them here. All caught up? Good!
This book was awesome! I finished it last night cozied up on the couch with Simon. I teared up a little, but not where I expected to, which was kind of nice.
What I thought was really successful about this book is how much I identified with Jacob. I remember when we first read Miss Peregrine’s that someone in Book Club didn’t really believe in Jacob as a character. They didn’t think a sixteen year old would think and talk like that.
But, that’s exactly how I thought and talked at that age. Smart mouthed and left to my own devices, much like Jacob was, I understood him immediately. I worried that, over the course of three books, Jacob would lose his voice. That he might drown in a sea of peculiar children.
But Ransom Riggs did a really wonderful job of keeping each child individual. I often read lines of dialogue, and knew who was speaking before reading the dialogue tag. With as many characters as are in these books, that’s pretty impressive.
The second book was really about developing all these children into the individuals you come to see them as. By the end of it, you’re in love with them all. And then in the third book, they’re all captured and in terrifying mortal danger off screen. The clock is ticking for Jacob and Emma as they try to rescue their friends from the Wights.
At first, I was irritated that almost everyone else was out of the picture. But, as I read on, I found that the book worked really well with just Jacob, Emma, and some rotating side characters. The first book was about Jacob. The second book about the Peculiars. And this book was about Jacob and Emma, their relationship.
And it was perfect.
Also, this book had a lot more action in it. People get hurt. Some people die pretty gruesome deaths. There aren’t as many miraculous saves as in the second book, and there are some pretty dark themes explored. Drug use and addiction, kidnapping, torture, etc. I was impressed.
My one complaint, I think, is how much this book covered. The whole concept of Abaton and the Library of Souls is introduced in this book, and then resolved within those same pages. That’s a huge plot element to arrive in the third act, in my opinion. Granted, I’m not sure how else it could have been approached, but I wish there’d been more time to explore the Library and what it meant to Peculiardom.
Same for Bentham’s Panloopticon. I won’t go in to too many details, but it’s an impressive device that allows travel between loops. If you’ve read any of the books, you know this is a big deal. But, it doesn’t really get as much attention as I would have liked.
I think it’s a pretty good thing when a reader’s biggest complaint is that they wished there was more. In this case, Jacob’s story is told. We get a conclusion, one I was quite pleased with, and I feel satisfied in that regard. But, if Ransom Riggs wants to write more books about the Peculiars, I am all for it!
I would really love to read a book about Millard. He was my favorite of the Peculiar children, and spending more time with him would be lovely. But, really, I’d be happy with any of them. Enoch, Hugh, even Horace! I loved them all, and any adventure they want to go on, I’d be more than happy to follow along.
So, I’d say this book was a success. It was better than the second one, and I think better than the first. Although, the first book already has a bit of a nostalgic feel for me. Amazing since it hasn’t even been a full year since I read it, but everything that happens in it seems so distant from where Library of Souls ends that I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about it.
If you’re looking for a quick read series that has a little bit of everything, I’d recommend the Miss Peregrine’s series. Very entertaining, with funny moments, sad ones, and a lot of jaw dropping and awe inspiring ones too. And let’s not forget all the awesome photographs!
On a more personal note, Library of Souls was my 50th book this year. Two more to go to reach my goal, so that’s going well. I’ve already moved on to Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey, and I’m enjoying it so far. Hopefully you’ll see a book review for that soon.
Halloween parties are this weekend, so I anticipate my reading will be thin, but if I’m lucky (read: disciplined) I’ll get A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe done by early next week, and I’ll be on track to read 70 books by the end of the year!
Anyway, I hope you all are having a great week so far! I’ll talk at you soon!