I bought the Kindle version of this when it was on sale earlier this year, and with the movie version of the first book coming out at the end of next month, we decided that we should try to get it in before the end of the summer. So, after we finished Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer, The Hollow City was next on our list. Potential spoilers ahead!
The second book picks up almost immediately after the first one ends. The kids are on the run, and they need to find help for Miss Peregrine before she is stuck as a bird forever. They discover that only another ymbryne can help her, but they are being hunted by the wights and hollows and are laying low–no one knows if there are any still on the loose and, if there are, where they may be.
So, this novel has much more of a quest feel than the first one, which was more about world building and suspense as Jacob found out about the Peculiars and himself. There are still loads of surprises, but the tone is different. There are new enemies and new allies to be found–and new creatures and types of Peculiars.
Like the first book, this one is violent. Not only are there personal threats to and attacks on the children, but they are also in London during the Blitz, so there is wartime violence–and the collateral damage that results–as well. The children also take their gloves off, so to speak, and they commit violent actions themselves. Not without reason, but some may be bothered by that. At the very least, it is something to talk about.
However, I noticed that the language was toned down. I don’t know if there were complaints or if Riggs was trying to maintain the historical feel of the past, but after noticing how much swearing there was in the first book, it was equally noticeable how little there was this time. It will be interesting to see how the third book compares.
Phoebe complained about the romantic aspects of the story, and one subplot is the growing relationship between Jacob and Emma. However, there are only a couple of kisses, and the two do profess their love for each other. It might induce eye rolling, but it shouldn’t be offensive.
Phoebe says: I enjoyed The Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs, but not as much as the first book from the Miss Peregrine series. This book was mostly about the peculiar children’s escape from the hollows, wights, and the rescue of Miss Peregrine–whereas the first book was a lot more about the mystery of the peculiar children, how Jacob finds the children, and learning about the children. I personally like that kind of mystery story better. Also, this book was very “romancey” between Jacob and Emma, and sometimes I thought that took away from the story.
Although I didn’t like some parts of the book, I did like others. At one point, when the children are on their quest to get Miss Peregrine back in human form, they stop at a menagerie, knowing that it belongs to Miss Wren, one of the only free ymbrymes left, hoping that she was there. Unfortunately, she wasn’t there, but there were peculiar animals. I loved this part of the story because I am always making up stories about animals that can talk or do other unusual things. I look forward to reading the third book of the Miss Peregrine series!