I could almost title this review ‘Anticipation gone wrong again’. I loved Miss Peregrine’s Home etc. (vo.1), Hollow City was ok (vol. 2), and I had to force myself to get past page 20 of Library of Souls (vol.3). The first 150 pages felt twice as long as the second half. Terrified running from monsters in search of kidnapped pals isn’t interesting for that long. It’s also hard to pay attention when you’re really only following a few of the Peculiars, and only one of them (Addison the dog) showing any kind of character. Jacob and Emma are just not interesting, either one their own or together here.
Too many pictures also gets old. This book has a lot more pictures than the first two books of the series, and the novelty has worn off. It doesn’t help that a lot of the pictures included here don’t really show anything ‘peculiar’ or have much of anything new to add. It gets gimmicky, and not in an entertaining way.
Overall worth it for Sharon the boatman in the end. The second half of the book makes forcing myself through the first half worth it. It took me a week to get through the first half, and I finished the second in an evening. Finally, we get some actual characters, some actual peculiarness, and something interesting evens and reveals. Why we must love Sharon 1: the pun of his name and occupation is hard to miss. 2: he’s actually got some complexity to him. 3: once he shows up, everyone else seems to liven up.
I was a little disappointed in the ending. I like the final reveals, they explain things and wrap things up, but the final confrontation ends stupid. It’s just kind of dumb that 2 at least somewhat bad guys fighting is what saves the day, and I feel like I’ve seen the Library of Souls concept somewhere before. That and Jacob’s overall conclusion is happy, but how he reacts to returning to his parents and their reaction to him is, again, stupid. And Miss Peregrine uses her peculiarness to brainwash/force Jacob’s parents to house the group, which comes off as mean-spirited and almost an abuse of power. Even if Mom and Dad did try to send Jacob off to crazy person place, forcing them into compliance with the peculiar world just doesn’t seem right. It’s almost like that’s confirming their fears of the peculiar. Not cool at all.