Book Review – Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

51bTKMubZBL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

September 3rd, 1940. Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them but she’s trapped in the body of a bird.

The extraordinary journey that began in ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Likes its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience. 

Hollow City is the second story in a YA trilogy by Ransom Riggs. The coolness of these particular books lays in the fact they contain real, old photographs which intertwine in and compliment the story.


Anyone who read my review of the first book (here) will know that I was a bit disappointed and not majorly enthralled. The book wasn’t badly written and was a fun enough ‘easy read’ but marketed wrong and I expected something creepy. I was kinda bored really.

So why read the next one? Because I mugged myself off by buying them all in one go off Amazon.

Happily I did enjoy Hollow City more than the first book. It definitely helped that it leapt straight into the action but the entire story was more exciting and I felt generally it was just a better book. I let a lot of the first one wash over me and didn’t pay much attention to secondary characters or weird made-up words that exist in their weird made-up world but reading Hollow City I got to know the characters and their respective quirks a little better.

I still wouldn’t say they’re the most AMAZING BOOKS EVER, like how I felt when I read…..well I won’t say his name but he wears glasses and has a scar on his head. Hollow City was enjoyable and fun but again – and I’m only being honest – it didn’t grip me hugely. Not to the point where I was jumping up and down on one leg in anticipation of reading the next chapter but it’s important to point out that these (young adult) books are not specifically aimed at me anyway.

The story genre will appeal to some more than others and judging by some stuff I’ve read online they do have a  following. There’s a bit of a cliché – sometimes quite over the top –  romance between the protagonist and one of the peculiar children. I can see this appealing to the teen market due to all the darn drama and ‘I’ll love you til the end!’ vibes. Let’s be honest Twilight made a fortune out of it and they were shit too.

I must mention the vintage photos again as they are such a cool part of the experience and the main reason to pick up one of these books and flick through it. Riggs (I can’t help but say that in Danny Glover’s voice in my head) has cleverly written each photograph into the story and some of them are so mysterious and scary you can’t help but wonder the real life origin.

All of the photos are genuine, donated by collectors and from Riggs own personal collection. And there’s a lot of them. It’s not like one or two scattered around, you see them every few pages. A lot of work went into the Miss Peregrine books and it’s admirable.

But I don’t think I’ll be reading any further.



About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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29 Responses to Book Review – Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

  1. Natasha says:

    Great review Emma! Sounds interesting, but I’m fully convinced that nothing will ever make me feel again like how I felt when I read Potter for the first time! A blessing and a curse 😀

    • emmakwall says:

      I know! The excitement when each book came out….nothing will ever (truly!) be as good as that. I’m not really interested in all this Cursed Child stuff though, I feel it ended very well and that’s enough for me. Not sure revisiting it is even necessary!

      Thanks Natasha! It’s an okay easy / holiday read!!

  2. This is a really fun series and not just for young adults either. Can’t wait for the film!

  3. vinnieh says:

    Very good review Emma. Sadly my reading of books has been a bit lazy recently.

  4. I might have to try this series when I have more time.

  5. Zoë says:

    Smaller print this time around?? 😉 Glad to hear you liked this one more.

    “…not everything can be Harry Potter….or Breaking Bad…” – don’t we sadly know it 😦 We finished a Breaking Bad rerun on Monday night, and I felt so lost again after it. Freaking AMAZING.

    • emmakwall says:

      Ahhhh I need a Breaking Bad re-watch…..NOW! It is bad how I compare every show to it though….even pretty good shows still can’t compete! Sigh….

      And yep, smaller print this time around haha! Well remembered 🙂 🙂

      • Zoë says:

        You sound like my husband xD It is his number one favourite TV show of all time, ever. Period. No discussions. It is a fact of life hehehehe.

        • emmakwall says:

          And NOTHING is as good. When it comes to dramas and similar long-running action TV shows I mean.

          Nothing seems as original or well written with such interesting characters. Even GREAT stuff seems run of the mill when compared! There was something so special that show! I think series 3/4 are my favourites 🙂

          P.S your husband seems like a VERY good guy!!!!

          • Zoë says:

            It really was phenomenally brilliant! I must say, my favourites were definitely seasons 4 and 5 (both parts). Ahhhh, so much to love there! Just thinking back on some things I get goosebumps!

            I think so, but then, I might be biased 😉

  6. beetleypete says:

    Sounds a lot better than the first one, Em. The use of those real spooky photos is such a great idea. They freak me out just looking at them on your post!
    Nice to see you back.
    As ever, Pete. XXX+xx(Cheeks)

  7. Kevin says:

    Good to know the series improves after the first one.

    What are you reading next? I’m still going through the collected stories and novels of H.P. Lovecraft and the 2nd novel of Just Another Magical Index

  8. Lara/Trace says:

    You sold me Emma – going to read them all (then see the movies)

  9. Tres Bien Emma! Sorry. I’m in a French mood today. I’m so glad you liked this one more! I still haven’t gotten around to reading the final book, so I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I can’t remember if I already told you about this, but there’s a fantastic book by Brian Selznik called The Invention of Hugo Cabret. He also uses mixed media to tell his story and it’s absolutely breathtaking! I was also made into a movie called Hugo, which is excellent also.


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