Library of Souls: Third Novel to the Miss Peregrine’s Series / Ransom Riggs / 458 pgs / Young Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fiction
The story comes to a conclusion as Jacob, the only peculiar to see Hollows, Emma, a girl with a knack for fire, and Addison, a talking dog with a nose for peculiars, are the only chance at saving the world of peculiars. Not only must they make their way through the slums of Devil’s Acre, the worst loop known to peculiars, but they must find a way into Caul’s impenetrable fortress. And despite Jacob’s new peculiarity adapting day by day, it may not be fast enough for them to save their family and possibly, the world.
Boy oh boy… I won’t deny that I did go into this one still hyped up after the second (which if you read my review you know I loved it) but also with a little bit of high expectations. I read reviews stating that this book had the most satisfying ending they had seen in a long time. Hmm…… Anyway, to begin, the quick summary!
LANGUAGE: Unfortunately I can’t remember exactly how bad the language was, I was a little bit consumed with the story, but I believe it wasn’t too bad. Few words used, light ones as well, there is room for error though, but all in all, not too bad.
VIOLENCE: Now, the violence was pretty bad, I mean, this is a war book. I can’t say what’s truly graphic, but there were some pretty disturbing scenes. Bridge heads, which were heads that were mounted on spikes and could talk. Seeing the life essence taken from peculiars, and though this wouldn’t be considered violence, there were many disturbing scenes in Devil’s Acre in which people, and peculiars themselves, were “selling” themselves, that is to say selling their peculiarities, adults and children as well. All in all, a very dark book that I would not suggest to kids under 12. (that is my opinion of course, you may think otherwise.)
QUALITY: The quality in writing was as good as ever, however… the ending was not very well done. I felt as if I had stepped into a comic book or some kid’s super hero show, it was just too weird, so unfortunately, I can’t give my MUST READ tag, cause it was extremely unsatisfying, despite what people lead me to believe. However, I like to finish what I start, so if you’ve enjoyed the series so far, go ahead and finish it, because it will probably annoy you not knowing the ending otherwise.
OVERALL RATING: Well, I would say finish the series if not just for the sake of finishing it. However, it really wasn’t as good as the second, in my opinion. The ending felt cheesy and explained to much to make it interesting.
Once again I will voice my disappointment before starting. Understand this, though I was displeased with it, I enjoyed the series as a whole, this last book just didn’t end quite right.
LANGUAGE: The violence, if I remember correctly, wasn’t too bad. Not used often, light words used. The scenes that may have used the most language would be when they’re in Devil’s Acre, many fowl people there with no regard to any morals whatsoever, but other than that, not too bad.
VIOLENCE: The violence was pretty bad. Devil’s Acre was disgusting and extremely will written, very descriptive and you get a pretty darn good feel for the slums. There were many disturbing instances, such as bridge heads, in which heads were mounted on spikes and used as cards to keep people from intruding, where people, and peculiars themselves, were selling their peculiar abilities, putting themselves up for hire. That may not sound creepy, but people selling them would lock them up in rooms with a wall of glass and have them perform their peculiarities to those interested in buying. Kids were among these people sold. It was dark and it felt like a reference to prostitution. Sure, they’re not sleeping with their buyers, but they’re selling their “souls”, which is what they call their abilities, and it’s the same thing.
There was also a references to drug addiction. There was a drug sold around called ambrosia (I believe that’s how it’s spelled). The drug itself is disturbing. It contains particles of “souls” taken from peculiars, and made into a boosting drug. It boost everything, your strength, abilities; makes you stronger. However the effects don’t last long at all, and it has terrible side effects. First, you administer it by pouring the liquid in your eyes, they suddenly cast beams from your eyes, and burns when hits the ground. Turns out that every time you use it it not only destroys your skin, burning it to look distorted and mutated, but it also saps away your peculiarity. After long uses of the drug, you’re left this mindless fool who can’t wait for their next dosage. It’s quite terrible and there were lots of people you met that were in terrible mindless states.
Last of all was the battle in the end. It wasn’t too violent, just disturbing. They killed so many wights, and so brutally. I mean, it was understandable, it was in self defense, and in wars, it’s do or die, and this case die means the rest of the world. It was just hard, cause I mean, they’re like kids.
Either way, it was definitely dark and covered many adult topics.
QUALITY: The quality in writing was excellent as always, character development good, and the overall storyline was decent. Decent. I’m afraid it just got weird for me at the end. Getting into the whole Library of Souls and such was just too much. I’m a very opened minded person, sometimes too open minded, but this, I just couldn’t take. The Library of Souls was actually very interesting at first, all the mystery and unanswered questions slowly being answered; however, once it was actually revealed, I was…. disappointed. Whether Riggs should have just left most of it in mystery or just handled it better, I don’t know, but what he did do (I’m mostly referring to the ending with Caul) was ridiculous and slightly unbelievable. The Library of Souls reveled too much and was capable of too much, it took away from the mystery and power of Peculiars. I was brought back to X-Men when they discovered how to get rid of their abilities. It was silly, and I don’t know, suddenly made everything pointless. Some of you may disagree, and I apologize, I just felt rather let down.
I won’t get to into the final battle, I don’t want to give away to much (I probably gave away too much already….), but I was disappointed again. Like I stated in the quick summary, it felt like some cheesy super hero battle. Also, Caul was inconsistent as a villain. Throughout the story he was seen as the cunning villain who knew what he was doing. His plan was foolish, but he never struck me has someone stupid. However, when you were actually face to face with him his character changed. Not in a way were it made sense, he was suddenly very careless and stupid. He suddenly became emotional too, even though he never struck me like that, at least not to that degree. I’m afraid I’ll have to do a Ponderings on this, if not just to talk freely with no fear of revealing to you all the answers unknowingly. So I’ll stop here for now. All in all, the quality could have been better.
OVERALL RATING: Well, the series was pretty good, Hollow City was my favorite. However, the ending was extremely displeasing. It’s hard to describe, how it ended was what I wanted, and I’m sure everyone reading it as well, but that’s not how I wanted it done, how it should have been done. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to come across as arrogant, I apologize if I do, that’s not my intention, I’m just stating that I was not happy with the end, and how they portrayed Jacob’s parents, and Miss Pergrine to be honest.
Now, the big question. Do I suggest you read the series? Well….. I’m not jumping for joy, and it’s not a series that will be with me forever, I’ll probably reread book two, but that’s it. So, if you’re into dark fantasy and looking for something strange for a change, this is the book for you. Excellent writing, an interesting storyline, but not necessarily the best story out there. If you decide to read, enjoy, and let me know your thoughts.