The weird photographs placed throughout this book drew me in. They are all actual, unretouched photos from private collections.
The original premise is also promising. Jacob deeply loves his grandfather, Abe, who is a survivor of the Holocaust. Abe often tells weird stories about his life—that he has spent years on the run from monsters and flesh-eating demons. Jacob’s parents tell him that this is Abe’s way of describing his terrible past. For a while, Jacob believes all of the bizarre stories.
And then he doesn’t.
And then he must. Because he witnesses an equally bizarre tragedy and finds himself looking for clues to his grandfather’s past life. These clues lead Jacob to Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children.
The word ‘peculiar,’ is, of course, an understatement. Other words to describe the group are magical, eccentric, other-worldly, supernatural. They make flames in the cup of their hands, have a hive of bees living inside them, they float. The author draws readers into their special, hidden world. When we find out why they must hide, we follow them through imminent danger. I wished that those dangers—the wights and the hollowghasts—had a better reason for being because it would have helped me delve into this mysterious world. But the novel is still creative and unusual.
And the ending screams “Sequel!”