Review: Miss Peregrine’s School For Particular Children by Ransom Riggs
As I mentioned in a previous post, I came to this book by way of a photo gallery belonging to the author. (post) One of the authors hobbies is collecting antique photos, which plays deeply into this book. Now I am not one to poo-poo on a specific way of consuming a book, whether it be in physical form, digital form, audiobook form, or even waiting for the movie, but I will advise the reader of this review that this book is best consumed in good old-fashioned book form. The reason why is that there are a series of photographs reproduced throughout the book that are not of the story itself, but are part of the story. They are reproduced to allow the read to view what the characters themselves are viewing at that point in the book. They interrupt chapters and are they themselves characters in the book, in more than one way. Having heard from people who have read both the digital and physical versions of the book, something is lost in the translation to all binary data. The formatting is not the same. They don’t look just right. Pick up the physical artifact, you will enjoy it more.
Now, the book itself is creepy. There is something just a bit off, the characters, the story setup and even the setting feel very reminiscent of something you have read before. But, they are a touch off, and from the very first pages you can tell something of out the ordinary is going to happen (you are reading a book about a home for particular children, duh). Overall the plot manages to sneak in a few twists and turns I did not see coming and went to a few places that were both twisted and sweet.
Now, the book is shelved in the section entitled “Young Adult”, which at least one reader of the book (OK, my wife) did not notice until after she read the sequel and the sequel to that one as well. I say this so you might notice the lines, walls, and even barriers between fiction are starting to fray and we might be upon the verge of an utter collapse of all genre-lization and entering a world where critics and booksellers engage in street battles over where to locate a Neil Gaiman YA book or a Michael Chabon book with genre leanings. That, or my wife is not a good judge of book. Or, maybe I bring it up to say that this book, though published and shelved in one section, might have appeal to those who tend to frequent other sections.