Review of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

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*Warning this review contains spoilers*

I knew I had to finish the series when I watched the trailer for the movie of the first book which is coming out in September. All I can say is that the direction Riggs took with the ending of the book is something I did not see coming. I wasn’t completely shocked by the ending but it wasn’t predictable, in my opinion. The book starts right off where Hollow City left off which was nice because some series books don’t do that and I find that screwing with the timeline is very irritating. Jacob, Emma, and Addison, the dog, find themselves in 21st century London being chased by Wights. They manage to escape the Wights and by doing so Jacob develops another part of his abilities, controlling Hollowgasts. It’s an interesting concept explored later in the book that peculiar’s have a wide range of abilities but they cultivate the abilities they nurture. Emma could possibly have control over all the elements but since she focused on fire that is the only ability she has now. By using the Hollowgast Jacob is able to escape the wights. Jacob, Emma and Addison finds themselves enlisting the help of Sharona fellow peculiar to guide them to Devil’s Acre where they will infiltrate the Wight’s compound with the help of Miss Peregrine’s other brother, Bentham. Shocker! Miss Peregrine has another brother. I did not see that coming and the way it affects the ending is interesting.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this book. Some books try to cram so much action into one novel it becomes too much. Riggs balanced out the action with conversation and description. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and how well they incorporated into the book. I honestly don’t think this series would have had the same effect without the pictures.

I must say I was really annoyed when Riggs introduced Ambro but didn’t tell the reader what it was. It was just this product that all the peculiars were addicted to and then to find out it was bits of a peculiar soul. Essentially the peculiars in Devil’s Acre were cannibals. That was probably the most disturbing thing about Devil’s Acre. I hate to think that any body could become so desperate they are willing to gain off the ultimate pain of others. Peculiars were having their souls harvested from them and their peers were fighting each other for a piece of their soul. I wonder how they would feel if the roles were reversed.

I was a little disappointed by the library of souls. It was described as this incredible interesting library but when everyone finally gets there it reminds me more of a Native American burial site. I guess the loop to the library has been closed for centuries but still it was disappointing.

The final battle between Caul and Bentham was interesting and I say interesting because I am not sure I liked it. It didn’t read like it was a forced ending or just something Riggs came up with to end the book but it read like Godzilla versus King Kong. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. However I enjoyed the rest of the novel. Jacob decides to go back home and while he is hoping everything can go back to normal it clearly cannot. There were several pages left by the time I got to that part and I just knew something more was going to happen. His parents don’t believe him and almost ship him off to a mental clinic until Miss Peregrine shows up to save the day. Apparently when they closed the time loop to the Library of Souls it reset everyone who was there, their internal time clock that is. Essentially everyone who was there for the closing of the loop is now on 21st century time so they will age normally like Jacob instead of aging forward until they are nothing but dust. I thought this was a bit cheesy but it made for a nice ending because now Jacob and Emma can be together,  which we were all rooting for :). Overall I really liked this book but I still think the ending could have been different.

-A

 

 

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