Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
The Miss Peregrine series started off with such promise on such a wonderful concept. Ransom Riggs discovered a bunch of weird fucked up old photographs of oddities and strange scenes, and decided to tell a story around them. And thus, we were gift Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And it’s a terrific kind of steampunk X-Men, where children with odd abilities are trapped in timeloops around the world. It’s dark and disturbing, the perfect kind of hipstery follow through to something like Jhonen Vasquez or Emily the Strange.
But then he made a trilogy out of it. And the story weakened. And the third book was the weakest of them all. Again, it predicates itself on this larger story that involves a boy who can control monsters falling in love with a girl who can set fires who used to be in love with the boy’s grandfather because TIME TRAVEL. The final story is incredibly convoluted, mashed up with this really painfully awkward love story cobbled around and in this search for a nefarious man who wants to gain the souls of grand power through a premise that would make Dan Brown blush.
The wonderful photographs are there, but the gimmick has lost its luster, and now we’re kind of stuffed in what seems like a super complicated frame work that ultimately feels like a cheat. Double crosses and everyone is related and there’s never any real danger really and the deus ex machina is really deus ex kaiju, and by the time we rattle into the end, it’s become tiresome and I’m glad it’s over.
It wore out its welcome on me and I’m glad the series is over. I really did think the first story was quite good, but I wouldn’t really recommend the third unless you read the second and are desperately in love with it.