I have been waiting for this book to be delivered ever since I finished (that is to be translated “devoured”) Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar children and its second volume Hollow city. Released in September 22nd 2015, the book had the fresh feel of a new print combined with the tantalizing hints of an epic ending to the trilogy that so captured me.
The end of Hollow City left the peculiar children in a very precarious spot, and that’s just where Library of Souls begins. Jacob has just discovered he has a powerful new ability, and he and Emma, a hot-tempered peculiar with fire at her fingertips, must rescue their friends from a heavily-guarded fortress. But to get there they’ll have to survive Devil’s Acre, a wretched, Victorian-era slum populated by murderers, thieves, and the peculiar criminals who live there in exile. It’s the thickest of the three books, and is filled with more characters, more world-building, and more action than the other novels combined. – RANSOM RIGGS
The story is as fantastic as the first two ones, following the search for Miss Peregrine and fighting the Hollows. Now, the main hero of the story, Jacob, along with his girlfriend, Emma Bloom, make it across another loop under London guided by a hooded figure called Sharon, who demands coin for safe passage in his barge.
Sounds familiar? It’s from the Greek mythology. Sharon was the guide of the souls of the dead who, for a gold coin, would guide the lost souls over the river Styx and into the land of the dead, Hades.
This is where the young heroes are headed to. A new type of hell, filled with dirty and disturbed normals and peculiars alike. The place is constructed like a maze, filled with falling ash, most alike to the Silent Hill city.
Streets that lead to dead ends, peculiars sold in the windows of shops as slaves (out of their own volition), bands of rag-wearing drug addicts addicted on a substance called “ambrosia“, containing silvery sparkles and bits extracted from peculiars. Kinda cannibalistic, if you ask me?
To make it worse, they are followed by pirates and a Hollow, Jacob’s Hollow. He can control this one with short commands and he manages to escape the pirates by setting the Hollow against it and then killing it under a bridge.
Their story is peppered with mistrust in people. Whom can you trust when everyone is a possible enemy, trying to sell you, kill you or devour you?
It’s a battle between good and evil, a coming-of-age story, sci-fi, horror, love story all in one. The author bases the story on old, weird photos he found at flea markets, garage sales, etc., and built the story around those photos which are included in the book for a fantastic visual reference.
The Library of Souls is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an actual place, a library, that contains the souls of peculiars, all different levels of greatness. Caul, Miss Peregrine’s evil brother, is on a mission, a journey, to find them. He’s amassed an army of Wights to fight for him against anyone trying to foil his plans.
Meanwhile, Jacob discovers his powers of persuasion and control of the Hollowgast! When locked in the mouth of a Hollow he could not control, he uses the finger of the lady on the right to put the Hollow to sleep. But during the process, he falls asleep himself and all the other hollows attacking him.
When he wakes up, he finds that he can control all the hollows around him, they appear as dots on his inner radar and he can make them do whatever he wants. Even dance the “Swan Lake” if he so wished. His subconscious gave his power a boost and he had now his own little army of monsters to fight the wights. Riding the biggest, he thinks he looked like a general riding his horse into battle.
He uses this connection with the Hollow to his advantage when battling Caul to rescue his friends and the dozen Ymbryne that were captured.
I must say I loved this battle! I read through the pages, gasping at each loss, cheering inside at each win. If this was a movie, I would be probably sitting on the edge of my seat.
The ending is pretty spectacular, filled with betrayals, game changers, a surrender and a conquest. I won’t say how it ends, you will have to read and find out.
“No one can hurt you as badly as the people you love.”