Library of Souls is the last book in the Miss Peregrine series. Jacob, Emma, and Addison have not been captured by the wights but everyone has been transported to the present, and this is a problem for all the peculiar children because if you stay outside too long, your internal age catches up with you. There's the question of how they were transported back to the present, but now the three of them have to head out to Devil's Acre, a loop that takes up an entire city of dread that makes The Republic and Colonies from the Legend trilogy look like the Gold sector from Red Rising. There, Miss Peregrine's brother is on the rise in a fortress that's held peculiars for experiment and ymbrynes ever since the wights and hollowgasts started their abductions, and the final goal may just be in reach, and Jacob might have something to do with it, especially since he has discovered a brand new power of his.
Honestly, I almost want to kidnap Ransom Riggs and scan his brain. His comparisons, descriptions, ideas, characters, and storytelling, are all perfect and stay perfect. This is a book series where the characters will stay with me forever. Jacob at this point sees Miss Peregrine and the children as his second family, even Enoch, and it feels the same way for me as well. But anyway, at the start, it kicks off with a big banger, because instead of jumping forward a week or month or something like many YA series do, this book stays exactly where it was from the spectacular, and peculiar, cliffhanger. Not to mention Addison hilariously causes people to faint left and right from the fact he's a talking dog who doesn't care about stealth enough to join in on public discussion. One of my favourite parts from the first book was when Jacob's dad sees Emma, and in a way, sees Millard, and faints similarly, which gave a conflict I was curious about for the rest of the series. But that's just the beginning. It's when Devil's Acre arrives that things really heat up. Literally. In Devil's Acre, the lake is
Ransom Riggs is cleverly able to avoid the cliche of bribing someone successfully to not look under the hood, and also somehow be able to have a ton of characters we know absent and yet bring in others that are still interesting enough to compensate. And the peculiar children not in the picture for a chunk of the book is something that doesn't linger or bruise the franchise. Rather, the mystery of what's happening to them actually enhances the experience.
The book also manages to retain the excitement factor. There are beasties, weird shops, and misery everywhere. A girl has to scoop up wretched water and drink the film of it when the nasty particles drop to the bottom from their weight. The Library of Souls, a place you'll have to read to find out about but a place that both fits the bill for the conclusion of the series, and the honer of a title unlike anything out there, is also a place I'll be dreaming about like Horace for at least a couple years.
The only thing I think was missing was a case involving Millard, the invisible boy, a plotpoint that was highlighted in Hollow City. But in that book, it had already touched on it in minor issues, so in the end it might not really be much of a flaw at all. Everything else, from the story of the Library of Souls, to the personal fear factor, to the big climax, to the idea of the Panloopticon, to its sensational twists, blinded up my negative review bone from the very first page. Heck, it even reminds us of Hugh's problem with his bees from the last book and doesn't dispose of characters in worry of becoming cluttered when with these characters, it's impossible.
So how does Ransom Riggs conclude this experience? Let me put it this way: It was 8 at night and I had to get up early tomorrow but I decided to open the book as I was on page 380 something, and I couldn't stop. Then it flew me into walls and across my room, with an inevitable conflict but one that's written so purely, it was like I was reading what my own mind was brainstorming. I lightly cried and sighed but also knew there had to be something else before the conclusion because it was still fast paced despite the fact it was supposed to be a conclusion and I was squirming, reluctant to find out what would happen. And the ending...oh, that ending! I whispered "Wooo!" to myself and had a smile that a reminder of my recent trauma couldn't remove.
It's official. Library of Souls is now the sixth book to join my favourite books of all time. It has also allowed me to proudly declare that The Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children series is my new #1 favourite series. It has officially surpassed Michael Vey!