As you can probably tell from the title and cover, this story is peculiar, and the people in it, are also peculiar. I discovered it when I watched a video that the Author put together about his travels to Belgium to look at some of the old abandoned houses that were, in some ways, an inspiration for the house in the story. The video was amazing, and so I had to check out the book.
One thing I can say about this story is that lumping it into one genre, one category, seems rather difficult. It has monsters, History, Time Travel and modern time (cell phones, etc.) all rolled into one big plot. The story centers around Jacob, his Grandfather Abe, and a box of old photos that are so, well, peculiar, that they couldn't possibly be real. Like any grandfather, Abe tells Jacob stories, tales of an old home he used to live in as a child, with a girl who could levitate and a boy who was invisible, and many more strange things. Eventually, Jacob grows out of the storytelling stage and no longer believes the impossible tales his grandfather weaves. But when Abe is murdered, and Jacob catches a glimpse of the monster who killed him, he begins to realize that his grandfather's tales are not as false as he believed and following his grandfather's last words, sets off to find the children in the photographs.
Jacob is a sixteen year-old kid with a dysfunctional family, trying to get himself fired from the family-owned drug store chain, and keeping an eye on his grandfather whom everyone deems is going crazy. He has an odd sense of humor, a somewhat foul mouth, and a belief that there was so much more to his grandfather than anyone ever knew.
Miss Peregrine, is the head of the “orphanage” for her peculiar children, a “ymbryne” (a time manipulator) charged with keeping them safe and within the bounds of her time loop.
The Children, known as Peculiars, are many in the story, but the main ones are Emma, a girl who can work fire, Bronwyn, a girl with exceptional strength, Millard the boy who is invisible, Horace, who has dreams that sometimes come true, and Enoch, a boy who can a heart from something, put it into something else and bring it back to life.
The Villains in this story are monsters that can be seen only by some, and Wights, that try to steal Peculiar Children for Hollows to feed upon.
Things I liked:
The Author does something in his story that I have never seen before: includes many old black and white photographs of his characters and elements in his story, so we can see what Jacob is seeing. They are both interesting, and in a way, slightly creepy.
The mixture of elements in the tale keeps it unique and interesting, even if some places in the book drag ever so slightly.
Things I didn't like:
The language is a little crude, but it's not so peppered throughout the book that it makes me want to burn it.
Horace's talent for “prophetic dreams” isn't something I'm generally a fan of, but so far we've only encountered his talent once.
Enoch's talent was the other thing that weirded me out, taking hearts from mice to animate his wooden dolls, and eventually using a sheep's heart to bring a corpse back so Jacob can talk to him.
To Sum it Up:
This is a very unique tale, so if you're looking for something different and somewhat creepy, then you'll enjoy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I'm waiting for the second book “The Hollow City” to come in the mail, and will be interested in seeing the film version that is to come out in 2016.