Let me give a summary of this world. There are peculiars, wights, ymbrynes and hollowgasts. Peculiars are people who over time had a special gene that made them...have strange powers, but it would take a whole review just to list them all. Wights are people with black eyes that want to use the ymbryne's power for evil. Ymbrynes have the ability to create loops; time travel loops. Miss Peregrine is an ymbryne. The only thing is, she can turn herself into a peregrine bird. But she and her home of peculiar children in the loop of September 3rd, 1940, were invaded by hollowgasts. Hollowgasts are these invisible tentacle creatures with powers of their own we don't know too much about. All we know is we have to kill, ask questions never. Thing is, Jacob Portman, our hero, is a peculiar as well, and his power is he can see hollowgasts. Now Miss Peregrine is injured and is trapped in bird form, and the children have to go on the run as loops are being invaded by wights and the children may start aging again, to find an ymbryne named Miss Wren in a London that's in the middle of the second world war! But the Nazis are the least of their problems...
In the review of the last book, I said that by having a picture on each page like that book did, it really feels like the pages fly by like the bees in Hugh's stomach. But that wouldn't have been enough to be a good book. Next, the pictures needed to be neat and the actual book ace. Ransom Riggs was exemplary in every category. Not only were the pictures neat, they were freaky. And the story, twists, writing and characters were all perfect. Hollow City transitions like the book sequel readers deserve but don't usually get.
Ransom Riggs writes so well I could fall asleep in a grin listening to his sentences, unless he's keeping me up with the action that makes me refuse sleep until I dare to check under my bed. And maybe his editors helped with the writing, but hey! We're here to talk about the actual book. Let's just say, this book takes place in 1940 and I wasn't sure if I wanted it to take place in that time period. I was kind of hoping for the present. Main reason? The dreadful book "Henderson's Boys: Eagle Day." Now I'm glad Ransom chose this time. The war and the desperation of everything make this a survival treat that just fits into a war movie like cookies and a tin. The peculiars only have a few days to save their dear headmistress with the help of someone who may or may not be alive or captured, so this book cannot skip over days. Every hour has to be important, and unlike This is Where it Ends, there was never one moment where I thought that wouldn't work in my favour. Not once. This is a true adventure book, of hilariously creepy real-life photos that give the book even more atmosphere than the masterful writing already does, giving us a feel that what we're reading is really happening before our eyes.
And is this book exciting? Um, hell yes! From the story of the peculiar named Cuthbert to the dog Addison to the surroundings of people to the bee buzzes to the chases to the refusal to be boring and hide in the shadows, Hollow City is a book that dares you not to keep reading.
Something I didn't expect was for there to be any conflicts with the peculiar children, and there are. Pretty much everyone, from Emma, to Millard, to Olive, to Horace, to Hugh; pretty much everyone, especially Hugh, but this is NOT some kind of distraction. Every little thing is timid yet memorable and is careful not to distract from everything happening around them. Something I also loved is Jacob and this object that's useless in where and when he is. I was worried he was going to jsut get rid of it but he understands its real value unlike some YA stories out there. Ugh...Basically, Hollow City is like a breath of fresh minty air just like its predecessor. Come to think of it, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was the last book I gave a full 4 stars to. Huh!
There were a few "Um..." moments in the book, but almost all of them get fixed as the book goes along, which makes it better and better! One that gets fixed are these vehemently outrageous moments involving Miss Peregrine. We think it's one thing. No. Not really. I also heard a mention of Dr. Doolittle, but I thought, Wait. Aren't they not supposed to know this yet? Then I looked it up. Dr. Doolittle began as a set of books in 1920. Never mind. And a choice the main characters make. It turns out fine and I think will actually help out the next book. There's a time where the characters stop and are being chased and a story is told. I actually didn't mind them telling stories while they were being pursued because we had Fiona and her plant growing abilities to hide them, and there was actually a flaw I missed. I was in awe too much. And then Enoch mentions the flaw and fixes it right up before it even becomes a real flaw. Ha ha! (...I just said the word flaw three times back there...) One thing that doesn't get fixed is a peculiar and the concept of time travel around it I wasn't sure about. Other than that, any time I wasn't sure if something was the right thing to say, Ransom corrected it in a way that made the book even more pleasing. It even caught a big question in the air, and timed it perfectly when it was brought up. Bringing it up too early would've undermined the main goal of this story.
Now I'm kind of glad that the film adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (which I was unimpressed with) is seemingly going to be a standalone and won't touch Hollow City. You can't top perfection. Or maybe you can. I'll see what Library of Souls brings me. Let's hope so! I really REALLY don't want this series to end on a low note!