This post is brought to you by a light fever, courtesy of the first dose of the Covid vaccine so if it feels like I am rambling, it is because I am.
I am probably one of the last people to read this book but in case you are too, here’s a summary:
16 year old Jacob lives an ordinary, boring life. He was brought up on his grandfather’s seemingly tall tales about his extraordinary life and all the peculiar friends he had growing up, tales that filled Jacob with wonder but which he stopped believing in when he got older. But then one day he finds his grandfather dying after an attack from an unknown creature, which Jacob only catches a glimpse of: no ordinary wild animal, but a monster. This event leaves him traumatised, and this trauma later leads him to start looking into his grandfather’s life. His investigations bring him to a remote island in Wales, where the orphanage his grandfather claimed he grew up in is supposed to be located. And Jacob is suddenly not so sure anymore that his grandfather was lying…
I really liked this book. It was an easy read, with enough of humour and a dark side to keep things interesting. I am not a superhero fan, and Marvel or DC or whatever you kids are into these days is not my jam, but even though this book came close to tipping over into mutant superpower Avenging Wonder Widow territory, it never crossed over. Which, for me, was good. The plot was supported by authentic vintage photographs that really brought it to life. The main characters were described in enough detail to make them distinguishable and vivid, although each character’s special powers may have had something to do with that. The baddies were somewhat of a caricature but not so much so that I minded. I also enjoyed the setting and the bleak descriptions of rain, mold and sheep excrement. There are some references to horrific historical events, which can lead a reader to see the book as a metaphor for the persecution of certain groups of people (I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say more).
If there is anything I didn’t like, it was that it took a little too long for the action part to get started, and then it was over before you knew it. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the first book of a series, which might explain why so much time was spent setting the story up. I don’t normally like reading series of books, because it is a pretty serious time commitment and I usually prefer neatly wrapped up books, but if the rest of the books in the series are as good, sign me up.