Rating = ★★★★
A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.
The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.
They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
WARNING SOME SLIGHT SPOILERY STUFF AHEAD (third & fourth paragraphs)
Let me start off by saying I LOVED THIS BOOK. Such an original and interesting story with descriptive world-building, illustrative language and writing – which was aided by the pictures sporadically included in the novels – on the part of Ransom Riggs, phenomenal main character, and a cast of side characters you just can’t help but sympathize and root for. I honestly which more stories were this ingenious and written this well. It felt like Ransom didn’t necessarily tell you every single thing about how this universe he created works, which helped to avoid info-dumps (for the most part… but I’ll come back to this in a sec). Instead he gave you enough to keep you invested as a reader, to show he knew what the hell he was doing and actually thought out this whole peculiar world, and also to help readers understand what exactly he was picturing in his own mind or intended for you to see.
The reason this rating lacks that fifth & final star is entirely because of the beginning of the book. I’m talking up to about page 160. Things were SO SLOW. I think that those 160 or so pages were about 6 hours at absolute most of Jacob & Emma’s life. But Ransom just told so much story. Granted a lot of events did happen in that time – it’s actually really crazy to think that the main journey of all 3 books takes place over like 3 weeks I think… at absolute most. But even though a lot of action, meetings, encounters… whatever you wanna call them took place, there wasn’t enough to constitute it taking that long to get to the point, to the good stuff! I was not hooked in the beginning and definitely felt like it was dragging on. Some scenes I felt could be cut out, like much of the exploration of Devil’s Acre and when they visited the lady who had peculiars as a weird performing show of sorts. It felt like he was info-dumping in these parts in order to draw out the story and make it longer as a whole. But once the story got going, man did it get good! It’s clear he had an end game in mind from the very beginning, and i just think that’s so awesome.
I loved loved loved the growth of Jacob’s power. I thought that his confidence in it was great to read about. And I was freaking out when it came to full realization in Devil’s Acre, and then again in the Library. Like, now that he’s discovered his full capabilities, I REALLY want novellas/short stories about him finding hollows and doing what he does best. Because it was so impressive! And when he was really really into it and doing it, I was just like in awe of him and was geeking out over how cool everything he was doing was. Omg and if he could somehow find other peculiars along his way of hunting the hollows?! And team up with them?! YASSSSS. MOARRRR. RANSOM DO YOU HEAR ME?!
I also liked Bentham’s role in the whole thing. I was expecting it to play out one way, and waiting for that but it never happened, and then he kept slightly surprising me as the climax of the book drew nearer. There was one particular bit near the end with Bentham I did absolutely not figure out or see coming that I’m still like “u serious?!?!” about.
There were some other things I wasn’t a fan of, unfortunately. I don’t think that Jacob & Emma’s romance was needed. I felt this way about the first two books, and it still hasn’t changed. The romance was done and written well, but just not necessary for the story. The way his story was told and the kind of story it is doesn’t constitute a romance in my opinion. I do like Jacob and Emma as individual characters though. And their interactions with each other are always different and emotional and caring, and that is sweet to read about. I just think they could have done all of this together and cared for each other without being romantically involved. It seemed like a device to get certain readers continuously interested in the books. And yeah, it just overall seemed like they are maybe moving too fast and i didn’t buy into it.
There also seemed to be quite a lack of pictures in this final book. I think that’s part of why it took me so long to read – because there was more to… well… read. And when there were pictures they weren’t always as interesting or haunting like the previous ones tended to be.
I will say the the ending was very satisfying. To the book and the series as a whole. Everything I wanted to know about was exposed, and all of my questions were answered. It didn’t feel forced and it really did seem like Ransom had been building to this all along. It was both interesting and emotional. There was a lot of history, and feelings, and action, and paranormal/peculiar stuffs… basically everything you could want. The climax of the book was very climactic (see what I did there… huh?!). Just, bravo to a well done series. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ALL OF THE READERS.